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Why “Stay Out of Haiti”?

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

This month, we launch the first session of our four-part educational series focused on the importance of human development and social support in Haiti.

We invite you to read the full article here and then join us over the next eight months to unpack the article and discuss how Overture's Social Support Model is designed to equip and empower Haitians to end generational dependence, strengthen their families and communities, and ultimately experience independence. 

Session 1 Overview: Ineffective Foreign Interventions

In a recent Philanthropy Journal opinion piece that has garnered more than 40,000 views, Overture International challenges our colleagues in the NGO world to be “part of the solution that equips and empowers Haitians to move from generational dependence to independence, self-sufficiency and autonomy” or “Stay Out of Haiti!” And the corresponding responses from Haitians seem to confirm that opinion. And while the piece has certainly garnered a great deal of attention, it begs the questions: Why now? Why Overture?

Our answers: If not now, when? If not us, who?

While Overture International has been in Haiti for about five years now, Overture's founders have served the region for more than a decade. In that time they have seen firsthand how ineffective foreign intervention has perpetuated generational dependence and poverty in Haiti. Billions of dollars have flowed into organizations who have squandered the money on work that causes more harm than good. Sadly, and those works continue today, and seemingly, on a more rapid and expansive scale. That's why we’re speaking up now. Someone has to challenge the status quo, or it will continue to be the status quo.

Some may say, “Yes, but Haiti is a mess right now. They have no leadership. No infrastructure. We HAVE to provide this aid, even if it is ineffective.” We passionately disagree! The only solution to ending the generational dependence and poverty that is pervasive in Haiti, is to invest in and expand work that promotes generational independence and self-sufficiency.

That’s why Overture’s work is rooted in our Social Support Model that focuses on empowering individuals and communities to identify and build up leaders, strengthen families and create a sustainable infrastructure of education, healthcare, empowerment, nutrition and housing.

Others may say Haitians are incapable of leading themselves out of their current situation. Again, we disagree. While, as in all societies, there are Haitians who are corrupt, ineffective and unwilling to commit to being part of the solution. But there are many incredibly talented, intelligent and driven Haitians who desire to make a difference. They only need to be given the opportunity. Overture works with local communities to develop leaders from within. Our Overture staff in Haiti are a great example. Before their work with Overture, they sought gainful employment in their field of study. But there were no opportunities in their communities. When Overture began work in southern Haiti, we were in need of qualified, committed staff members and found many who met that criteria. And their passion and motivation has proven to be successful for more than three years now. The good news is that there are many more like them across the country. They simply need the right opportunity.

Overture has chosen to take a stand today because we refuse to accept the status quo. We refuse to accept that Haiti is destined to exist in persistence dependence and poverty. We are committed to a different form of intervention. One centered on those we serve, not on our own ideas of what we think they need. We choose to equip and empower, not underestimate or undermine the amazing people of Haiti. We invite all those who share our approach to join us in this journey.

You can learn more HERE about our Social Support Model, our work in southern Haiti and how you can invest in the people and future of this amazing country. There is HOPE for a stronger, independent and self-sufficient Haiti!

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