Sunday, June 20, 2010
Let me give you some stats as food for thought!!
Canada: Average weekly income: $844= aprox $3000/mo
Haiti: 80% of the population lives below the poverty line, 54% live in abject poverty
Canada: life expectancy for women is 83 yrs and men 76 yrs (born in 2006)
Haiti: life expectancy for women is 59 years and men is 54 yrs
Canada: 37% of 20yr olds are in tertiary education
Haiti: 47% of Haitians are Illiterate.
Heartline is helping the people of Haiti rebuild..they were there helping before the Earthquake and will be there for years to come. They have raised over 50K USD towards housing for the people of Haiti. On my last trip I asked John how I could access some of this funding to help Rose and her grandma…he just looked at me and said “Lise they have been a part of your life, you have been a part of our life so we will help them..” and that was that! I can’t explain to you how it felt that day talking to John or the day that I spoke with Rose’s grandma about them getting a house…there are no words.
I have long struggled with feelings of inadequacy in the help/assistance that I can provide when I look at the whole “big picture”. What this trip and my time in Haiti has taught me ( a lesson I so needed to learn!) was that to help one is just as important as helping the many. So that is what I, with the help of Beth and John and Heartline am endeavoring to do.
The cost of a house in Haiti, land included is approximately $5000 USD. The average salary of a Haitian, prior to the earthquake was $500/year. You don’t have to do complex math to figure that one out…the idea of “giving” a house to someone has weighed on my mind since deciding to do this and here’s what I have come up with (not sure if you will agree but here goes). For the most part the people of Haiti were going about their business, living their lives (ones very different from you and I ) when everything changed in the matter of 45 seconds. Not only were lives lost and/or altered, livelihoods were taken away from those who worked every day to squeak out a living, people lost all their worldly possessions and were left literally with the shirts on their backs…How do you rebuild a career when you are 50 years old and find yourself instantly the primary caregiver of 2 infants? A new reality, one I could not imagine.
Many found refuge in tent cities which have provided limited security and safety up to a point. Now the rains have come and Haiti is preparing for one of the worst hurricane seasons in 50 years..where in that do you find the time to rebuild? How do you rebuild when you don’t have a safe place to put your head at night? When you don’t have both your legs anymore…
Its not wrong to what for another the peace and security that comes with a home..shelter from the heat, rain and winds..a door to lock , a place to call home…$5000 is, in my mind a small price to pay for all the goodness that comes from helping just one individual who comprises but 1 piece of that “big picture”. Rose and grandma are part of that picture..a part I can help in the here and now..$5000 doesn’t seem that much…
So this year for my birthday, the day I came into a privileged part of the world I ask you to help me make life a little more secure for just 1 person! Heartline will, with our help continue to help the people of Haiti live everyday a little better!
Below is Heartlines website if you would like to donate. Unfortunately Heartline is not registered in Canada so they cannot give tax receipts..sorry! And if your around Edmonton on July 2nd join us for the fundraiser at The Next Act pub (and to celebrate my birthday too…you all know how I feel about birthdays )