IT IS heartening to see that concerned Africans have joined hands to boost reconstruction efforts on Haiti in the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck the island last month.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Graça Machel, Trevor Ncube and other eminent Africans have initiated a fund-raising drive dubbed the "Africa for Haiti Campaign".
As a country prone to seismic events, Taiwan is also keen to play a role in the rebuilding of Haiti. After consultations with Haitian President Jean-Max Bellerive, Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou has proposed a pilot reconstruction programme to assist the impoverished Caribbean nation.
Rather than following the easy route of token aid hand-outs, Taiwan has designed a holistic hands-on assistance programme that aims to become self-sustainable over the long-term. At the core of the programme is the construction of a "Hope Village" to house 5000 Haitians.
To boost the regional economy, building materials for the village will be sourced from Dominican Republic, Haiti's neighbour. "Hope Village" residents will be offered employment and training at specially developed agriculture schemes, while public health services will be provided by medical missions staffed by Taiwanese medical professionals.
To address the plight of children that lost parents in the earthquake, World Vision Taiwan will create organisations to sponsor Haitian orphans.