“We all want to know and be known. That’s why doing good is so powerful when the focus is first and foremost the people and not the project.” – Author Chris Marlow
MATTER’s donors are some of the most generous, kind and compassionate people on earth. Their commitment to MATTER’s vision of improving access to healthy living both here and around the world propel us to do more and reach higher to impact the lives of as many people as we can.
In March, our Vice President of Donor Relations, Laura Fixsen, led a group on an Insight Trip to Haiti to see the work MATTER is doing in collaboration with Healing Haiti, a longtime partner organization working to improve the lives of the Haitian people.
Once known as the Pearl of the Antilles, Haiti is now the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Roughly 60% of Haitians live below the poverty line, with 25% living in abject poverty. Haiti also has the highest percentage of orphans of any country in the western hemisphere.
Where many see a hopeless situation, Healing Haiti sees opportunities for hope. Driven by a passionate belief that the world is a better place when families are strengthened, Healing Haiti provides opportunities for Haitians to pursue personal, spiritual and economic development with the goal of keeping families together and seeing them flourish.
MATTER is proud to partner with Healing Haiti in this worthy cause. On the Insight Trip, the group visited a clinic in Healing Haiti’s Grace Village, which MATTER helped equip with life saving medical equipment and supplies. Located in the sparsely populated village of Titanyen (which means “less than nothing”), the clinic’s reputation for excellence in health care attracts patients from as far away as the capital city of Port-au-Prince.
Also in Titanyen, MATTER is working with Healing Haiti to develop a sustainable, 30-acre demonstration farm that not only provides food for Grace Village and their Haitian run bakery and restaurant, but also serves to provide job skills and education to local Haitians about best farming practices. During their visit, the trip group met with the farmers, sampled coconut milk direct from the coconut, and enjoyed a delicious lunch at the restaurant.
Insight Trips are far more than visiting countries and seeing MATTER projects. They serve to connect donors with the people being impacted by their support. As Laura likes to emphasize,
“Impact has a personal name.”
And so it was on the day when the donors helped Healing Haiti deliver fresh, clean and free water to the people of Cité Soleil, one of the largest and most dangerous slums in the western hemisphere. The estimated 300,000 residents of Cité Soleil are normally required to pay for their water, so the hand-delivered buckets were received by grateful residents in return for heartfelt hugs, making it more than just an Insight Trip experience, but a meaningful connection to real people in need. You MATTER snack packs were handed out to the delight of orphaned children, the joy dancing across their faces as they tasted the food and read their You MATTER notes of encouragement. Former MATTER Board Member, Simon Foster, reflected his highlight of the trip was hearing his son Lucas say that the trip changed his worldview 180 degrees. These are the experiences that bring MATTER’s mission to life in a personal way that our supporters will not soon forget.
“My son and I went