Archive for August, 2016


Legal                                    Illegal

From la nation de l’amour, in the name of liberté, egalité, et fraternité  – take if all off ! (well almost all).  French local councils vow to maintain the ban on Islam appropriate swimwear.  You are at liberté to take it all off, but not at liberté to have it all on.

In UK it is an easy laugh at the land of ooo la la! France seeking to uncover women on their beaches.  The French ideal of Laïcité was made to look totalitarian (again).  Meanwhile in UK, these garments are stocked by major retailers (M&S, House of Fraser, even Sports Direct).


SS disability

Smiles, even in tough places

What constitutes crazy?  Where I work, our projects are currently all in Haiti.  But we are exploring options for South Sudan. In Haiti, UN Peacekeepers still patrol.  In South Sudan, as I write – in places civil war rages.  And it’s not as if we have lots of cash looking for good projects.  Counter intuitive as it is, this is the right direction of travel.

Sometimes the same vision just needs bigger glasses.  Working to meet the need, helps you see the need properly.  So, Haiti Hospital Appeal left me and the people I work with.  And instead … Hope Health Action has come and wrapped itself around us.

The original vision: faith based medical care, offered to all (regardless of faith, race, etc); serving the poor, especially for disabled; national led, aiming to be financially self supporting.  Is this for only one place?

Hospital Convention Baptiste d’Haiti is underway travelling in this direction.  Why not try this in another country that is also a “who-cares!” place?  Like South Sudan.

So as of June 2016 HHA changes from Haiti Hospital Appeal to Hope Health Action.  The CEO has already been to South Sudan, and met with Government officials in Juba, and church representatives.  And the funding? Work that is:

  • Small schemes,
  • Unhurried, for the long haul
  • Based on sound relations between local, national and international people (not “partners”)
  • In sensible locations even within unsettled countries

These will interest new funders

I have worked in the past with several organisations with grand plans and “visions” which involve far less headline risk than this.  However, sometimes the seemingly barmy option – is the sensible strategic direction.

See also