For decades Haiti has ranked among the poorest countries in the world. Now, according to the 2017 United Nations’ World Happiness Report, it’s also one of the unhappiest, joining the bottom ten most chronically depressed nations (Syria, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Togo, Guinea, Liberia, Yemen and Tanzania).
Fortunately, our participants haven’t gotten the memo. Our programs are brimming with energy and hope for the future.
Last September 2016 we began installing computer labs and reading libraries at two of our locations while also commencing with instruction in computers, English and French. It’s our experience that high school graduates in Haiti who are fluent in English, French and computer skills are qualified for almost any job or university admission. These extra skills can make all the difference.
On our trip last month, the first since the libraries, computer labs and professional training were introduced, we witnessed a decided uptick in our participants’ excitement level and their growing knowledge and skills. There’s a palpable new confidence and engagement throughout, partly due to the labs and libraries, and also due to ASR’s commitment to these communities. Trust goes a long way in developing nations and our six years there have instilled it.