One boy told me that drivers here despise homeless teens and constantly try to run them down. He said that male drivers would take off their belts and beat him. A girl I spoke with said she quickly learned to dress like a boy, to avoid being assaulted.
It became clear -- money, supplies and good people are not enough. It all has to be applied thoughtfully and deliberately to transform communities in a way that they can start taking care of themselves.
Reading aloud delivers a deep comfort for a child. In stories, they find a safe place to return to, and tools to navigate life. Books provide a risk-free environment to grapple with the world's big questions.
How exactly you tip the scales is an extremely complicated matter. In the fields and rice paddies when people need to use the bathroom, they just go. By the river, when people are thirsty in this heat that makes your breath draw like gel, they just have a drink.
We believe that the art of this nation can be the catalyst to begin a positive and expanding spiral for the people of Haiti. I believe in Haiti. I deeply admire its people and have great respect for its artists and intellectuals.
Mario Joseph is Haiti's most influential and respected human rights attorney. Since 1996, he has led the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) in Port-au-Prince, which uses prominent human rights cases and a victim-centered approach in the interest of the poor majority.