Several friends from across the industry have asked about my involvement in Haiti. I just returned from a great trip there and want to take this opportunity to share a little about my passion for the Haitian people and the work I am involved in there.
Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere where the average person lives on less than $2/day. It is a third-world country just off the coast of the United States. the 2010 earthquake devastated parts of the country killing over 200,000 people and leaving many injured and many children orphaned. In the midst of this, the Haitian people are people of the Caribbean. They are friendly, easy-going and blessed with amazing smiles. It is a country of poverty, devastation, wonder, hope and promise.
I recently returned from a trip with 20 others to an orphanage in Thomazeau. The group taught the children and played with them. We walked the streets and met the people. We also built a home for a mom and her two children. The home is a simple cinder-block structure (pictured here). The single room with a small porch is now home to this small family. They can feel secure with a permanent home and no longer must rent part of a mud and stick home. The rent can now go toward food, clothing and improving their lives.
Our overall goal is to build a secondary school specifically for orphans who may not have an opportunity to continue their education otherwise. The school will focus on academics, leadership and service. The plan is to equip Haitian orphans to be adult leaders in their community. We believe that permanent improvement in Haiti will not come from the U.N. or the Red Cross or the Un
ited States. Leadership Changes Everything. So, permanent improvement will come from Haitian leaders who make a difference in their country and improve life for their country men and women.
Equipping those leaders is the goal of The Joseph School.
We hope to begin building The Joseph School along with an orphanage for handicapped children by the end of 2012. The Joseph School will also be a center for community developme
nt. We will help people build homes; we are working on a micro-lending program; we are planning a soccer (football) league for local children; we are working on a teacher training institute housed at the school. Its an exciting project that will leverage our time, resources and talents for decades to come to affect thousands and maybe millions of people.
20|20 Research has adopted The Joseph School. You will likely hear more about it from our associates as the next few months go by. We are excited about the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of orphans today and in the country of Haiti for years to come.