VFHI-bannerFonkoze, 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.

The Vincentian Family Haiti Initiative recognizes that the key to any successful effort to serve those who are most in need is the dynamic of collaboration. Only by working with others who share your vision and passion can the devastating effects of poverty be reduced.  From the beginning of our work in Haiti in 2010, the Vincentian Family has collaborated with Fonkoze, a Haitian-founded social/financial institution which focuses on how to eradicate poverty among those often left on the side lines – and especially women in the remotest areas of rural Haiti.
Through the creation of Zafen and the Vincentian Family’s support of Chemen Lavi Miyò (“Pathway to a Better Life”the Vincentian Family Haiti Initiative), the Vincentian Family Haiti Initiative and Fonkoze have worked together in a vibrant partnership that has directly benefited hundreds of Haitians.
We congratulate the work of our collaborator, Fonkoze, and the recognition it has been given vy FOrbes magazine for the good work that they do.

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.

You can read Olivier Barrau’s story and other stories of exemplary entrepreneurship in fragile states in the recent Entrepreneurship Without Boundaries by McKinsey Voices on Society.

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