What does a hot sauce company in Florida have in common with Patagonia, the outdoor apparel giant? Thanks to a great nonprofit organization, both look to Haiti for the raw materials for their products. And in doing so, many destitute Haitian families are able afford the $5 it costs to send their kids to school. And a whole lot more.
Executives Without Borders (www.executiveswithoutborders.org) was founded in 2007 specifically to harness the knowledge and expertise of successful businesses to empower people living in poverty. This fine organization shares my own belief that the best way to help people escape poverty is to assist them in becoming self-sustaining. For example, one of the unexpected results of delivering fresh water to Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010 was a proliferation of discarded plastic bottles clogging the canals and waterways, exacerbating the spread of cholera. With help from Executives Without Borders, those plastic bottles are being recycled and sold to Patagonia who uses the material to make fleeces. The locals call the program “Picking Up Money.”
Because my own organization serves families and children in Haiti, I spoke with Executives Without Borders cofounder and CEO, Bob Goodwin, about the progress he has seen in Haiti since the earthquake. What I learned is that this nation, which many feel is permanently destined to its status as one of the poorest places on the planet, just may be ready to overcome the forces that have held them down so long. And yes, hot sauce may play a role in their success. Take a minute to hear what Bob has to say.