Orlando EvansWith excitement, I explored Haiti through Candler's Laney Legacy in Moral Leadership program. This land is dear to my heart. My children’s maternal grandfather came to the States to create opportunities for future generations. However, he remained active in his homeland, creating jobs and empowering loved ones. While our lives would never intersect, our passion to help the Haitian people would.
My passion was further ignited as I accompanied Dr. Robert Franklin and my fellow students on this year’s travel seminar. Each day inspired mixed emotions of pride and sorrow. This republic, founded by African slaves who successfully rebeled against oppressors, was the jewel of the Caribbean. Yet, this pearl of paradise faced erosion due to inconsistent support from powerful nations, natural disasters, failing infrastructure, exhaustion of natural resources, and historic absence of moral leadership. The result has been the decline of a nation that should be thriving.
Local leaders we encountered emphasized a common thread. Senator Patrice Dumont, artist and activist Franketienne, entrepreneur Jerry Tardieu, and various faith, medical, and entertainment leaders embraced hope. Hope for restoration and self-sustainment. Hope for education and empowerment. Hope for transformative leadership.
Such leadership must be measured with a moral compass. Such leadership must be accountable not only to the people it is elected to serve, but also to a greater Power. As I reflect on this beautiful land that was once rich with resources, I prayerfully look forward to a fruitful turnaround. I hope for Haiti.

Photo: BowTie Photography, LLC