Staff Blog: The Importance of Haitian-American Philanthropy

In celebration of Haitian Flag Day and Haitian Heritage Month, we are highlighting the voices of our Haitian and Haitian-American staff members on our blog. In this post, Sabrina Jérôme, our Director of Strategic Partnerships – Southeast U.S., shares the importance of Haitian-American philanthropy . 

Whether you migrated from the Perles des Antilles at a young age, during adulthood, or were born to Haitian parents, you play a critical role in the preservation of Haitian culture and legacy. The Haitian diaspora faces a unique dilemma: balancing the longing to give back with ensuring any philanthropy isn’t tarnished by financial mismanagement or corruption. Enormous pride is passed down to each child of the revolution and this inheritance is often paired with a sense of obligation. Here are three reasons why the Haitian-American community is vital for the preservation of the Haitian legacy:

Relatability
Images of smiling school children, vibrant bougainvillea, and resilient street vendors bring about an indescribable sense of nostalgia to most Haitians. There is nothing any person can illustrate to you about your homeland that you can’t feel ten times over. It is this non-transferrable relatability Haitian-Americans possess that sets them apart. The subtle, but powerful, sense of community felt in exchanging a head-nod, “Anfòm?” combo while walking down the street is meant to be mobilized.

Resources
I often hear, “if there’s one thing about my Haitian people- it’s that we always make a way.” Resourcefulness is a way of life for most Haitians. This skill is not lost once migrated to a new land, it becomes invaluable. The treasure that is the collection of new knowledge and experiences the Haitian-American community possesses is immeasurable once implemented. Unifying these different accounts in pursuit of a better Haiti fits into Hope for Haiti’s long-term vision of joyful children, healthy families, thriving communities, and the resources to make it so.

Passion
News of an exceptional national athletic performance or accomplishment of a celebrated Haitian figure is undoubtedly just as impactful to the Haitian-American as are reports of each natural disaster and period of political unrest back home. The year 1804 has been cherished by Haitians, regardless of geographical location, since two hundred and sixteen years ago when the invention of Black liberty was conceived on the Mountainous Land. Fear of mismanagement could deter one from investing in Haiti’s social projects, but with over 30 years of service in Les Cayes and 13 years of 4-star ratings by Charity Navigator, Hope for Haiti’s staff of over 50 Haitian nationals attests to the standards of accountability and responsible stewardship that this organization has always lived up to. Their ability to relate and passion for Haiti culminates in truly making an impact in the lives of families in Haiti. 

As the country battles COVID-19 after nearly two years of instability and unrest, Haiti needs our assistance. The Haitian-American community can play a critical role in ensuring organizations like Hope for Haiti have the resources they need to effectively support the people in their partner communities. 

To support Hope for Haiti’s COVID-19 Response, please click here. If you are in the Miami area and are interested in getting involved with Hope for Haiti, email sabrina@hopeforhaiti.com.

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