I have been in Haiti for a week now and it has again been interesting. Things are just different here and most of the time all you can do is shake out the cobwebs and try to move forward.So far the response to the financial classes seems to be positive. Of course we say that the class is at 9:30 but we don't start until 10:00 and even then some of the participants might not be there. The educational background of the participants varies widely, although we were surprised at how far a few of them had gone through school. All of the nuances and ins and outs of this group would be hard to present in this forum, but there are many. Our basic premise at this time is just trying to make them be aware of how ,where, and when they spend money. That little spending adds up as does little saving. Most of the participants do not have a bank acct and I think that most of them are wary of the bank. If they could develop a habit of putting money in a bank, it not only would help them save small amounts, but it would also be safer for them. So many people are consantly asking others for money for this or that . If their money was in the bank, and it is not handy to go to the bank, it would be easy to say,"I don't have any cash."
I am asking them to keep a notebook of their income and expenditures. Writing these things down will help them track where their money goes. I have had to do this for myself on occassion and it is a great tool. Every one of them have been keeping these types of things in their head. Unless you are some sort of "rain man" we know how that goes. How many time have you reached into your wallet thinking you had enough money for a purchase, then finding you were short? When you thought about it, I'll just bet that 95% of the time you spent it on something you forgot about or didn't right it down. I've also come to the conclusion that a great many Haitians have a hard time thinking out of the box. They will do things that you tell them to do, or copy whatever you show them, but asking them to be creative is somewhat out of their realm. The schooling here is mostly by rote, so creativity is not encouraged. I see sparks of creativity, but it is something that has to be nurtured. I also don't get why you would be upset with me if some of your work is substandard and I won't buy it. Also, why should I buy more of something else if you did not make what I asked for.
That been said, there is some beautiful items being made here, but we also need a Haitian market.I don't know at this point who we are going to get to take that bull by the horns. It has to be Haitian. I can help with it, but I cannot be the person doing it. For one thing, if we wanted to lease a space, they would charge me 10 more than they would charge another Haitian. Hopefully God will help use find the right person and the right place. I have a special place in my heart for these people and I want to see them move forward. Take care. God bless.