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28529: Lindley (comment and request): The Haitian Economy (fwd)

From: Lin Reimer <reimer@swko.net>

Several months ago this List discussed possible ways of revitalizing the
Haitian economy. In a small experimental way I would like to help. A small
American Christian elementary school located near the Lutheran children's
hospital on Delmas 31 is in need of having their kitchen painted and the
director has publicized this need to the school's supporters in the States
for volunteers to come out to do this. This is reasonable and is a common
method used by many faith-based organizations in Haiti to help the Haitian
people. But I would like to try something different.
After visiting Haiti a couple of years ago I came away convinced that there
is little in Haiti Haitians cannot do for themselves, given the opportunity.
So instead of donating $750.00 US to American Airlines to come to Haiti to
paint the school's kitchen, I would like to a hire a Haitian painter living
in the vicinity to do the job.
Consider how this would help the economy. First of all the painter needs
some paint. So he makes an arrangement with a friend who owns a tap-tap to
take him to the local hardware store to buy the paint. This allows the
tap-tap owner to buy his family some food for the afternoon meal and enough
gas to run up and down Delmas the next day, transporting Haitians to school,
places of employment, or wherever else they need to go.  The proprietor of
the store makes a little profit for himself after paying a few gourdes in
taxes to the government and a little bit in wages to the employees he's
hired to run his store while away. After the painter finishes the job he has
enough money to buy food for his family for at least a week which helps the
vendor he buys the food from feed her family. He uses a portion of the money
received to buy some baby food for a friend's new twins, helping the
merchant who imported the food pay her bills in order to keep her store
going. With the money he has left over he buys his son a new shirt for his
birthday, helping the tailor who sewed it. Likewise, the few gourdes he pays
has apprentice to work with him will also cascade through the economy. The
rippling effects are endless.
So does anyone on this List have any contacts in the vicinity of Delmas 31
who could help me make this happen? With all the brightly painted tap-taps
running up and down Delmas, surely there must be numerous Haitians skilled
in oil-based painting who, instead of painting a tap-tap, could be hired to
paint a kitchen. Please reply to the list or contact me directly by email.
My address is: reimer@swko.net.