Confessions of a Haiti NGO Worker

Everyone once in a while I read something that a foreigner writes about Haiti and I wish I had the power to spread it way out there so that everyone can read it...

In Haiti there are so many Things that make you go Hmmm...

The following is an excerpt from an op-ed from the New York Times today, written by Nora Schenkel from Scotland, a former Haiti NGO worker:

We are never just here because we want to be in Haiti; we claim we are here to better Haitians' lives. But they have seen us come and go for decades, and they are poorer than ever before.

Meanwhile, they see us leaving the grocery store with bags of food that cost more than what they make in a month. They watch us get into large air-conditioned cars and drive by them, always by them. They see us going home to nice, big houses, shielded by high walls.

And here is what they don't know: These houses? We could never afford them back home. These houses we have because they don't. We have a job because they are poor.

WOW... You should read the whole thing... Click on I Came to Haiti to Do Good

What I am about to tell you, someone once said to me...

There are many foreigners who claim that they go to Haiti to help the poor Haitian people when, in reality, it is the poor resilient Haitian people who help these foreigners...

For one thing, the poor Haitian people make them feel good about themselves. They see poverty first hand and it helps them get closer to God... "Thank you Lord... at least I am not like these poor Haitian people!"

You see? Sometimes it is good to see poverty... It helps you to quit complaining, it helps you to be grateful.

Personally, I would prefer if Haiti was not the cure for that type of dis-ease...

Not to judge every one who ever sets foot in Haiti but, like Nora says, they come and go but Haiti is poorer than ever before...

If only they taught us how to fish...

What do you have to say about that?

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All Comments (6)

Rich says...

Menm jan proveb la dil la, menm nan lanfe gen moun

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Tom F Driver says...

It's a very candid article pointing to a very sad truth.

Haiti has become "the Republic of NGOs." There are thousands of them "working" there.

Many of them do some good; many do harm. Almost none do things that improve Haiti in the long run. And neither does the U.S. Government.

Whoever gains from all this misguided help, it is not the democracy movement in

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Negbelair says...

I said it years ago " GET THOSE BLOOD SUCKING PARASITES OF NGO'S OUT OF HAITI" but the response was "what are you doing to help Haiti" and here is my response you wanna help Haiti?

go there and spend your money in Hotels restaurant buy souvenirs the money will stay there and create employments to those people.

"Get the f out

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Matt Altman says...

I saw this article online yesterday, and it has bothered me ever since.

There is a lot of truth to it, but I think the solution is a lot more complicated than teaching someone to fish. It does no good teaching someone to fish if there are no fish, or the person does not have a way to get to the fish. My first time to Haiti was immediately after the quake to help restore communications.

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Nadine says...

Until the Haitian People indeed learn how to fish instead of having to take the handouts of fish leftovers then any Aid from the NGO's are all DEAD

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Legrand Parisien Salvant says...

Unfortunately, due to our mishandling of our human and natural resources, Haiti is now the perfect example of a stark contrast between a past of glory and a present of misery.

I have not seen a country where people get rich so fast on behalf of the poor. We will continue to be a refuge to make average poor people from another to feel good about

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