Haiti is in Trouble – a new way of thinking is required

Haiti coffee economy, Singing Rooster

If you only read one blog from Singing Rooster – this is the one.   Please share with others.

Even if you’ve never been to Haiti, you’ve heard the news:  Haitians (and their big hearted supporters) have undergone over a year of turmoil with street demonstrations, road blocks, and occasional violence.  People are hungry, angry, and in some cases dying.  With a need for better leadership, roads, drinkable water, public transportation, public schools, and jobs, we understand why people are sick and tired.  They’re exhausted.

Haitians are tired of living in poverty and are growing hopeless.  The need for long-term solutions is overdue and requires your attention.

OUTSIDE Factors need attention too:

  • Well-intentioned groups bring in containers of clothes, books, tools, computers, and money.   So much money — most of which supports the creation and maintenance of private schools.  Education is a valuable goal, but with vast unemployment, educated adults have few opportunities.  Most NGOs understand the role economy-building has for a brighter future for Haiti but it’s easier said than done.  More must be devoted to creating long-lasting jobs (around food).
  • Much of healthcare in Haiti is provided by international medical professionals who volunteer time, money and vacations to serve truly ill Haitians.  This is admirable but  when “free” medical care puts Haitian doctors and nurses out of business, new solutions are required.
  • Moreover, 1/3 of Haiti’s economy comes from Haitians living abroad; when Western union is a significant part of the GDP, long term solutions are hindered.  Haitians living abroad must connect small producers to international markets.
  • An unbelievable 60% of Haiti’s food is imported.  Please read that again.  Until Haitians and their partners (that’s us) commit to helping Haiti to produce most of it’s own food, there is no chance for sustainability.

It’s a mess, but we’re all in this together.  We no longer have a choice to keep doing things the way we’ve always been doing them.  We need different solutions, ideas, and a path forward.  Together.

Singing Rooster does NOT have THE answer, but we have some pretty good suggestions.

Support Haiti’s small producers now

Your cup matters; switch your daily cup to #Haitiancoffee, see Haiti prosperChange your morning cup, chocolate bar, rice, avocado, mangoes to Haitian.  Talk with your grocery store manager and demand that Haitian goods be put on the shelves.

Pledge to Eat Local

80% of white rice comes from the U.S.   Refuse to eat white rice unless you know it comes from Haiti.  Help Haitian partners seek out local sources — it grows in the Artibonite and is sublime!   Ask that seasonal fruit and veggies be put on the table:  mangoes, carrots, beets, yams, avocados.  Your expectations will help local farmers prosper.  Get creative:  25 ways to cook a plantain & breadfruit.

Invest in future farmers

Develop an army of backyard, community gardeners.  Focus school curriculum and community projects around agriculture.  We have ideas to help get you started.

Pledge holiday money to Haitian Goods

We’re doing our part by creating special gift bundles throughout the year — some of which are available now.  Send your loved-ones exported goods from Haiti — the perfect Thanksgiving, Christmas & Birthday gift.