A very special Christmas message from our precious Haiti Leaders!
Gratitude and Giving
Every day, my heart turns to Haiti. Every. Single, Day.
And every online meeting we have together with our Haiti partners, is inspirational!
But there's incredible opportunity within the hardships!
Let me explain.
Every week we listen with open hearts as Reggie or Johanne, Merline or Yndjy share with us the immense difficulties that they and most Haitians face, on a daily basis! These incredible leaders from our partner NGO (Light for Living International Ministries), are visionary! We meet often to discuss all our partnership Programs together... Programs that are able to continue strongly through your giving and care and generosity. So a warm thank you to YOU - our giving community in Australia!
Most of you may be aware of the serious implications of Haiti’s ongoing socioeconomic and political crisis for all our children and families in Haiti. With daily protests and civil unrest against the government of Haiti, armed gang violence, and now an outbreak of cholera amidst the continuing covid pandemic; with shortages of fuel and clean drinking water, and widespread acute hunger, our families are truly struggling. However, our essential Frontier Projects / LIFLIM Programs: our Food Security Programs and Educational and Training Programs - enable our leaders to continue to provide for our families and children - food, education and critical support! This all happens because of you all - your giving means so much!
Thoughtful Reflection: The incredible opportunity amidst the ongoing crisis
This year, more than ever before, as I've tried to grapple with the serious implications of our partnerships 'moving ahead' amidst the incredibly tough reality of life in Haiti , I have realised that we are faced with an unprecedented opportunity! Amidst this crisis, there’s an invitation to change, to re-imagine and to reinvent ourselves. Although it’s tempting to return back to 'the way we've done things in the past' - the old normal - when we are able to again return to Haiti in 2023, we shouldn’t. The 'old normal' was the problem.
We need a 'new normal'.
Let me explain.
When the borders of Haiti (and across the world) slammed shut in March 2020; Haitians remained in Haiti. Rightfully, Haitian nationals were tasked with taking charge and leading their people through these challenging times. Lives are dependent on their leadership. And we have some of the most incredible leaders that we know and love and work with!
The Biggest Problem.... the old 'Normal'
Here is the problem: Historically, charity to Haiti has come in the form of handouts - mainly food, clothes, buildings and money. In an ongoing time of crisis like this, we have keep asking ourselves:
This 'healthy' approach hasn’t been the case with most nonprofits and missions groups in Haiti and around the globe. Giving with the 'best intentions' across the globe is often characterised by deep cycles of aid that cause an unhealthy dependence on the giver while stripping the receiver of dignity. I've spent much time over the last 2 years reading books like When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert and Dambisa Moya's confronting book Dead Aid. All my research - including much online - is now informing our future Frontier Projects aid in Haiti!
So what are the best voices all saying?
Our past ‘normal’ in the nonprofit world hasn’t been working.
I believe that NOW is our chance to dig deep and do better!
Nonprofits and missions groups work with vulnerable communities that desire real change, and we can be part of that change. What an incredible adventure! We have a divine opportunity to re-imagine WITH our partner communities, what they could look like years from now without our interventions. How can we ensure that we are on the right track? I believe in the following THREE STEPS - and this is how we are have been moving ahead - particularly this year more than ever before! We are creating a NEW NORMAL!
The Exciting Solutions .... our New Normal...
1. We ask before we aid. I've always believed that our Haitian leaders have the answers within - they are the visionaries in their own communities - particularly for us in Haiti through the leadership of Reginald and Johanne Celestin - (LIFLIM). We always ASK what they wish to do in continuous relationship - and then partner with their vision and inspiration.
2. We find the real heroes in their own communities and invest in them. We have invested in new Haitian leaders since 2020 - and this year moreso! We employ Haitian trainers, teachers, leaders and our social worker!
3. And we are committed to Evaluating our Impact together with our Haitian leaders. This can be hard to do when things are so tough - but we are committed! We will never just keep doing the same old same old! We have undertaken this through many Zoom meetings, in 2022!
As we head into 2023, I believe with all my heart, that now more than ever, we have the opportunity to change course and amplify our impact. My hope is that nonprofits around the world will lean into these challenging times and re-imagine how we can better achieve independence and capacity-building in vulnerable communities. These challenging times for us all will forever reshape our world, and it’s our responsibility to ensure it’s for the better.
So, from us all at Frontier Projects Haiti and Light for Living International Ministries in Haiti , we bless you and your families and wish you a very special Christmas! See you in the New Year - which we believe for you as well - that it will be a year of incredible IMPACT - for your loved ones and for those you care for across this vast, beautiful planet that is our Global Community!
With Love, thoughtfulness and Gratitude,
Cheryl and John Ward
on behalf of our Frontier Projects Team
Frontier Projects Administrators
FP is a small group of dedicated families who were inspired to aid and develop in foreign nations by assisting the leaders of those nations!