Dec 10

Community Empowerment in Haiti

A great sense of empowerment is needed for the people of Haiti, who remain in a housing crisis two years after the earthquake. The empowerment of people in need is paramount to creating change. The best Aid workers are sometimes individuals who have lived in the communities needing help and are invested in their communities. This is not to say that outside aid is not welcome. The donations, fundings, and  resources  brought in by outside Aid workers is an absolute necessity for rebuilding Haiti.  However, outside aid workers  have no personal investment in the communities and leave after they think a change has been made. They are not invested in the sustaining and  longevity of the changes they implement.

It is sad and troubling that the Haitian people are still living in chaos two years  after  the earthquake, despite a huge number of outside aid workers and millions in aid. Is it not better to get Haitians involved as aid workers, and the community members actively involved in their solving their problems? Haitian aid workers and community members working within their own communities would be an effective strategy, to quell the housing crisis in Haiti.

Hundreds of thousands of Haitian people remain in wretched tent camps. By empowering the Haitians to rebuild themselves, through construction assistance, the housing problem could be tackled systematically. Aid organizations should hire Haitian construction workers to aid in the rebuilding process. These  organizations should also  hire and train other Haitians who are interested in learning. Haitian  construction workers that have the most skills in housing and building development  can supervise  the less skilled workers. This can be a means to on the job training.  The integration of  construction skills can only solidify the rebuilding project.  Haitian electricians, plumbers, roofers, and mason etc. can all  be recruited as a means of speeding along the rebuilding process.

The aid  organizations that have gone into Haiti speak about the rebuilding of the Haitian society. But how will this be possible if they are the bringing in the workers, reaping all the praise, and later leaving. Aid organizations should  hire more Haitian workers instead of bringing in more aid workers to Haiti. The hiring and training of Haitians is a sure way to  revitalize their  economy. The creation of a wide variety of jobs and training of  skilled Haitians provides sustainability for the economy. These are skills the Haitian people can continue to use, and promote growth in their society. Rather than handing out aid and leaving , train the people, improve their skills, create jobs.

The anthem of the  aid organizations is to rebuild  Haiti. Don’t just speak about it. In order to create change in the society of the Haitian people, give them a  sense of control in the rebuilding of their country.

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