Four years after the historic earthquake struck, many communities across Haiti are still looking for a way forward—most industry was decimated by the natural disaster. Despite all of the aid that has flowed into the country, there are people still struggling with the basics of survival. For many, this means limited access to resources for rebuilding shattered homes, or the provision of temporary shelters, with no long-term plan. In a quote from The New York Times, a senior technical adviser to U.N.-Habitat in Haiti shared,
“It’s the project syndrome—one neighborhood gets incredible resources, the next is in total limbo, or one camp gets rental subsidies, the next gets nothing. We have to spread the remaining resources more equitably. Equity is essential, and so are durable solutions.”
A home of their own is the foundation families need to build a future. The fair trade cooperatives springing up around Haiti are providing sustainable incomes that enable families to rebuild this tangible symbol of hope and begin anew.
The Other Major Challenge in Haiti
Another ongoing challenge in communities across Haiti is the devastating cholera epidemic, which emerged in the aftermath of the earthquake and continues now, years later. An infectious disease spread by contaminated water sources and inadequate sanitation, cholera can kill in as little as 24 hours. The most effective solution to this deadly epidemic is a comprehensive response including vaccination, better latrines, water sanitation, and community education.
No Instant Fixes
There are no instant fixes. Hope and renewal in Haiti are coming about as a result of the dedicated work of organizations that listen to the Haitian people’s needs, strategize long-term sustainable solutions, and focus on holistic change (improving a community’s entire life—not just one part).
Our Part in This Story
At Jesus’ Economy, we’re incredibly proud to partner with one such organization, 2nd Story Goods. The artisans employed by this fair trade cooperative receive a living wage that lifts their families out of poverty and allows them to become agents for change in their community.
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