The Impact of Poverty
One of the difficulties we experience with our students at the University of the Nouvelle Grand'Anse (UNOGA)
Th answer to a question about what a student wanted to do after graduation was usually: "Get a job." According to the professor, when questioned further, most could not be more specific.
We can speculate that this is a phenomenon associated with poverty. When poverty has been the norm for an entire community for multiple generations and people are necessarily focused on obtaining their next meal, there maybe little time or incentive to dream about or plan for the future.
These observations can have serious implications for the future of the students as well as for the university itself. Graduates without dreams and a vision for the future may become employed by an NGO and make a good salary, but will never see the possibilities for future businesses and the impact a solid, sustainable business can ultimately have on Haiti.
Students who cannot look into the future cannot create a viable business plan. It takes people with dreams and drive, fire in their belly, to inspire others and convince them that what looks impossible is possible.
Not all is lost. Problem-solving skills, planning and creativity can be taught. UNOGA is preparing for that.
Thanks to Bob Boeke for these very astute observations based on his teaching experience at UNOGA.