I’ve had the privilege of serving as MFK’s Interim CEO for the past year, and will return to my position as a board member on July 1. Working side by side with our staff in Haiti, touring the lands of farmers who sell MFK their peanuts, sitting with moms holding their toddlers in malnutrition clinics - during these past 12 months I bore witness to stories that aren’t regularly told.
We hear one prevailing narrative about Haiti: It is a dangerous, troubled country.
But it is, of course, so much more.
It’s a place full of streetside entrepreneurs and moonlight drummers. A place where handpainted tap-taps share the road with racing motorbikes and market carts. A place whose many female farmers opt for skirts and flip flops in the fields. The stories behind these observations form just a few pages of a narrative that’s legion, untold to most of the world outside of Haiti.
I also learned a new story about MFK’s factory. Yes, it’s a powerhouse manufacturer of Medika Mamba. But it’s also a place that transcends transactional labor, a physical space that fosters a sense of family. It is a place where fun times, like Christmas Eve lunch and hymns, happen. And it’s a place where, in times of greatest distress, co-workers band together to help one another cope.
My heartfelt thanks go out to MFK’s board members for their faith in me, to our donors for their support of our mission, and to our staff and partners for sharing the stories of their lives with me. My year serving as the interim head of MFK is coming to an end, but my understanding of Haiti has only just begun.