This week we talked about poverty, which is a big part of my paradigm. I have been to Haiti on mission trips twice, and I now sponsor a child through Compassion International from there. I have such a heart for this country, and in the future want to do even more with them. After reading the book “When Helping Hurts”, and visiting a third world country personally and seeing everything described in the book with my own eyes, it really hit me. You can’t expect to help other countries develop without considering their culture, values, and daily life. It is the people that know what they need, not us big fancy first world countries. I believe that providing jobs for the people could make the biggest impact. I think combination of companies/corporations, non-profits, and churches will be more beneficial than the government in making change, from what I have seen anyways.
I am researching labor and factory standards and I hope to apply this knowledge to the plans for my future manufacturing site in Haiti. This is probably at least 10 years down the line, but I think it is important to thoroughly understand every aspect before jumping in. The GO Exchange partner factories are doing amazing things for their employees and the communities the factories are in. Paula Coles is one of the designers, and when I was visiting I saw Donna Karan from a distance at a meeting there. I want to join them in improving lives and growing the economy of Haiti.