Dear friends of Haiti,
In March of 2011, over 250 Haitian Business Owners and Members of International Non-Profit Organizations came together at the first ‘Buy Haitian, Restore Haiti Conference’, to address the need for local purchasing in an economy dependent on aid. Since last year’s conference, the results of local purchasing by International organizations have been tremendous!
The Haitian economy is projected to grow by 8% in 2012 (Economic Commission Latin America & Caribbean). As Haitians offer high-quality, locally produced goods and services, local purchasing is essential to the long-term restoration of the country. To ensure stability, economic growth, and the creation of 100,000 new jobs by 2020, Partners Worldwide is equipping Haitian businesses and international non-profit organizations to collaborate across sectors. For this reason, we invite you to attend the second ‘BUY HAITIAN, RESTORE HAITI’ Conference at Karibe Convention Center, January 26, 2012.
Speakers and Attendees include organizations and businesses— buyers and suppliers. This conference is a win-win for all attendees! Read the rest of 2nd Annual ‘Buy Haitian, Restore Haiti’ Conference January 26 in Port-au-Prince »
For the better part of two centuries, outsiders have been offering explanations that range from racist to learned-sounding — the supposed inferiority of blacks, the heritage of slavery, overpopulation — for why Haiti remains the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. None of these work: nearby Barbados has a greater population density, and about 90 percent of its people are descended from slaves, yet it outranks all but two nations in Latin America on the United Nations Human Development Index. Neither Barbados nor any other country, however, had so traumatic and crippling a birth as Haiti. Read more here…
The Haiti Rejuvenate Symposium that was to be held Thursday, January 12, 2012, at Essex County College in Newark, NJ, has been postponed until June of 2012. For more information, see http://HaitiRejuvenate.org. Here’s the original program:
Former U.S. president Bill Clinton says Haiti has the potential for sparking competition in the Caribbean that would transform the island nation into a regional leader. He made the prediction in New York City at the yearly Clinton Global Initiative, or CGI, a leadership forum that tackles some of the world’s most pressing problems.
Martelly also announced that his country will host an investors’ conference in November.
VIDEO REPORT – Haiti needs a Prime Minister because his signature is needed to start a wide range of projects… President Martelly’s job is arguably the toughest job in the Western Hemisphere, AlJazeera says…
I have posted my April 16 Haiti Update presentation at the Morristown EcoCenter in two formats: Viewable Online (no videos), or downloadable Player Version with Movies. I now plan to complete my notes on the trip, enter all of our new contacts, and follow up with messages regarding specific projects, as well as a general update to our members.
I believe we need to find a more effective way to dialog with and collaborate with our members, in order to support the wide range of initiatives we have identified as high-potential opportunities in Haiti; and I invite your comments and suggestions on this through this site.
Opportunities and challenges in the sustainable redevelopment of Haiti: Can we imagine an alternative future for “the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere”?
Haiti is perhaps the most powerful example of a society suffering from a deficit of triple-bottom line outcomes-ecologically, economically, and socially, though it continues to have a strong culture and an indomitable spirit. Our recent trip was both magical and disturbing, inspiring and transformative, and profoundly moving.
Read the rest of Haiti Today: The Sustainable Leadership Challenge »
Beginning with Day 3, I had trouble keeping up with the stream of events, and fell asleep before I was able to get it all recorded; and at the end of the fourth day the charging mechanism in my MacBook failed, taking with it the possibility not only of continuing my blogging but also of my correcting any errors from the day before. This seemed to me potentially serious, for I may have reported something publicly that was meant to be stated only privately, the attribution of which could harm the standing or reputation of a friend. I hope that this is not the case, but having written something and posted it publicly I was at this point unable to change it, and it stood without qualification for more than a week.
Our second day in Haiti was filled with more surprises, more insights, and several further misadventures. Our night sleeping in tents at the GRU property proved to be more difficult than any of us imagined, between the high heat and humidity, the hard ground, and the mosquitoes who somehow got past the tent’s barriers to congregate as a swarm when we awoke. I was half-determined to move us to another location, though in the end we decided to return for a second night — this time with additional padding, and mosquito netting over the tents, which proved a wise choice — because we had booked our flights to Cap Haitien for early Saturday morning.
During the day we had two very productive sessions — the first with Chad Walsh, the Grassroots United director of operations; and the second with several senior staff at the US Embassy — as well as an extensive if unanticipated tour of Port-au-Prince from the back of a pickup, and something of a trip back in time with the coordinators of our later stay in the capital.
For one thing, the combination of heat and humidity is oppressive, even at night, especially when there is no breeze, and nowhere to retreat to that is air-conditioned. It’s not that people can’t live this way — clearly they do, and after a day or so seem to take it for granted, like most of the other adverse conditions — but it is not conducive to the kind of focus that most of us are accustomed to associating with work in, e.g., northern New Jersey. (And if this is the standard condition in the compound, it’s hard to imagine what it must be like in the tent cities that still house more than half of the million-and-a-half people left homeless and with nowhere else in the country to go after the January 2010 earthquake.) Read the rest of Our First Day in Haiti »
“Co-founder Jonathan Cloud, along with colleagues Matt and Sandy Polsky, head out fearlessly in stormy weather…”
Good thing we still have a sense of humor, as it looks like we’ll need it. As of this writing, it’s been snowing for a day and a half in Central Jersey, but supposedly our flight is on schedule for this morning.
If we can, we’ll blog the trip from time to time here. Read the rest of Trip Update & Sustainable Haiti Conference Apr 4-6 in Miami »