Friday, 27 January 2017

Where do we start?

Today we spent the day at Ecole Unite in Haiti, the school built from Fransco’s dream and the school for 270 beautiful children.                                                                              

The day was full…. Full of fun and love and yet heartache and confusion. We accomplished our project of painting the new classrooms in between playing with the children. It seems cliché to suggest that all Haitian are beautiful but they are…. Their eyes are deep and soulful and watching their oft serious faces burst into smiles is pure joy.
While painting the classrooms was awesome and needed, the real power in the day came when we fed the children. Having walked through their homes the day before, we had a good idea that many children may not have eaten that day before coming to school or perhaps for several days. While it seemed small and insufficient faced with the scale of the poverty and hunger, leaving those beautiful children with a fuller belly, a bright place to study and some much needed school supplies, felt wonderful.

This trip….in particular the Haiti portion, has raised so many questions and thoughts. I find it difficult to process them all and anticipate finding it impossible to share the profound experience with those back home. 

While feeding those children for one day was great… they and their families need food security on an ongoing basis… they need sanitation infrastructure in their community and electricity in their school. They need homes. 

It all seems overwhelming… it makes you question your priorities and plans for your own life, it makes you feel shame for your own good fortune. We need to help but in ways that are not a hand out… they need a hand up so they can live a dignified and sustainable life.

I don’t have the solution. Organizations like Live Different who organized our trip are a start but they can’t be the complete answer. Haiti is the third poorest country in the world. Yes, there are other communities and countries that struggle with similar issues, even inside Canada. There is enough food and resources in the world for everyone yet so many go without while others live in excess. How do we correct this… where do we start?

As I said, I am not sure, but I think it starts with each of us….

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