Learning to Help Without Hurting in Haiti

when helping hurts haitiYesterday, I posted my review of the book When Helping Hurts  by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert.  It’s an excellent book that challenges the way many poverty initiatives are conducted and provides insight in to how to effectively help the materially poor.

Discussing principles is all well and good, but nothing beats a real world example with proven results.

Randy Lodder is Director of Adoration Christian Centre in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.  He read When Helping Hurts, began making changes based on what he learned, and described them in a recent article published by The Chalmers Center.

First of all, I need to say that I was guilty of so many of the shortcomings that the authors of When Helping Hurts describe: all types of paternalism, doing relief — not development, defining poverty in terms of physical stuff, needs assessment, etc., etc. I really needed to repent and ask for forgiveness.

This book really helped right after this disaster because we were able to map out a plan better — a three- stage process — Relief, Rehabilitation, and now Development. …

We are evaluating our free school, our free medical clinic, the way the church operates, and all our other programs. We notice in so many ways we need to change. We need to involve the locals more; we need to listen to them; we need to empower them; we need to appreciate them. And we need to do development, not relief. Right now I still have more questions than answers, but I now know who to go to with my questions.

I encourage you to read the full article: Learning to Help Without Hurting in Haiti.

The article really impacted me because my church has been working with a church and school in Haiti for several years.  My family sponsors 2 children there. But following Randy’s example, I think there are changes we could help the church and school make that would enable them more effectively empower their people.

What about the article and the changes Adoration Christian Centre is making jump out at you?

I’ll be giving a way a copy of When Helping Hurts later today.  See the review for details & join the discussion.


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