Haiti’s food crisis and post-quake opportunities for sustainability.
Hands That Feed is a non-profit documentary film that I hope you’ll help support. It explores the agricultural collapse in Haiti, its role in the post-earthquake food crisis, and the emerging grassroots development models that seek to restore Haiti’s food supply and environment.
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Bill Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 10, 2010:
It was a mistake. I have to live everyday with the consequences of the loss of capacity to produce a rice crop in Haiti, The country has the best chance in my lifetime to achieve this objective: to build a modern self-sustaining state. But what it means is that we have to think about our roles in a different way, and how we will play them in this reconstruction process.
The importance of this film.
The earthquake in January 2010 catalyzed an upwelling of international compassion and support for Haiti. Yet many lack an understanding of the true causes of Haiti’s situation, and they feel frustrated as to how they can help a seemingly perpetually impoverished nation. Hands That Feed will play a critical role in exploring how a once powerful and rich country – one that supplied a quarter of all of France’s wealth through the 18th century and was food self-sufficient until the early 1980’s – collapsed.
Sustainable food security is the crisis of the 21st century. It will be the scary face of all the other major global issues we have to tackle. Yet we’re still not facing the music based on our failure to actually tell the basic story behind Haiti’s collapse, or to consider new models that focus on food producers, sustainability, and security. This is the mission of Hands That Feed – to learn from Haiti while there’s still time, and to nurture the amazing sustainable agriculture-based recovery movement emerging there. Unfortunately, our 8/2 deadline is barreling down on us from Kickstarter, and we’re in acute danger of a near miss. Please please support this non-profit film project, even with a small donation, so we can tell this story to the world.
The film explores the true context of the earthquake’s impact:
The decline of Haiti’s rural economy, environmental degradation, mass migration to cities, and the build-up of fragile shanty-towns. In meeting bright and enthusiastic Haitian youths committed to helping their country become successful, dispelling the view of a helpless land. It will also present a new way of thinking about economic assistance, one that puts emphasis on creating a new generation of leaders and on restoring a vibrant rural economy.
How you can help…
If you’d like to learn more about Haiti, read these articles by Hands That Feed Producer, Joshua Levin:
The Team Behind the Film
Josh is a consultant to non-profit organizations in sustainable agriculture as a development and conservation tool. He has worked with WWF, Conservation International, EcoAgriculture Partners, the Rainforest Alliance, and Root Capital, among others. Josh earned his MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business where he was a Catherine B. Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship, and he holds a BA from Harvard University in Social Studies and International Development.
Matthew is a filmmaker with a passion for exploring and sharing through documentary film. His work in cultural documentaries has taken him all over the world in the last 10 years. He trained in filmmaking at NYU, and also recently became a yoga teacher. His directing work can be found at www.pangeafilms.com
Ketty Joe Henri–Associate-Producer
Ketty is a Haitian-American with deep roots in her homeland. Ketty visited Haiti the month before the earthquake and has since has worked with the non-profit’s in both Port-au-Prince and Camp Perrin. She recently completed her film studies at Sarah Lawrence.
Originally published on elephantjournal.com.