Integrity Tire May 2019

spare thoughts

Last February, my wife and I went to Haiti for a week to visit the orphanage there. This is the same orphanage that Jolene was at last November. One of our goals on this visit was to help the people who run the orphanage figure out if there was a way to become more self-sufficient and provide an opportunity for the kids to learn a trade and about entrepreneurship. Many of the businesses and people who live in Haiti or other poverty-stricken countries are entirely dependent on American money to function, which can be a problem. One of the challenges of charities is that, while it is good to raise money for people who desperately need help, it often doesn’t solve the problem. Many times, it hurts more than it helps. There’s an excellent book called “When Helping Hurts” by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert that highlights this point. Corbett and Fikkert state that poverty is much more than being unable to afford the material items of life. What most Americans WHEN HELPING HURTS When Money Doesn’t Solve the Problem 11974 Willow Grove Rd., Camden, DE 19934 93C Saulsbury Rd., Dover, DE 19904 MAY 2019

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so heavily on continual fundraising. However, while we were there, widespread protests made it unsafe to travel, and Jolene and I ended up trapped inside the orphanage for the week we were there. We only managed to go out once, as we didn’t want to get caught up in the tension that was happening around us. Sadly, that meant we weren’t able to do much in terms of setting up a business. However, we have talked about going back and doing more investigation regarding how profitable a tire shop would be if we set one up in Haiti. We hope that by setting up a business that will bring revenue into the orphanage, it will do far more good than bad. Realizing there is a problem is the first step toward a better future. Many people don’t know that simply throwing money at a problem doesn’t work, especially in poverty-stricken countries. We must address the issue at its core if we’re to help people who need it. Jesse Zimmerman

see as the problem for citizens in third- world countries is a lack of money, clothes, houses, and other such items. However, when people living there describe their situation, they talk about the social and psychological problems they struggle with, not their lack of money. The discussion throughout Corbett and Fikkert’s book centers on how charities often miss this crucial aspect of helping people, only to make matters worse. They write, “Our concern is not just that these methods are wasting human, spiritual, financial, and organizational resources but that these methods are actually exacerbating the very problems they are trying to solve.” For this reason, Jolene and I went to Haiti to try and help the orphanage become at least partially self-sufficient. We hope to set up a business that will give them the means to support themselves without having to lean

“One of the challenges of charities is that, while it is good to raise money for people who desperately need help, it often doesn’t solve the problem. Many times, it hurts more than it helps.”

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