Next week, I’m going to Haiti.
The first thing that people ask when I tell them I’m going to Haiti is:
What are you going to do?
I’m not going to DO anything. That’s right, I’m not going down to paint a building. 1’m not going to go down and perform surgery. I’m not going to go down and dig a trench.
Why not? Because there are people in Haiti who can do those things. People in Haiti who need jobs. People in Haiti who have children who might very well go hungry if they don’t get that job.
So, that’s why I’m not going to do anything.
Because if possible, we should always aim to have the local people do the work. Because that’s why we are there. To help and helping through different ways than handing out stuff.
Because giving away stuff isn’t the answer – except in cases of emergency – like Hurricane Matthew and the earthquake of 2010.
Giving away “stuff” hurts more than it helps – just ask the Haitian rice farmers who saw their industry wiped out by US Donations.
When there are things that Haitians can’t do, then it is appropriate to bring people in to do those things. But I can tell you this, the number of people who meet those criteria are very small. Medical professionals and skilled construction people are the main ones I can think of.
So, if I’m going to Haiti and I’m not going to “do” anything, why am I going?
I’ll have more thoughts on that shortly……