Most stories about Haiti begin with one or more of the following facts.
1. Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere.
2. The average Haitian lives on less than $2 a day.
3. It is ranked among the most corrupt countries in the world.
4. Unemployment is 40-60%.
While these statements are true, they do little to portray the Haiti that we see when we visit with the recipients of our microfinance loans. These women are resourceful, hard working and creative despite their low literacy level and lack of formal business training. They are most appreciative of the continued existance of the program so that they can continue to benefit and so can their friends and relatives. In order for the program to offer more microloans, we need to keep asking for donations. Facts do not generate donations; personal stories do. In the beginning, I had hesitated to share individual pictures and stories as I did not want to invade the privacy of our Haitian participants. But I have realized that stories are what motivate others to give and I believe that the invasion of privacy is outweighed by the possibility to help more women. Work in the developing world is never black or white – only shades of grey.
Our next trip is planned for November 7-15. In the weeks leading up to the trip, I will share stories of individual women who have been successful in their small business. Give to the Max Day (our biggest fundraiser) occurs while we are in Haiti. I am hoping their stories inspire you to give.