Haiti – Poverty of Opportunity

The poverty of Haiti is obvious in the face of hunger, unemployment and the primitive infra-structure.   To me, the greatest poverty is the poverty of opportunity.  When I questioned young people about their future goals, they didn’t even understand the concept of the question.  How could they?

“Haiti’s economy has been shrinking since the early 1980s while the population has continued to grow.  Haiti is among the world’s poorest nations.  It is estimated unemployment combined with underemployment affect about 85 percent of the labor force.

50% of the people cannot read and write.  Life expectancy at birth is only 52 years, and the incidence of diseases ranging from intestinal parasites to (AIDS) is extremely high.   A limited elite of about 10 percent, mostly professionals, enjoys a sophisticated, affluent lifestyle. This elite class has traditionally resisted all attempts to restructure the Haitian social system. The majority of Haitians live in poverty with little education, few opportunities for employment, and limited political influence (summary provided by Healing Hands International).”

Dr. Matt Tincher summed it up best when he told me, “We don’t bring Jesus to Haiti, Haiti is Jesus.”

Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” –  Jesus (Matthew 24:40)


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