Sunday, July 18, 2010

the poor will be glad

I'm currently reading the book, The Poor Will Be Glad.  I just want to share bits and pieces from Peter Greer in the first chapter:

"The reality is that the scale of poverty in the developing world dwarfs nearly everything we label as "poor" in the United States... How naive I was– and many of us still are– to equate slightly less luxury with the dehumanizing struggle to survive that confronts the nearly three billion people who try to survive on less than $2 a day."

"Let us reiterate: it is not our intention to suggest that the poor in America suffer no pain in our own cities. Rather, we wish to emphasize the extreme and immediate needs of the poor in developing countries. These are people who literally struggle to survive every day of their lives."

"Something is wrong. But in the haze of desperation and despair, hope is breaking through... The hope of the gospel is integrated through tangible acts of compassion that have long-term reach, rather than simply providing handouts that keep the poor in a position of dependency...."

"This is the beginning of a new movement led by microfinance ministries, where small loans and local relationships are used to bring lasting change to poor communities."

Monday, July 12, 2010

can haiti really be saved?

Today, July 12th, 6 months after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, take the time to read this article in Relevant Magazine.

READ IT HERE.  page 48. "Is there any hope for Haiti now?"

This article takes you through the history of Haiti-- how did it even get this bad in the first place? After 300 years of slavery & 10 years of war, Haiti got their independence. But they had to pay for it. 90 million dollars. Haiti was crippled from the beginning.

Today marks 6 months after the quake and people want to know where all the money is going. Why isn't Haiti fixed yet? Imogen Wall says, "This is not reconstruction- it's construction.".

More from Imogen Wall, "We would like to get as many people out of tents as possible before the hurricane season, no questions asked... But even getting people out of tents is not that simple. Building permanent homes is, in most cases, not feasible yet."

He goes on to explain that the Haitian government is responsible for approving a building code, which they haven't done yet. And until they do, no permanent structures can be legally erected. Another challenge is land rights. Very few records exist of land ownership in Haiti, so it's difficult to prove ownership. Which that's for people that owned land in the first place- which was rare. Most people rented. So what do they do? 

It's a very well written and well researched article. 

It also touches on the local church, voodoo, removing the rubble, why build transitional shelters, humanitarian diplomacy, education & planning for the future.

Please, take the time to read it.