A few days prior to our departure to Haiti Kelby Zenor shared a few of her favorite quotes with me. The one that truly resonated with me and our upcoming trip was by Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
I internalized that small group as the 6 of us traveling to Haiti, on behalf of the Rubicon Foundation, until today.
Much of our time in schools has been spent with small children. When I look at those tiny little people and ask myself if they are the ones that will change Haiti, I’m concerned. Change cannot wait that long, they need something to be done sooner. We cannot leave that burden for them to carry.
We’ve also met with a significant number of people who have already gone through the Haitian education system and are well established in their lives and careers. I don’t have confidence that they are the change agents either. They lack the ingenuity and stamina required for the job.
Today, Parfait, Brock and I had the opportunity to sit down with HELP, Haitian Education and Leadership Program, a program that provides scholarships, training and other resources for Haitian college students. Nine college students, who also act as student advisors, met with us.
I could see a resemblance to an early Rubicon Team in them. They are us, years back, prior to our processes being in place and systems established. Their needs so readily available to us at Rubicon, I couldn’t help but make the comparison.Charles, sitting to my left, is currently in the process of pioneering a leadership program for Haiti. He needs access to leadership curriculum and professional development. I wanted to slip him a golden ticket to the AEC Leadership series.
Jean Come is the IT manager, teacher and technical support for students. I couldn’t help but see a young Tuyen, a future “chappy,” without the luxury of intern assistance. They need a tool that will help them develop and organize their curriculum. If I had copies of Atlas on a cd, I would have given it away for free right there.
They dream of exposure to various opportunities so they can explore their strengths, talents and passions. Rubicon’s orientation program, our book club, and the opportunity to participate in conferences and trainings provides all of that for us on a regular basis. I wanted to collect resumes when they suggested the need for internship opportunities that would give them needed work experience.
They want to learn how to develop a high powered team, whose collective efforts are greater than anyone individual; a team that sets aside egos and hierarchy to make significant change. Their needs are at my finger tips and at the heart of who we are as an organization.
Only 1 full day left in Haiti and I feel I just sat down with the group of thoughtful, committed citizens who will change Haiti.
Be well everyone. We’ll see you soon.