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An interesting opinion video appeared in the New York Times this morning that challenged Americans to examine their motivations in volunteering overseas. Boniface Mwangi, a Kenyan photojournalist and founder of the NGO Kenya Ni Kwetu, asks of us a simple courtesy: “If you want to come and help me, first ask me what I want… Then we can work together.”
At the Lambi Fund of Haiti, with the understanding that "those who do know," we support those development initiatives that are brought to us by the peasant associations that dominate the landscape of rural Haiti aka The Republic of NGOs. Over just the past ten years, with somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000 NGOs in Haiti, and with more than $10 BILLION in development assistance, Haiti has fallen from 149th to 168th on the UN Development Programme's Development Index, just one place ahead of Afghanistan. Just as you know better than others the obstacles that prevent you from achieving your highest success, at the Lambi Fund of Haiti, we believe that it is equally true that the people of the Global South know what holds them back from realizing their dreams.
It has been estimated that three of four development projects fail. For twenty years, supporting the aspirations of the Haitian people rather than our vision for their future, 80% of the more than 250 projects we have supported, continue to function today.
At the Lambi Fund, we believe that our role, as members of a wealthy democracy, is to support the dreams of our brothers and sisters in the Global South rather than to impose our ideas or our vision for their future. What do you think? We want to hear from you.
Stephen Reichard, Deputy Director
The Lambi Fund of Haiti