Port-Au-Prince, Haiti — Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi, visited Haiti on a goodwill tour the last week of March 2012. He spent his five-day tour visiting a camp operated by Sean Penn’s J/P Haitian Relief Organization, leading a workshop with community leaders at Viva Rio, as well as talking with leaders from the United Nations and USAID.
While in Port-Au-Prince, Arun Gandhi also visited with Haiti’s First Lady, Premiere Dame Sophia Martelly to discuss the current situation in Haiti and begin a dialogue on how Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence can be implemented in the ongoing development work following the 2010 earthquake.
Arun Gandhi commented on his trip, “The media has been covering all the negative aspects of Haiti, and making it out to be a disaster since the earthquake, so you gather a picture of total hopelessness and that nothing is really happening. But because of my experience in this work all these years, I was sure there was something in the people that would be more positive.”
He continued, “So I came here with an open mind to see the country and learn from the people and share with them my experiences, understanding, and knowledge of my grandfather’s philosophy in the hope that it would make a difference in their lives and show them the way to get out of the mire they find themselves in because of these natural occurrences.”
Arun Gandhi spent two years living with jogar casino his grandfather in India as a teenager, and the time he spent with Mahatma Gandhi changed his life. Working for over thirty years as a journalist and serving as president of the Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute, Arun Gandhi is the foremost thought leader and teacher on Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence and how it translates into developing cultures around the world.
Arun Gandhi said, “A lot of people were involved in my presence here in Haiti. I am very grateful to OAS and Rodolfo Lima and William Merlo, who made it possible for me to be here. I am also grateful to Sean Penn and the J/P Haitian Relief Organization, and to everyone else who made my stay here a very worthy experience.
The Haiti goodwill tour was Arun Gandhi’s first visit to the country, and he said this is the beginning of an ongoing dialogue with the country’s political and NGO leadership about Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence and solutions for economic development and empowerment.
Full coverage of Arun Gandhi”s Haiti Goodwill Tour Be Magazine