Fonkoze, collaborator with the Vincentian Family Haiti Initiative, was recently recognized on Forbes.com for counteracting the all-too-common image of Haitians as victims—emphasizing instead Haitians’ capacity for innovation and entrepreneurship.
This article on Fonkose makes the case “Why We Need to Learn to See Haiti Through Different Eyes”
In his recent piece in the McKinsey Voices on Society, Olivier Barrau (@obarrau), CEO of the Alternative Insurance Company in Haiti, makes a strong case for changing the fatalistic mindset in Haiti, which he considers to be one of the reasons why the insurance market in Haiti remains highly underdeveloped. Olivier’s focus on changing the cultural mindset in Haiti is a common principle of many successful entrepreneurs in Haiti. Haitians must be convinced that they can shape their own destinies, or they will give up at the first obstacle, let alone take actions to prepare for the future, like insuring their assets or investing in a new business or idea.
Perpetually treating Haitians as victims only creates a culture of victimization, which in turn strengthens the fatalistic mindset in Haiti. To help Haiti, we must stop treating Haitians as victims and start seeing them as part of the solution. We must first unlearn the way that we have come to see Haiti—as the hopeless country and constant aid recipient —and begin to see it as a place of great potential.