Tag Archives: tap tap

World Humanitarian Day

Today, you may or may not know, is World Humanitarian Day.  This annual global celebration is meant to “recognize those who face danger and adversity to help others.”  Essentially, it is the ‘Labor Day’ of the humanitarian world, for our U.S. American friends.  It is a day of remembrance and action.

The World Humanitarian Day site says it like this:

We honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and we pay tribute to those who continue to help people around the world, regardless of who they are and where they are.
Every day we see and hear images and stories of pain and suffering in our own neighborhoods and in countries far away. But we also find acts of kindness, great and small. World Humanitarian Day is a global celebration of people helping people.

This day is an invitation for people from all religious, ethnic, and geographic backgrounds to not simply remember those that have labored for others, but to become someone who is laboring for others.

Especially as people of faith, it is important to be involved and engaged, both locally and globally.  This is how the world will know who we belong to right?

Jesus himself said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

I do not want to sound too idealistic and persuade you that what happens on World Humanitarian Day will change your community and our world for good.  That is simply not true.  However, I do want to applaud the attempt at togetherness that is associated with a day like this and challenge you take action.  World Humanitarian Day is also an opportunity for advocacy and education.  You know Martha and I care deeply for Haiti; the first black republic in the world and the second country to achieve independence in all the Americas (aah see, education).  This is a nation that faces numerous challenges, but is also a nation that bursts with vibrancy and potential.

World Concern is an organization that is interested in tapping into this potential.  We, as an organization, seek to empower individuals and partner with local communities in Haiti to encourage transformation.  One way we do this is by providing microloans to small business owners and entrepreneurs like Rolande (pictured left).  We were able to meet Rolande and hear her story of how the microloan she received from World Concern has allowed her to expand her business and meet her family’s needs.

 

 

Martha and I are honored to participate in this work of transformation, and we invite you to join us.

We have seen how World Humanitarian Day is about remembering those that serve, becoming educated, and committing to doing something for others.  So in this spirit, I want to suggest ways that you can become involved in our work in Haiti on World Humanitarian Day:

  1. Get educated!  Watch a video and read an article below
  2. Post the link to our blog on your facebook or twitter page
  3. Partner with Martha and I in Haiti by making either a one-time or monthly gift to our ministry

“Solving the Tap-Tap Puzzle” – A FRONTLINE/Planet Money Special Report
A look at the colorful public buses that you find around Haiti

“Wasn’t Meant to Be” – Nu Look
Music from the well known compas band Nu Look

Powering Lights and Progress in Haiti – Haiti Rewired
An article about Haiti’s energy and electricity challenges

Seeing Beauty in Haiti – World Concern blog
A look at post-quake Haiti and World Concern’s work in building shelters

 

Thoughts on a week in Haiti

It’s hard to believe it has been almost a week already since Martha and I left Haiti.  We hope you were able to read our posts throughout the week.  If not, just keep scrolling and you will see them!  Now that we are back in Seattle and have had a little time to process our week in Haiti, I wanted to share some thoughts.

Thank you to those of you who were praying for us and thinking of us.  It really does help on those long days!  Where to begin?  Overall, it was a very affirming trip.  I totally agreed with Martha when she said, “Being there makes it feel much more real and tangible.  It doesn’t feel as far off or surreal anymore.”  We both just felt this peace all week about living in Haiti and being a part of World Concern’s work there.

The structure of the trip was the best way I think to be introduced to a new place.  We were traveling with a handful of other World Concern Seattle staff, which provided us with great travel companions.  A couple of our travel partners had been to Haiti before, so we enjoyed hearing stories leading up to our arrival at Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port au Prince.  The week’s events were already planned for the group and us, so it was nice to not worry about details and just soak everything up.

The World Concern Haiti staff was just amazing.  Our new colleagues exceeded our expectations as hosts and guides.  We are so excited to work alongside these talented people.  Naturally, Martha and I were curious about lots of things we saw.  We had lots of questions!  The staff was gracious and taught us a lot about the country and World Concern.

I learned that one of the primary forms of transportation in Haiti is the tap-tap.  I had heard about the infamous tap-taps before leaving Seattle.  In a PBS Frontline episode I watched about tap-taps, they mentioned that tap-tap owners might spend hundreds of U.S. dollars on the exterior paint job in order to attract would-be customers.  Interesting strategy, but it totally works.  There were a number of more “flashy” tap-taps I saw that I would have gotten on long before I gave one of the more “simple” a try.  If you only have a few seconds to decide which tap-tap to jump on, lots of color goes a long ways!  We did not get a chance to ride a tap-tap on this trip, but I’m looking forward to doing so when we return.

After spending a couple days in Port au Prince, we traveled to some rural areas in southern Haiti where World Concern works.  The three days we had in the south was just awesome.  It is one thing to hear about our projects and partnerships with communities, but to actually see these places and meet the individuals being impacted makes it very real.  We visited World Concern’s agricultural training center near the city of Les Cayes.  World Concern leases a little over one hectare of arable land and uses it as an ‘outdoor classroom’ for area farmers.  Farmers are taught new techniques and learn how to best utilize good seed.  So far, the training center has equipped 50 area farmers.  In rural Haiti, agriculture is the primary source of income, so it was encouraging to see how World Concern is involved in supporting farmers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are eager to get back to Haiti and begin our work there!  There is so much more I could say, but I better stop for now.  Keep checking back for more pictures and updates on our week in Haiti.  Thanks for being a part of great community development in Haiti!

Are you on Facebook?  If so, click this link to view more pictures from our trip to Haiti.