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Where There is no Vision, the People Perish

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Where There is no Vision, the People Perish

November 26, 2002

It has taken most of my adult life to appreciate the enormity of this prophecy. I was raised, after all, by a father who was a man of vision in every sense of the word. When I began my role with FIDA nearly four years ago, I knew that I was accepting to be the caretaker of the vision. What I didn't know was how the vision would consume me. Nor did I know how the flame of the vision would be fanned.

Who is responsible for vision anyway? Who or what is shaping our world, our community? Are we following vision or are we influencing vision? I have often feared the answer.

And then I think of Haiti.

If ever there is a people that appear to be perishing it would seem to be Haitians. Many of us have believed, and rightly so, that Haiti is in need of vision. What is less correct is that it is our job to install the vision. It isn't. Nor should it be.

At the first orientation of each Adventure Tour, we encourage each participant to "be still and listen." As exhausting as this can be, I hope we never tire of listening, because there is much to be learned.

One morning last spring, I was a listener in a meeting of cooperative leaders in Fon Batis. They were discussing the economic future of their community. They were preparing for the time when FIDA/pcH would have a less prominent role. How was the next generation of cooperative members going to be prepared?

It soon became startlingly clear that if action was not taken soon to educate the 14-17 year old population (for whom there exists no education), the future of the cooperative movement would be questionable. Their vision of a healthy, productive community would be in jeopardy. They wasted no time. A project was drafted on their behalf. It is called "Education for the Emergence of a Democratic Society through Cooperatives.' The community refers to it as coop pepinere, the coop nursery, as it is nurturing its children in the way of the cooperative. The project begins immediately. It will affect 2,372 children.

However, the community did not stop there. This past November, the second edition of the Flanbokop was published. It is their version of a local newspaper written entirely in Kreyòl (there are very few publications written in Kreyòl for the newly literate to read). The image is of a flaming torch held by many hands. The articles feature stories, testimonies, important information and local news. For example, each issue lists the market price of produce from Fon Batis compared to produce of other regions.

Vision is a powerful thing. It can be dangerous if it is controlled by a few. We are responsible for the world we live in. If ours is a vision for a more peaceable kingdom here on earth, then we must act responsibly to create it and nurture it.  

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