Now what?

So what happens when you return from a place like Haiti?

A lot.

Before going to Haiti I had zero exposure to the developing world and I’m finding that I am still processing the experience.  I’ve had the opportunity tell my stories on a number of occasions; although each time, the story changes somewhat.  I see new things or reflect on experiences differently with each day that passes.  Some days, the people of Haiti flood my dreams and I wake up feeling helpless.  On others, I think about the mother stopping to get her child’s shoes shined, amid rubble and devastation, and I am humbled by her fierce desire to hold on to the one thing she can control – her dignity.  And on other days, I’m angry and frustrated that a little baby had to die and her only sin was to be born in a place that couldn’t care for her.

At the end of every conversation, someone invariably asks “now what?”   

As I see it, we can either try (and maybe fail) or we can walk away and do nothing, rallying against the impossibility of it all. 

I choose to try.

I’ve been humbled by the response to this blog and I would be grateful if you would continue this journey with us.  We’ve set up a Facebook page to which you can link on the menu above and you can also find me on Twitter at Peter_Sweeney.  At least once a week, I’ll blog on some aspect of our work or my personal thoughts on things that are happening in the countries we work, or on  international development in general.

By following our work in Haiti, you’ve connected with us in a real and tangible way.  Please pass along this blog and participate in the discussion.

We’re going to try and make the world a better place, even if only marginally so. 

Will you join us on the way?

3 thoughts on “Now what?

  1. I saw James Orbinski speak at an engagement in Waterloo and bought his book. SO many of us in the audience asked that exact question. What can we do? In his epilogue he writes, “The most important thing any of us can do is to actively and pragmatically assume our responsibilities as citizens for the world we live in. In the first instance, we can each support independent humanitarian action, and insist that in war governments and belligerents respect international humanitarian law, refugee law and the conventions prohibiting the use of torture. Beyond this, no one can do everything, but everyone can do something. Choose the issue that concerns you most. You may want to start by learning more about it and looking to see what others are saying and doing. Choose a political party or NGO with which you feel and affinity, and through it, actively challenge relevant public policies, laws and practices both nationally and internationally. Making a donation, voting or writing to elected officials are easy first steps. But these are not enough. Join the organization. Bring your opinion to it, debate with others and get involved in its work as a volunteer or member. If you can’t find an organization, then start one and let others join.”


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