A number of people have asked why the tagline for this website is Help Haiti Build rather than Help Build Haiti. The answer is simple. It goes back to the goals for what we are trying to do in Haiti. Most have heard the statement, “If you give a man a fish, you will feed him for a day. If you teach him to fish, you will feed him for a lifetime.” We are trying to teach the Haitians to “fish.”
If we go in and rebuild Haiti, and there are many who are trying to do just that, we may leave them in a slum with no hope for improvement. A slum can be very nice, but if there is no hope, it is still a slum. If we help them build and teach them how to build disaster-resistant homes, then they are an important part of the process. They will have learned a trade so they can build homes for others and make a living. Meanwhile Mission:Haiti is working with micro loans to build small businesses.
With the Homes for Jubilee project, I will be involved in the building until an infrastructure is in place so the residents of Jubilee can continue without my help. Then I will proceed to the next project which Pastor Revenel Benoit, President of the Lutheran Church of Haiti, has in store for me. He has told me I need to move to Haiti for ten years so I can complete all of the projects he has planned for me. So far, I have not moved to Haiti, but I go there four times per year. When I go, my friends in Haiti welcome me home. Maybe I do not know the full story. Maybe I am just coming back to Texas for a vacation four times per year.
For years, there will be a need for donors to furnish money to purchase building supplies for Haitians to use to build homes for the poorest of the poor, but there will not be a need for teams of builders to go to Haiti and build houses while Haitians who desperately need jobs stand around and watch because some foreigner wants to boost his ego and then go home and say, “Look what I did for those people. ”
For years, there will be a need to feed orphans and take care of them. There will be many needs in Haiti, but swinging a hammer and building a wooden home will not be one of them, unless your goal is to feed the termites.