May 16


 May 16

by admin

The H-web since 2007

The seed for The H-web was planted in 2007. That year, the Lernout and Hauspie fraud trial started. I looked in the mirror and I thought, “Wuk nu, Pol?” Now what? I felt very hard that I wanted to give something back to the community. In any way I could. I wanted to make things right, or at least better. I was living in Cape Town at the time. Out of a population of five million, about one and a half million people live in cardboard boxes in the townships. The average income per cup per day there is 60 cents. They can’t survive with that. If you give people money, it helps for a while in acute situations. But in the long run they become dependent on their lender. This can lead to unhealthy power games. But if you share knowledge, experience, and insight, you give people the power to save themselves and stand on their own two feet. It’s a win/win situation, because those who share also enrich themselves with new insights and knowledge. And it gives so much satisfaction. That’s what I wanted to do: help people in the townships in Africa to start their own, sometimes small, business. For example, we put a woman who wanted to start a meat stand in contact with a Fleming who had worked in the meat industry all his life and who shared his knowledge and experience with her.



And by helping a single person, you help the community. Because a village with entrepreneurs creates work and income for many others. Small SMEs are the great employers of this world. With The H-Web we want to offer people a first and a second chance. Many people in Africa never even get a decent first chance; they spend their lives fighting to survive, for 60 euro cents or less a day. By helping them to start their own business, they can create work for others and give their children a better education. This is how you create a middle class. It is the middle class that consumes and makes the world go round. But people also deserve a second chance. I experienced that firsthand when I was in prison. My nickname there was Bill Gates; they knew my past as an entrepreneur. On the walk, people came to me for advice. I remember a conversation with an inmate who said, “How am I ever going to get a job again? I’ve been ‘in the tank,’ who’s going to want to hire me?” He had two choices, he said: start something on his own or go back to dealing drugs. He had good ideas for business, but those ideas cost money. People like that also deserve a chance, a second chance to get their lives back on track. That is another part of my vocation: to train people in prison to start their own business. I have been doing this in Africa for fifteen years now.

The need



We see in Africa especially a great need for training. That’s what we’re pushing hard for with The H-Web. And we share testimonies of people who have seized their opportunity. A waiter in Johannesburg lost his job because of the corona crisis. From his own kitchen he started baking and selling cookies and he is making a good living from it. We want to highlight such examples to give people courage. To show that it is possible, that there are people who do it! I firmly believe that people are good in themselves. People enjoy sharing their knowledge and insights. This makes them feel useful and valued and gives meaning to their lives. I also see this in the many volunteers of The H-Web. Giving and sharing, that’s like seeing. That is the opposite of fear and greed, the fear and greed that is destroying the Western world. People no longer know the essential difference between having and being. They think they are what they have. And they want more and more. If you suddenly have nothing, then who are you? I can speak about that myself.




“Everyone deserves a first as well as a second chance.” Pol Hauspie, founder The H-web Materially I don’t own anything anymore, but every day I just enjoy being there. That I can see and that I can give. My knowledge and experience are an enormous wealth that no bailiff can ever seize. In sharing this lies great happiness. That is pure spiritual gain. My whole life seems to have been a learning experience to finally do what I do now. I feel like I am just now graduating.

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