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#1864: Re: #1856:Answer to Laleau re helping (fwd)
From: Lokken Millis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
this "beggar mentality" thing I think came from a comment I made saying I
would not forget my Haitian friends until they left me alone which I did not
think would happen soon. In no way did I mean that "helping" meant giving
handouts! I even said in the same post that I thought it was helpful to find
out what kind of help is empowering.
No, I don't understand completely the limitations of the local environment,
but I am learning what they are, partially from posts on this forum. We
aren't all experts on Haiti, but I don't see anything wrong with trying to
learn how to empower Haitians, even if it is in a small way. Isn't that what
at least part of this forum is about? A guy asked how his "twinned parish"
could help. He wasn't asking if he should be helping, so Bob C. did not pass
judgement on that, he just gave some very good ideas and advice on how to be
really effective. Another post suggested that we mind our own business and
leave Haitians alone.
The group I worked with worked with an elder Haitian priest, who hired
Haitians in his remote area to build a church and hired Haitian teachers for
a school. The americans also offer medical help while there. From what I have
learned over the past year, there are some things that could be done
differently, but overall, I don't think anyone is trying to create beggars
out of them. I've seen lives saved, people working, and kids getting a hot
lunch everyday, and learning. I painted with the kids there, and to me and I
think to them it was a wonderful experience devoid of creating dependence. We
just had fun. Maybe some thing is wrong with that, too!
Robert Corbett wrote:
> The "international beggar mentality" is gone as soon as Haitians reach the
> shores of any country where there is a possibility of work. It vanishes
> rapidly in Haiti when there is another possibility as well -- a realistic
> possibility -- not one in the highly different awareness of someone coming
> from abroad who really does not understand the limitations of the local
> Nancy Laleau