Martha Stewart went to Haiti for Macy’s to promote small business creation in the artisan industry of Haiti. This trip was partially funded by the Clinton/Bush Haiti Fund and included several photo opportunities so that Martha could use her fame to draw attention to the artists of Haiti.
It got us thinking about who would be the Martha Stewart of concrete construction in Haiti? If the artists need attention to succeed, then Haiti’s concrete problems need continued publicity as well. But who would be the right person to raise awareness for this important issue? It would need to be someone who represents construction work and someone not afraid of getting ones hands dirty…
Here are a few ideas…
During World War 2 the choice would have been Rosie the Riviter…
Haiti needs an image of a strong female who can roll up her sleeves and get the tough jobs done. Women are playing a huge roll in rebuilding Haiti.
So is Rosie the Martha Stewart of Haiti?
Then there was Tim the Toolman, from the 90’s TV series Home Improvement..
Tim represents the innovative attitude that tools and processes can always be improved upon, no matter how out of the “norm” they might seem. Tim Allen and the cast promoted a do-it-yourself trend in home construction that is exactly the way most shelter is built in Haiti.
If Haiti is to succeed in building back better they will need to be supported by innovative solutions to common problems. They will need a role model that demonstrates that with the right team, anything is possible.
Is Tim the Toolman the construction icon for Haiti’s concrete comeback?
Today there are many cable shows that highlight building projects and have the celebrities who could use their fame to make a difference in the way Haiti construction is presented to the world.
We could invite Mike Holmes, the Canadian star of Holmes on Homes, whose motto is Make it Right. Mike could demonstrate the need to make the construction processes in Haiti right, this time around. Mr. Holmes could lend his name for better construction codes and oversight in developing countries like Haiti. His work in Canada demonstrates that he has a philanthropic attitude, so his creditability would be high in most circles.
Could Mike Holmes be the poster-boy for Haiti’s better concrete construction?We know that much of the rubble in Haiti is due to a poor application of the concrete recipe. Maybe we should find a reality show star like Chef Ron Duprat to highlight Haiti’s concrete problems. Chef Ron is a Top Chief on Bravo’s television series and is Haitian born. Ron could tell the story of using the proper ingredients in the correct proportions for producing a quality concrete mix. In addition, the top chef could suggest that using modern tools for concrete consistency is important, just like the need for blending machines in a professional kitchen.
Chef Ron might cook up some great improvements in Haitian construction practices…
If there is a definition of a dirty job, Haiti reconstruction would be at the top of the list. Rebuilding among the poverty, rubble and heat would put almost any other job-site to shame. So would Mike Rowe fit as the Martha Stewart of Haitian concrete construction? His celebrity status for the hard-working guy who takes on the difficult task is unmatched today. In his show, Dirty Jobs, Mike demonstrates the rugged individualization that will be needed by thousands of concrete entrepreneurs who will join the supply chain and rebuild Haiti.In addition Mr. Rowe understands the value of celebrity status in moving an important cause forward and keeping attention focused. If Haiti is to find its way to a more sustainable future it will need a great deal of attention directed toward improving the concrete supply chain. Mike Rowe’s fame, humor and candor would really make us all relate to the needs of our neighbors to the south.
We at CementTrust issue a challenge to celebrities to join us in drawing attention to the concrete construction needs of the poorest people in the western hemisphere.
Who knows… You could be known as the Martha Stewart of better concrete…