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7623: RE: 7606: Re: 7576: I must have missed something (fwd)
From: Pascal Antoine <PascalA@freshcom.com>
>I saw a young friend of ours in Haiti last week. He met some visiting
>Americans at an orphanage when he was very young and they struck up a
>relationship with him and his family. Since then, many Americans have sent
>money to pay rent, school, food, etc for him and his mother.
Put yourself in this young man's shoes. He and his family have been
receiving charity from American's since he was very young. Everything he
has, his education, the Walkman he was listening to, down to the shoes on
his feet, can probably be attributed to American "generosity". His
relationship with Americans (including you) has always been one of the poor
little Third World child benefiting from knowing benevolent visitors.
>He asked me for some money,
>which he always does, and I asked
>him what work he was going to do for me.
If this was the first time you had denied him money when he asked you for it
(and it seams like it was since you say he thought you were kidding), you
have probably been doing this boy a disservice ever since you've known him.
I know this issue has been discussed throughout the threads on this mailing
list, but charity just for charity's sake is probably the biggest blunder
many do-gooders make in Haiti. Has this boy been taught how to get a job?
Has he been taught to hold his head high and not always expect (or ask for)
handouts? All he knows is that when he holds out his hands (and even when he
doesn't)....he gets whatever he wants.
If you had owed your livelihood to charity all your life and had never known
any other form of reliable subsistence, you'd be exactly like this young
>I remember meeting two young Haitian girls, age about 8 and 11...
As far as these two girls go, they were showing self-pride. The young man
was simply being a teenager. If these girls were growing up with people
giving them money at every turn, whenever they ask, they would probably have
the same temperament as the young man by the time they reached his age.
Sometimes charity can be a disservice. It's definitely not the answer for
the young man, his family, the little girls, nor Haiti.