Changing the Narrative on Haiti’s Nonprofit Sector

Changing the Narrative on Haiti’s Nonprofit Sector

We have the power to shape the narrative of the future we want. Recognize that reality is a moving target, one highly susceptible to human influence as it advances unpredictably into the future. While stories begin with the past and present, more importantly, they communicate future desires. In this sense, your narrative should work to create realities.

Use your narrative to illustrate vision and mission. This does not mean that you must create a “false” story to get your points across, don’t design a false narrative to make yourself feel better.

Stories have many different qualities that make it useful for the work of systems change. It’s a direct route to our emotions, and therefore crucial to decision-making. It creates meaning out of patterns. It coheres communities. It engenders empathy across difference. It enables the possibility to feel probable in ways our rational minds can’t comprehend. When it comes to changing the values, mindsets, rules, and goals of a system, a story is foundational.

Changing the narrative will:

  • Reach targeted audiences and the general public with research-based framing in earned and social media campaigns
  • Train individuals and organizations who care about a more just society in how to use evidence-based data to reframe how we talk about nonprofits in Haiti.
  • Mobilize individuals of all ages to use the data provided to them via social media, word of mouth, and other forms of communications to identify and change the “norm” of nonprofits will and partner with local organizations with first-hand experience.

Why is changing the narrative important?

As you may already know, Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere, according to the World Bank, 59% of the population lives on less than US$2 per day, more than 24.7% lives in extreme poverty on less than US$1.25 per day. This narrative has been a broken record in the social/nonprofit sector working in and for communities in Haiti. Yes, we know the facts; however, we must also change the way the world sees us.

By changing the way that people talk and think about Haiti will be setting the foundation for international and local nonprofits to find an alternative to their approach on how they can better help as well as create a sustainable impact in the future of Haiti.

Who is involved in changing the narrative?

L’union fait la force, to change the narrative of nonprofits in Haiti we all, diaspora, foreigners have a job to do. We need to do our research and allow local leaders to have a voice as well to help us reshape the “norm” around nonprofits in Haiti. Changing the narrative builds on a community to refrain from using false narrative, research the market, and rebrand the market.

How can I get involved in changing the narrative?

Changing the narrative requires all our help, you have a big part to play in this change. What you post on social media platforms matters, choose your words wisely, pick the right visuals, do not fall into the trap of showing a “hungry” child or that “fly” that always seems to rest in the right position of someone’s face. Be the change you wish to see in the world.



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