As Founder and CEO, of Haiti Recovery & Development Company Jim Lange conceived, designed, and developed the vision and plan for the company.
Jim’s HR&DC Vision
“On January 17, 2010, less than a week after Haiti’s cataclysmic earthquake, 60 Minutes ran a story that changed the course of my life. In this segment, I witnessed countless Haitians being scooped up in a backhoe, thrown into the back of a dump truck and hauled off to a landfill where they were unceremoniously dumped into mass graves.
At the very core of my being, I considered this outcome to be an affront to humanity, and I founded Haiti Recovery & Development Company, LLC (HR&DC) with the mission to provide Dignity for the Dead. Hope and Opportunity for the Living. This has been, and will always be, the guiding mantra for our activities and is the unyielding standard against which all of our efforts will be judged.”
Dignity for the Dead
With the victims of the earthquake scattered amongst other mass and unmarked graves from past natural disasters, years of civil unrest and in and around numerous pauper’s fields, the challenge of transforming this area, (known as Titanyen), from one of horror to that of a sacred resting place cannot be overstated. That being said, HR&DC’s primary objective is to transform the burial pits in Titanyen into the Haitian National Memorial and Peace Park. I envision a sanctuary that will stand as a national symbol to promote human dignity, heal the nation and become a cradle from which Haiti can be reborn. In the desolate fields of Titanyen we will fulfill the “Dignity for the Dead” portion of the mantra.
Hope and Opportunity for the Living
“Hope and Opportunity for the Living” is the goal of HR&DC’s broader mission for the creation and implementation of a comprehensive recovery and development program. This will be Haiti’s version of the Marshall Plan.
Through HR&DC it is my intention to catalyze the creation of an economic engine whereby Haiti and its people become self-reliant and enhance their personal and national sovereignty. Through strategic alliance partnerships with charities, for-profit organizations, governments, academic institutions and international agencies, the Haitian Government and the citizens of Haiti, our team will push forward on efforts to (a) catalyze the growth of a new sense of Haitian nationalism, (b) educate and train the Haitian citizenry, and (c) teach the values and scope of a free market economy. Ultimately, we will combine the strengths of many to achieve real and lasting prosperity.
5 Cities for Haiti
To achieve these stated goals, it is my intention to help establish the footprint for five modern communities strategically located throughout Haiti. At the most basic level, each community will have (a) a stand-alone water treatment facility that will serve the needs of the new community and its surrounding communes, (b) a reliable power supply, (c) agricultural development to sustain local life and to generate income, (d) a formal business district with a Chamber of Commerce, (e) an enterprise zone where manufacturing suitable for the local population will take place, and (f) a trade school. Within these five sectors, housing will also be incorporated to begin meeting the dire shortage of available, affordable and humane living accommodations.
To ensure that all will benefit from the overall initiative, I have crafted a development model encompassing everything from medieval agricultural vocations to doctorate-level, white-collar professions and every stratum in between. If Haiti is to join the modern world, it must do so collectively, and my aim is to include one and all in every aspect of the recovery and development process.
Government Facilitating Organization (GFO) Model
As an overarching ideology, I have developed the concept of a government facilitating organization (GFO), a new NGO classification designed to address capacity requirements and gaps at state, local and grassroots levels. We are dedicated to introducing an empirically driven set of methodologies into Haiti that will assist the government in making better decisions with its resources and to more effectively manage the actors and stakeholders who operate within the boundaries of the country.
Lastly, I intend to be HR&DC’s steward for 20 years before placing the company into a public trust expressly for the Haitian people. This stewardship and transfer of ownership is designed to show the Haitian people that I am there to help, not to plunder.
This is my vision for HR&DC and I will do whatever is necessary to bring about dignity for the dead, and hope and opportunity for the living.
To achieve this vision, HR&DC's mission is designed to achieve nothing short of a Haitian Renaissance, built on these three pillars:
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