There is a United Nations conference on hunger going on in Rome now. Food riots in Haiti and Liberia and other underdeveloped countries earlier this year are being given by reporters as the catalyst for organizing this conference. The actions of the Haitian people taking the streets to protest famine in Haiti caused the world to start paying attention to the quality of their lives even though it has being going on for decades. Famine and poverty have been causing misery in Haiti for as long as I can remember without the world paying any real attention to it until now.
It is not clear yet that this conference will cause significant improvement in the quality of life of poor Haitians. But, it is an opportunity for Haiti to take advantage of the sympathy it has generated. We can translate it into action and assistance to help improve the future ability of Haiti to feed its people and improve their quality of life. No government of Haiti (GOH), as far as I can remember, has been able to call the attention of the world as much as the Haitian people has done so far this year.
We should use this as a lesson to stop looking for the GOH to solve Haiti's problems but rather for Haitians to pull themselves by the bootstraps and move the country forward. This will be done by each Haitian starting thinking that only their actions can save this country. They can start, one adult at a time, by taking responsibility for feeding and educating their family, by keeping their home, neighborhood, city and department clean and well maintained, by supplementing their income by farming small patches of their backyard with fruits and vegetables, by selling their services to other neighbors, and by requiring of themselves that they keep their words when they give it to other Haitians, and by arriving at the time they promised to arrive.
For those Haitians who are steward of financial and intellectual resources, they have a responsibility for putting these resources to work in Haiti instead of earning 3-4% a year on time deposits in banks in developed countries. They can invest them in small to large businesses, factories, and other job creating enterprises in Haiti, while demanding that the GOH provides a justice system that protects the interest of those who create jobs. Those who don't have financial or entrepreneurial resources, but have the energy, youth and creativity, should sell their services to the stewards of those financial resources in a partnership where they can take pride in the quality of their work, regardless of what profession or occupation they are specialized in, while being adequately compensated for their efforts.
There can be no progress in Haiti if the people do not take pride in what they do. You need not be a doctor to take pride in your work. That kind of motivation is what is lacking in Haiti, and the leaders of this country should use their bully pulpit to impart that on Haitians instead of making "honkydory" promises that they cannot keep and fighting between themselves to make those promises.
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