Dr. David Vanderpool, an American surgeon and CEO of the faith based humanitarian organization LiveBeyond, said those in Haiti who have the resources to leave the country are generally the “top tier of people,” and that when educated people vacate, it creates a vacuum.
“I’m not against people going to the U.S.,” Vanderpool said. “I am for them staying at home.”
According to Vanderpool, it is difficult to find educated Haitian teachers, and they sometimes need to bring in Indian or Filipino educators to fill this vacuum.
“The doctor proclaimed that talk isn’t the answer to Haiti’s problems — and that action is the only thing that will help fix the situation on the ground,” Billy Hallowell, Senior editor of Faithwire said. “It’s for this reason that Vanderpool left Nashville, Tennessee, where he once had a lucrative surgical practice and now spends his life devoted to the Haitian cause. Despite the challenges, he believes it’s possible to turn Haiti around.”
At this time, most of Haiti doesn’t have adequate electricity, has inadequate drinking water, and is “lightyears away” from where the country needs to be, Vanderpool said.
There’s quite a bit of consternation surrounding Haitians who might be sent back to their home country in 2019, as Trump revoked Temporary Protected Status that was granted to tens of thousands of people who came to the U.S. after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. But even if these people are sent back, Vanderpool said that their skills could be put to good use.
“Those are people who are educated, they’ve now spent eight years in the United States,” he said. “They’ve been exposed to freemarket economics, those people are [ripe] to come back to Haiti to make a difference.”
For information on the humanitarian organization founded by Dr. Vanderpool to help Haiti, see LiveBeyond.