You’ve seen Haiti all over news networks and website for years as the face of disaster, suffering, and government corruption. I’m going to be straight forward with you — I’m sick of seeing this. The Haitian people I know are sick of seeing this. It’s journalism exploitation at it’s finest and we are going to flip this trend right on it’s damn face.
Yes, The country has faced numerous natural disasters and political corruption that has crippled the economy and repressed it’s people. But the citizens of Haiti are still a an amazing people, still strong, still kind, and the country still holds immense beauty. We plan to show you just exactly that.
This is going to be a short and sweet run-down of the project we’ll be heading the next two days.
The story will be one of hope, not of sadness. Viky, the Haitian heading the project, has made quite something out of himself in the US, and it’s time for him to return home and start giving back to his country. He wants the Haitian youngsters to know you can do big things with your life. And he wants the world to know Haiti is still a gem to be cherished. All the while developing this sustainable energy project.
My best friend, Sebastien Germaine, is Haitian. We have always planned to go to Haiti at some point just to give back, but things have always fallen through. This October we were going to travel there for a few weeks but work and other obligations stopped both of us.
Then, just a couple weeks ago, my friend David and I (who I do videography projects with) was approached by one of his aquaintences about filming a documentary on a sustainable energy project they are starting in Haiti. Here’s the kicker — We had to leave in 3 weeks with short notice. Instantly we agreed to take on the project, knowing this is simply an opportunity to use our skills for an amazing cause that we couldn’t miss. And luckily both my jobs were more than happy to give me last minute time off.
Here’s the thing…all you see about Haiti these days are images of crying mothers and children, poverty, and destruction.
All visual misery ever does with the majority of people is depresses them, and actually makes them want to be less involved because people don’t want to feel that way. Maybe they Tweet or Facebook something, maybe they mention how sad it is, and MAYBE they donate a few dollars. Then they push it out of their memory.
That doesn’t solve a damn thing.
We are going to be flying to Haiti for 10 days to show you exactly the opposite. We will be exploring the country, the culture, and meeting the people and showing you that there is so much more good still going on in Haiti. So much rich culture. So much beauty.
The project (and I’m no engineer so I’ll go more in depth later) is aiming to knock out a few of Haiti’s problems. On a basic level Haiti has poor waste management, very low access to reliable electricity, and a growing problem of de-forestation. Using the enormous amounts of waste, they are developing a prototype to turn this into clean burning coal which can be translated into electricity for cities. By doing this, they hope it will entice Haitians to dispose of their waste properly and stop chopping down forest to use the wood energy.
It will start small. We will be heading for 10 days to interview government officials, education officials, and others while signing the documents for the prototype. During this time, David and I will be filming EVERYTHING we do. We will be traveling all over the western half of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola and capturing the beaches, history, and people for you to see.
I’m really excited for this opportunity, and I feel this project will have some amazing potential to change the view the world has about Haiti.