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Difference Maker

Jean Enock Joseph teaches self-help to lift Haiti

Pastor Jean Enock Joseph doesn't shy from Haiti's toughest problems. His message: Haitians have the ability to help themselves.

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Perhaps most important, the MPE workshops and training projects offer Haitians an "alternative path" in life, as Joseph puts it. Learning a skill or profession gives them a viable alternative to the lure of drug money and a gang culture that often affect young people living in the slums.

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Yet despite MPE's strong desire to help those in need, its ethos firmly focuses on helping Haitians control their own destinies.

"Many people we've helped have been waiting for a messiah or some important person to give them food and things like that," Joseph explains. "But it's no good for an individual to be like that. You have the responsibility to look after your own life, and you can't wait for someone else to help you live."

Despite the negative headlines that dominate coverage of Haiti, MPE's progress reaffirms the idea that all is not lost for the impoverished Caribbean nation. And Joseph is keen to point out that the work his organization is doing is by no means the only positive story here: Haitians really can do it for themselves.

"Joseph has a vision, and we saw that," Ms. Bailey-Herd says. "He wants to see big transformations in the next 20 years."

A hands-on force for change in a country that has often been torn apart by racial, political, and social divisions, Joseph sees MPE as proof that another Haiti is possible.

"We see the human being," he says. "Not his faith, his color, his outlook, or his level of education.

"Any man or woman is worthy of our help."

• To find out more about the work of Jean Enock Joseph and his Ministère Pasteur Enock, visit www.mpehaiti.org.

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Learn more / get involved

UniversalGiving (www.universalgiving.org) helps people give to and volunteer with top-performing charitable organizations all over the world. The projects are vetted by UniversalGiving, and 100 percent of each donation goes directly to the cause.

To help Haiti, UniversalGiving recommends the following:

The Lambi Fund of Haiti. Project: Reforest Haiti with a Gift of Trees.

International Action works to provide clean water and education to children. Project: Support education in Haiti with Books for Schools.

Operation USA helps communities recover from disaster and poverty. Project: Adopt a classroom in Haiti.

God’s Children Ministries. Project: Volunteer to help orphans and disadvantaged children in Haiti.

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