As 2019 begins, we want you to know some of the most important things that we believe are going to happen over the next year. Looking to the future and casting vision is an important part of any organization, and we have done that a lot over the past few years at All Things New. However, since we are a fairly young organization operating in a very chaotic environment, that vision for the first few years changed quite a bit. It was only about 2 years ago that we really began to solidify what we believed GOD was calling us to be as an organization.
We always knew our purpose was to take care of our kids, but it was not until a couple of years ago that we realized it was equally important for us to take care of our employees as well. As we have continually gotten better at both of those aspects of ministry, the very clear next step for All Things New is to focus on creating jobs.
No matter what else an organization is doing in Haiti, the number 1 physical concern (which oftentimes manifests itself in spiritual and emotional ways) for the country of Haiti is extreme poverty. This poverty is caused by many things including lack of education, lack of nutrition, lack of a job market, governmental mismanagement and corruption, etc. Regardless of the cause, helping people out of this poverty is the first step in helping people in this country.
Not only is this the biggest concern for most people in Haiti, it is the biggest concern for our kids when they are ready to leave the safety of living at All Things New to begin a life on their own. The questions arise:
- What will I do when I finish school?
- How will I provide for myself and my family when there are no jobs (there is, unofficially, almost 80% un/underemployment rate in our area of Haiti)?
- How can I become a productive member of my community?
These questions could go on and on, but we believe it is our job to help our kids figure out how to make their future what they want it to be. It is why we sat down with each of them to learn about what they want to do, and it is why we are pouring a huge amount of our time and eventually our resources into figuring out how to create jobs for our community and more specifically our kids.
With that said, we have already begun work on 2 initiatives in 2018 and we have 2 others in the works for 2019. As we move further along in the process and learn about how effective these ideas are, I will share what they are and why we believe they will work, but we are not far enough along yet. Each of the 4 ideas that we are working on now, however, could be life-changing for our kids, and 1 of the ideas I believe could be a game-changer for our kids and our community. If job creation and entrepreneurship is something that you re passionate about or good at, please contact us and we will put you in touch with the team who is leading in this area.
For those of you who are wondering what is next for ATN, this is it. We never planned to be a short-term solution to get people through, and we never wanted to focus on small initiatives and ideas that did little more than, “Move people from extreme poverty to slightly less extreme poverty.” When we create jobs, we want them to be lasting (i.e. viable even if ATN is not there), we want them to be reproducible (if other organizations or areas of Haiti are open), and we want them to be worthwhile (meaning they give people a real shot at changing their lives). We believe that some of these ideas will help us reach those goals, and we are really excited to see what 2019 holds!