The epicenter of the 2010 quake was near Port-au-Prince, the capital city, with more than 2 million people in the metropolitan area. Many of Port-au-Prince’s multi-story concrete buildings collapsed in a deadly heap because they were poorly constructed. There were no building codes enforced.
Recurring disasters, such as Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and the 2021 earthquake, also make it hard for Haitian families to overcome entrenched poverty. The earthquake registered a magnitude 7.0; that’s a high level of energy at the point of impact. Because it occurred at 6.2 miles below the surface, a shallow depth, its powerful energy had a devastating effect at ground level.
I’ve always wanted to do something for my hometown in Haiti. I want to somehow give back, but the thought kept coming to my mind of how much good has been done in Haiti. What can I do to not only do good but to do long term good? When I started this organization six years ago, it wasn’t that I wanted to create something because of myself. It wasn’t just because Williamson wanted to help Haiti.
There was much more to it than my own desires. It’s because I knew I must be alive for some reason. I knew that the promise I made to serve God could also be a promise to serve my people. And the more I understood the promise I made with God, the more that my heart was drawn toward serving my people. The Haitian people.
This mission is about what I can give to others, not what I get in any form. What really matters is that my people are able to receive the help they need, and to receive it in a way that will help them for generations. It is more than just having their immediate needs met. While those immediate needs are important, there are things much greater in store for them. We have to make sure we are helping them to meet their own needs, rather than teaching them to rely on others.
Rising From The Rubble Documentary
As I started to travel back to Haiti visiting my grandparents, friends and neighbors, I started to realize that many have gotten stuck in survivalism. Devastating Natural Disasters and tumultuous leaderships have left Haitians depleted of their natural resourcefulness. Under these circumstances many are left dependent on other people, other nations and or governments. Surviving has led many into a non-growth mentality, lacking in self-esteem with no expectations or vision for themselves and little hope for their future. This is the environment under which I was raised and grew up. When I came to the US, I saw so many opportunities that allowed my vision to expand and I knew I had to do something to bring the same to Haiti.
One of the biggest issues that I saw was that Haitians don’t celebrate each other’s success. I believe the reason is because they don’t believe success is in themselves_ and that has led them to not recognizing their own potential, their own worth and or capacity. Even the children feel like they’re not worthy of anything.
These realizations were sad to me because I’ve experienced what happened within me when I started to believe that I can achieve great things and that I was born for them. When you look at how wonderful, resourceful, resilient Haitians are, it’s impossible for a nation like Haiti to not be able to lift itself up. I believe it’s going to take the younger generation to be able to create concrete change in Haiti. Our rising generation is worthy of our best efforts to support and strengthen them in their journey to become who they are created to be. I mean working together, celebrating each other's success, ending corruption, focus on education, belief in themselves and so much more.
We decided to build a mentorship curriculum that focuses on building core values. These core values are embraced by our mentors (local leaders) through our mentoring program which is the foundation of our organization’s unique purpose, goal, and vision, the name is ARISE Project For Humanity. We work with professional mentors, national and international organizations and business owners to help our mentors in the process of becoming certified so they in return can mentor young people in their community.
The curriculum was built utilizing a combination of principles from different industries to help young people envision change, expand their mindsets, create their lives, and impact their community regardless of their circumstances. Many young Haitians have been orphaned, creating victims of opportunistic predators. We mentor victims from sex trafficking, exploitation, and abuse and help them to build themselves back into society with a victor’s mindset.
I felt that if we created something that can teach Haitians and youth around the world principles that will help them to start believing in themselves, that belief would help them get rid of doubts & barriers that keeps them relying on others. This change will help them build a sustainable future by implementing our program and empowering perpetual young leaders. But the key is, it will protect this nation and keep children safe so Haiti can grow properly in the future.
As I mentioned earlier in this book, mentors have been a powerful influence for me. I have worked with many mentors to accomplish the things I knew I needed to do. With their guidance, I was not only able to accomplish what I set out to do, but also have been able to do it better than I could have hoped and have seen much success as a result.
This is not to say that I have accomplished great things. It is to show that with a dedication to God and keeping the promises I have made to him, I have received help that I have needed to bless others. There are so many ways that I could do that. Each step along the way has been prepared, and as I use those opportunities, I am able to take one more step. Even when those steps have seemed impossible.
Just like when I was buried under the orphanage, we have to look at things one step at a time. I took one breath at a time and survived one moment longer. And each step of the way helps each of us to rise a little higher. Each moment that I was buried was a struggle. But because of those moments in my life, I am able to rise higher, make more promises, and help my people.
Today, through the mentoring program, over 7,000 youth have graduated, hundreds of mentors from all across Haiti have been certified to become mentors in the mentoring program and we are now building the first ever Mentoring Center in the Caribbean.
Mentorship and Entrepreneurship, not charity, gives us control and allows us to grow our talents, harness our drive and our resilience, as Haitians.
I'm asking you to come join me to help create concrete change for our youth on the ground.
For more info, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org