Rural road in Haiti

Going farther down the road

Rural road in Haiti
The rural roads in Haiti are steep, bumpy and long. World Concern reaches communities on some of the roughest roads in the country.

The bumpy roads here in rural Haiti toss you around like a bull rider. Hairpin turns wind you through steep mountains, striking even the toughest travelers with motion sickness. And the roads seem to go on forever. Just when you think the road couldn’t go any further, it keeps going.

A sense of dread came over our team visiting Haiti this week when one of our Haitian staff informed us, after 7 hours on these roads, that we were about to go on “the worst road in Haiti.” We thought it couldn’t possibly be any worse than we had experienced. But it was. Dust and dirt swirled around us as our Land Cruiser lurched up rocky mountains with cliffs on either side.

It is at the end of many of these roads, far beyond where most are willing to go, that World Concern works.

When our vehicles pull into villages, children wave and grin excitedly. The leader of the community often greets our Haitian staff warmly with a hug of recognition, signaling relationships that have been formed over time.

People who live in these remote communities are grateful because someone has come so far for them. Mothers whisk their children home to put on their best clothes. Little girls in dirty, torn shorts and T-shirts return wearing frilly dresses, looking more like they’re going to a wedding than meeting visitors.

Parents talk openly about their struggles: not having opportunities to earn income, lack of clean water, and sick children. Some fear earthquakes and flooding will threaten their lives again soon.

They are strengthened by the help they receive—not a handout, as it is starkly obvious to those of us visiting that this would not change anything. This kind of widespread, extreme poverty, requires a long-term, well-planned response—the kind of help that brings the chance for something different. A better future.

Irrigation canal in rural Haiti.
This irrigation canal, built by community members with the support of World Concern, helps prevent flooding in a rural village in Haiti. The water is channeled to irrigate crops.

“If we have water, we can do anything,” said one farmer whose community has a new canal that channels rainwater away from homes and into the fields where it waters crops.

“Education is the key,” said a second grade teacher who has served his village since 1995.

These people tell us they want to learn new ways of doing things. They don’t want handouts. They want changes that will last. They want to do the work themselves, with our support and assistance, but they want ownership over the projects.

This is where you come in. You don’t have to go to the end of the road to help. We invite you to witness the transformation in Haiti by supporting the work of World Concern. We’re encouraged on days like this, to know that even at the end of a tough road, real and lasting change is possible.

Published by

Cathy Herholdt

Cathy Herholdt

Cathy Herholdt is World Concern's Marketing and Communications Director. With a background in journalism, Cathy honed her writing skills as a newspaper editor and now enjoys sharing the inspiring stories of those World Concern serves. She has served with World Concern since 2010.

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