Changemaker Spotlight: Bridget Healy

“REBUILD globally refuses to perpetuate the broken system of international aid that, many would say, put Haiti in the distressed economic situation it has found itself within.”


Meet our featured Changemaker, Bridget Healy.  Bridget has been a long time supporter of REBUILD globally, playing various roles including Board Chair, advisor, and friend!  Bridget joined Pathways to Impact last year and contributes to our job training pathway, using her passion to make a lasting change in the world. 

 

 

You have been a partner of REBUILD globally since the beginning. What is the most significant thing about our work that impacted you all those years ago?

In some ways, it’s hard to believe that I’ve been involved with REBUILD Globally (RG) since its inception seven years ago! I did serve a two-year term as the founding Board Chair of RG.  Having committed my professional career to supporting human services and social justice work, there was no question for me personally about volunteering my time and resources to RG.

Truly, I became involved because I witnessed the transformational impact Julie’s first trip to Haiti had on her.  She was indelibly changed as a human and committed to changing her life trajectory to support Haiti’s long term recovery after the 2010 earthquake.  I saw that fire within her and all I could do was say “how can I help?”  By this time, everyone who comes into contact with Julie knows that there is no saying “no”, there is no changing her mind, all you can really do is fall into step beside her : )

I became involved because of my personal relationship with Julie, who is my dear friend, ally, confidant and comrade in supporting social justice work… I stay involved because the mission is a game changer for the Haitians employed by RG.  RG refuses to perpetuate the broken system of international aid that, many would say, put Haiti in the distressed economic situation it has found itself within.  RG refuses to play on old power dynamics between the “haves” and “have nots”.  RG refuses to fall prey to mindset of “doing for” rather than “doing with” because our agency operates with the assumption that people, no matter how poor, are powerful change agents capable of manifesting the life they desire given an opportunity to do so.  No matter where you live on this planet, with all of its discord and difference, what holds true is that employment and education will change one’s life trajectory and create a pathway out of poverty.  RG is fostering a more vibrant, resilient economy in Haiti one job at a time.  RG itself continues to choose the more difficult.  We know now that this approach is simultaneously transformational, life changing, difficult beyond measure, taxing to staff and…. IT WORKS!

 

Why does what we do in Haiti matter to you …. now in particular, after all these years?

The work of RG continues to matter to me because inequity, in all its attendant forms, matters to me.  The historic and systematic oppression of Haiti and its people matter to me.  RG is, in some ways, in the business of freeing people from a system of international aid that holds them hostage, perpetuates generational poverty and continues to stymie Haiti’s economic development.  The employment work of RG takes place at the individual level, and over time, I believe that it can and will impact the systems (government, economic, philanthropic) operating within Haiti.  This is the long-term systems change work that we need us for, and by us, I mean people with privilege and power who are willing to use their resources and influence in service of Haitian men and women they will never meet.  I am committed to the long-term change work RG is doing in Haiti.  As a citizen of this beautiful and terrible planet, I believe that “we all do better when we ALL do better.”  My support of RG helps make good on this belief.

“REBUILD globally is, in some ways, in the business of freeing people from a system of international aid that holds them hostage, perpetuates generational poverty and continues to stymie Haiti’s economic development. “

We are so excited that you have joined our monthly giving movement Pathways to Impact. Why is sustained monthly giving is important to you?

As an individual who funds the work of nonprofits for a living—I work as a grant maker for United Way—I understand, first hand, the dysfunctional manger by which we resource  nonprofits. We expect nonprofits to cobble together grants and donations, on an annual basis, to funds the programs and services that allow them to advance on their missions.  The effort expended on resource development and grant writing is time that, in my opinion, would be much better spent focusing on serving clients.  RG’s sustained monthly giving program is a way for donors to ensure 1. Sustainability of resources to a program of their choosing, 2. More staff time focused on programs instead of resource development, 3. Reduces the risk of service disruption due to a change in resources available.  In short, sustained giving is common sense and I’m so pleased to be supporting RG in this way.

What is your favorite story to tell about REBUILD globally?

Oh my goodness, there are so many stories I could share about RG.  One particularly powerful moment was when I had the opportunity to visit RG in Haiti in 2011.  I had been doing much of the “back end” administrative work of the agency, working with Julie to convene a board of directors, get a website up, begin marketing and communications, and then I got to meet the original team…. When I met Jolina and hugged her, all of that work became incredibly real for me and only doubled my love for the mission of RG.

 

Pathways to Impact is a Monthly Giving Movement.  It is an online community of Changemakers working to create pathways out of poverty in vulnerable places around the world.

Education. Job Training.  Refugee Relief.

Three Pathways to Impact that are critical to our success of fighting poverty in Haiti. There are different ways to participate in making the world a better place,  so we have built customized ways for each and every one of you to contribute in a way that is personal and meaningful to you. Every month we connect with a Pathways to Impact community member to share their story of impact, and any advice they have others interested in taking their first step to making a difference in the world!

We hope you enjoy!

 

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