The poor city of Port-au-Prince in Haiti was entirely destroyed by an earthquake with magnitude of 7.0. The tragedy awakened the whole world and that Haiti needed some help in any way like food, clothing and shelter. The country is currently rebuilding the city and the surrounding affected areas. People had to live in tents which were somehow unconducive for living. These called for a global concern and one of the famous Irish philanthropist, Denis O’Brien was willing to help this country.
People of Haiti are not searching for hand outs, but need something to deal easily. At this time around, I came to know Janet a shoe merchant, who sold repurposed shoes from around 2PM to 9PM. She discovered that the busiest time of the day for obtaining customers were at the afternoons, so these are the hours she needed to work. At a given day, she was able to sell pairs of shoes to a few dozens. She has no rest day, therefore, worked seven days a week. The reason for this is having three children whom she needed to feed, educate and prepare for the future. She is sacrificing whatever she has today to ensure that her family has a brighter tomorrow.
I also met another small entrepreneur named Pierre. He had a small shop at the local market that sold beautiful shoes. He was indeed proud to display all the impressive shoes including those repurposed. He planned to make a boutique out of these shoes and sell it to several interested people. Before his store was opened, Pierre used to work as an electrician. Just like Janet, he considered himself responsible for the success of his business. How he expands his store will include other boutique shops found in other markets of Haiti.
Finally, I found this older man who sold repurposed shoes, linens, clothing and other products that was in demand by the community. His son was also hoping to be like him some day to support his family.
Ireland’s richest man, Denis O’Brien was impressed at howthe Haitian people worked so hard for their families. They are not only wonderful, understanding and sympathetic, they had to keep building their small businesses to find their way out of poverty. They are also doing these for the good and glory of themselves.