Haiti's Road To Hope

Yesterday, I highlighted a video that I thought was an example of a poor approach to philanthropic promotion. As I suggested yesterday, Clean The World’s Clean Haiti Project amplified poverty and despair in Haiti to the point where even the narrator broke down crying. The tears may be good for bringing in more support for Clean The World, but does very little for presenting a more balanced or even affirmative vision of Haiti and its people.

Having shared an example of a video where a good idea was presented badly, I thought it only write to share today an example of a video where good idea and good presentation are aligned. While far from perfect, James Harvey’s video of a January 2009 10k organized in Cap Haitien by hosted by Hamilton running boutique The Runners Den and the Hamilton chapter of OMS Canada far outshines the entry by Clean the World. In fact, if you look at the two videos you’d be hardpressed to believe that they’re depicting the same city, when in fact they are.

The desciption of Harvey’s video has some shades of the melodrama found in Lowry’s narration of Clean The World’s video, e.g.  

“The people in Haiti are so graceful. When you go there and see that they have absolutely nothing, they’re starving, there is no opportunity at all but at the same time they’re so happy and so proud. I don’t understand that and that’s why I embrace them. Their way of life is so hard but they cherish every morsel of life they have. They deserve so much more.

But, when you watch the video, it’s impossible to miss how much cleaner Cap Haitien’s streets are compared to the Clean The World video.  The Canadians reference on a number of occasions how this race provided a unique opportunity for them to work in concert with residents of Cap Haitien, and that it was an opportunity for them to cheer on local heroes.

I am especially partial to the 10k idea because it gives Haitiens a chance to compete.  Moreover, as one of the commenters said in the video this project works on behalf of Haitians on many fronts, it boosts tourism which helps the local economy, which in turn creates jobs, and as we can see with the stretch of paved roads, sets a precedent for maintaining these roads and paving others so that more of the city can benefit economically. 

These are my two cents, what say you?



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