A Reverse Brain Drain?
They set up a website to spread the word about their odyssey and raise money to support their modest expenses here – I am going to make a contribution for sure! Both Vanessa and Caleb have been reading my blog even as they have been put right to work – Caleb did a day trip to Jacmel on his first day on “the job”; Vanessa seems happily occupied herself. Check them out on Facebook (search for “live from Haiti”) as well as their website (which is also listed on their colorful business card pictured below). Vanessa introduced me to Stephanie Garry, who is also a Fonkoze intern focused on social media – she says she’s been using the “content” in this blog to spread the word. Terrific!
Some people in Haiti believe that there is a reverse brain-drain underway – that a growing number of Haitians from the diaspora are returning to help rebuild. Others assert that a new generation of the super-rich families here are showing social responsibility and commitment to improving the country, rather than simply further enriching themselves and strengthening their links to the U.S and Europe. It is not clear whether these represent wishful thinking or promising trends, but I have certainly seen some anecdotal evidence of both. (Disclosure: I am an optimist by nature.)
I got Vanessa to speak on camera about her motivation for coming and did a fair job of editing one of her responses after a lot of effort. She obviously believes that the brain drain continues; however, she wants to contribute to a reversal.