Local Hands, Bright Future: a Reflection from Dr. Peter H. Raven

From Dr. Peter H. Raven, President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden
September 7, 2022


For all of human history, helping those less fortunate than ourselves has been considered proper moral behavior.  Today, we who live in the United States, the richest nation on Earth, have no more suitable way of discharging that responsibility than by helping our neighbors in Haiti, who live only 700 miles away across the Caribbean.  Their average income is about 1/20th of ours, and their resources have been badly depleted.  Through the establishment of peanut farming and the development of a solar-powered factory to produce life-saving food for young children, MFK has channeled our contributions so as to bring about long-term changes in the economic prospects of the Haitian people, an accomplishment of which we can all be justifiably proud.  By bringing the means of production home to Haiti, the standard of living and overall prospects for the people.


In view of the importance of these contributions, I was delighted to serve as honorary chair of the “Local Hands, Bright Future” campaign that fostered the local production of peanuts and built the first version of the factory.  The generous contributions of many made these advances possible, and we should be pleased with what has been accomplished, as well as eager to move on to even stronger charitable activities in the future. We all owe our deepest thanks to Dr. Pat Wolff for discovering the importance of these activities and bringing them to our attention, and especially for building a robust organization that will continue doing the right thing for many years into the future.


Dr. Peter H. Raven, President Emeritus

Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis