| In Haiti, there is a proverb: Ti mapou pa grandi anba gwo mapou. The little mapou tree won't grow beneath the big mapou tree.
You won't develop if you stay under someone's shade. Global peace will continue to elude us unless there is a commitment to
understanding and engaging in a meaningful dialogue with developing countries. The world is not ours alone; we, the rich,
share the world with the poor. The blind arrogance and ignorance of Western civilisation, are no longer affordable. We risk
our own down fall when we assume we have nothing learn from the poor. Arrogance leads to isolation, learning leads to understanding.
In working in international development we have to remain always cautious that we don't slip into the easy work of simply providing handouts simply to relieve the guilt of a society that eats, own and throws away more than its fair share.
As Canadians we have the voice, and the resources to affect change - if we begin understand the interdependence, the relationship,
between ourselves and the developing world, we can begin to cultivate an ability to act responsibly, and respectfully, towards this world.
We can begin to heal the wounds of the past. And we can experience a richer, more hopeful, future.
We are fed many images of the South: war zone, famines, political corruption and humanitarian crisis. Infomercials from charities seek our money for emaciated, starving children. Are we substituting guilt for knowledge and fear for understanding? Can change happen when we view the world through this lens? Can we seek a more respectful perspective?
The Haitian proverb that says people who don't eat alone are never hungry. Those who share with
others always have something to eat.
Sharing knowledge and accepting to learn are the basis of respect and the working principles of the Foundation for International Development
Assistance and Productive Co-operatives Haiti, its working arm in Haiti. As Canadians and Haitians working to understand and enable one another,
each acts with the belief that dignity is achieved through a cultivated ability to provide for ourselves, our family and our fellow man.
If we, as Canadians, choose to participate in fostering a more peaceable world, we must recognize the complexity and fragility of development.
True development said Jack Wall, the FIDAs founder, if it is to succeed, must be in the hands of the people. If it not accepted by the people, understood by the people and made feasible by the people, and owned by the people, it will fail.