In traveling back to Texas I had the opportunity to be around people I love. I got to see people, old friends and loved ones, who have invested in me. I know there were times that I may not have been easy to love. I know there was about a year of my life where I could have been considered a lost cause. When I look at my life I know I have been blessed because of so many people who, instead of writing me off, chose to and continue to invest in me.
Want to know what's at the heart and core of Second Mile? Investments. We want to invest in people in the country of Haiti. This is why we are here. We want to invest in people in a way that has an impact on multiple aspects of their lives... not just the fringes. That's why we have 13 employees and not 80. It's important for us to walk up to them everyday to say hello and ask how their families are doing. It's important for us to pay people well. When we start expanding and adding more employees it will be because we feel like we can pay them like they deserve to be paid, and that we can still find enough time in our day to walk and talk to each one of these employees.
We want these employees to have the opportunity to learn as much as possible and to do everything they can outside the box. Why? Well because Amy and I have both had the opportunity to work and live outside the box. We have had the chance to do things that people don't normally get to do unless you have this specific degree or because you went to that school or because you have this previous work experience. Sometimes all it takes is someone willing to give you a chance to learn through experience. We have workers from a variety of villages, none of whom have any education beyond some secondary school. We want to provide opportunities for them to act on their love of learning and expand on their skills.. like through english lessons, garden trainings, business and health seminars, etc. We value these individuals immensely and love that we all get to work together. I mean that's why we are all here right? To work together for the greater purpose?
|Shelling beans-a multi-step process, best done as a team|
|Employee English class! |
12 moms and 12 babies. This is what our facility is designed to facilitate. You may think that number is low but we really don't think so. It's better to stay small than to run the risk of a mom or a baby falling through the cracks. We need to be on our game. We need to made sure these moms get to experience the various experiences we offer and that their babies are improving... going UP on the weight charts and not down. We invest in the moms so that their children don't become malnourished again.
|A mom gardening with staff help|
|leading by example|
|Dadou giving a mom good business advice|
These are our investments: the employees, the moms, and the babies. We invest in our employees so they will invest in their families, friends, neighbors, and the mom and babies that enter through our gates. We watched this happen over the last few months. We have seen our employees take the time to teach a garden class or talk about their own business ventures. And we definitely see them showing love to the moms and babies. When there aren't any moms at the property we hear the employees asking each other if anyone has seen or heard from any of the moms or if anyone knows how the kids are doing. When the moms and kids are at the property the employees PRAY for them and when they aren't there they pray even harder.
The moms have been doing some re-investing of their own. We heard a great story recently about two (of the four) former Second Mile Haiti moms. These two women became friends while they were staying at our facility. The baby of the first mom was hospitalized for several days in July. Come to find out, not only did the second mom visit her and her baby daily, she also came with food she had prepared for them. How do you not stop and think.. out of everything we have accomplished nothing matters more than these investments...? The investments, hopefully, will have lasting effects that keep going even when "Second Mile" no longer exists.. (But don't get any ideas.. not planning to leave Haiti anytime soon :)
|Employee, Verdieu, and Marie-Ange's mom posing after they finish a flower planting project|
So, if you are looking to invest in something try investing in us so that we can continue to make investments like these. I promise we won't let you down.