I describe myself as a social justice wannabe. Basically, that means that I have awakened to God’s mandate for justice, and I’m trying to live that out in my daily, walking-around life. I’m not very good at it, but I’m learning. I’m also aware that our helping can often hurt, so I look for organizations that hold that tension well and have proven themselves faithful. These are a few people with whom I practice social justice.
Heartline Ministries is based in Port au Prince, Haiti. Formerly an orphanage and international adoption facilitator, Heartline now boasts a family-centred vision to keep families in Haiti together. They run an incredible maternity centre with fully trained midwives, pre and post-natal education classes, vitamins, and lactation consultancy along with education and economic initiatives.
I love Heartline’s deep respect and honour for Haitians. Few things capture my heart like women being empowered to give birth to their babies, nurse them, and raise them in dignity. In talking with one of their midwives, Tara (who is one of my dearest friends), I learned that out of 300 women who have been delivered at their maternity centre, only one has chosen to relinquish her child for adoption. Only one.
Women want to raise their babies, and I love that Heartline is making sure they can do so if they choose.
To directly support the Maternity Centre, click here. But there are other ways to get involved, too, and you can check those out here.
Help One Now
Help One Now is a collective group of churches, businesses, communities and individuals from around the world. We are dedicated to using our gifts, talents and resources to help end extreme poverty, care for orphans, rescue slaves, and see communities transformed by serving our international local partners through education, job creation, healthcare, and spiritual development.
I traveled to Haiti with this organization back in 2012 which changed my opinions and my trajectory in a lot of ways personally. You can read about it here, but my favourite posts from that trip are In which God doesn’t look the same anymore and In which I came too close to God.
As a result, this blog community participated in the Legacy Project 2013. We raised $100,000 to fund a community school. The ground breaking happened on the third anniversary of the earthquake.
We are active in Haiti, Peru, South Africa, Zimbabwe, the Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, and Uganda.
One of my favourite differentiators about our model is how we empower local leaders through friendship and partnership. Basically, we work with leaders who are ALREADY working effectively in their respective communities. In other words, they’re not waiting for us to begin – they already have the passion and history of doing the hard work of community transformation. We work with them, walk alongside them, encourage them, equip them, pray for them, and serve them in their greatest areas of need. These leaders are friends and partners in the fight against extreme poverty. They are our greatest resource, and without them, sustainable change is impossible.
Resources create momentum and sustainable, long-term community impact. When our leaders have economic capital to move forward, it alleviates the stress and pressure of their daily needs that often weigh them down. We think that the best use of their energy is to focus on the big picture of the long-term needs of their communities.
I serve on the Board of Directors for Help One Now.