It has been quite a week…my church pastors visited Haiti, seeing first hand, the continuing overwhelming needs in this nation…they met the sweet boys (Stanley and Davensly) being adopted by my dear friends…and plans are in place for a Kozefò board meeting in Los Angeles this month.
My heart for Haiti is heavy…I long to return…to do my little part to empower the teachers in that corner of the world to be creative, innovative and reach deep into the minds of their learners. I desire to be encouraging and uplifting…to play a role, by using my skills as an educator.
I see other NGOs (non-governmental organizations) sending groups into Port au Prince on a regular basis, spending thousands of dollars weekly to send another group…to do another project…to step in to “fix” something. Well…I am disheartened by those efforts. Who are we to come in and “fix”…or make “American”? We need to be question-askers…and truth-seekers. We need to acknowledge others with THEIR truths, passions, skills and desires…we need to walk along aside them and share the journey. There are thousands of NGOs working there currently…so what is our role? Wouldn’t it make sense to hire locals…purchase locally…train and empower? Flying in on an eight hundred dollar airfare to hold babies, run a free medical clinic, or a week-long day camp often does MORE harm than good. Couldn’t we use that eight hundred bucks to support a locally run clinic…or send a young Haitian adult to school for training in education? These are the questions that I am wrestling with…the ones that keep me up at night…that send me out into the blogosphere to read true accounts of friends living and loving in Haiti.
So…where do I go from here?
I will be praying and pondering…and trusting my next steps in the journey. Take a look at the video clip below to get a glimpse into the images that race through my mind…