By Jennifer Browning
During his previous trip to Haiti with former President Bill Clinton, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the students from the Haitian Education Leadership Program (HELP) that he saw them as “seeds of hope” for their country. In his article in the opinion section of the New York Times today, Ban expresses how he has more than just hope for the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
Ban agreed with Haitian President René Preval who stated that Haiti was at a turning point. Ban is hoping that this pivotal moment in Haiti’s future will send it toward the light to embrace hope and opportunity.
Ban speaks about the Hope II Act passed last year by Congress which offers Haiti duty-free, quota-free access to U.S. markets for the next nine years. Ban says Hope II will offer Haiti the chance to move beyond aid to genuine economic development.
The U.N. Secretary General asks for donors to reach out and invest in Haiti by reaching beyond traditional humanitarian aid so that countries like Haiti can benefit from sustainability programs like that of the gifted school in Port-au-Prince.
From the start Project Medishare has made sure their health care program in Haiti’s central plateau focuses on sustainability instead of just offering traditional aid. One way they do this is through their health and agricultural programs, Project Medishare is the largest employer in the central plateau allowing Haitians the opportunity to help their fellow Haitians and thus fostering a stronger sense of community. By giving those within the community a chance to be a part of the Community Health Program or the Growing Connections Agricultural Project, the community grows stronger and begins to prosper.