Friday Special: Haiti

To be honest, my heart is grieving as I think of, read and see what happened in Haiti. I have no doubt that by now, you’ve all been informed of the earthquake and the rising death toll of over 50,000, as of today.

Can something good come out of such a tragic event? The only thing that gives me hope is to see countries from all over the world put their grudges aside, and come together like one man to provide assistance to the island. Quoting the French newspaper Le Monde, Nicholas D. Kristof expressed it best: “After 9/11, the French newspaper Le Monde declared: We Are All Americans. And after yesterday’s earthquake: Today, we are all Haitians.”

Technology is put to good use: texting Haiti to 90 999 is donating $10 to the Red Cross. Despite the fact that they do not necessarily pay their own bill, the simplicity of the gesture even allows teenagers to spontaneously participate in the relief effort.

Brief summary of ways to help, with a focus on organizations already established in Haiti:

  1. http://yele.org/: I’m adding back Wyclef’s foundation here, since I was finally able to locate its website. Please, note that they work with several other local organizations in Haiti. Wyclef Jean is a multi-platinum, grammy-winning musician, singer and record producer. According to last reports he is currently in Haiti, and I read about him heping pull bodies out of the ruins. Texting “Yele” to 501 501 will add $5 to your cell phone’s bill, and will translate in a donation of the same amount to the relief efforts.
  2. Albert Schweitzer Hospital is located 40 miles NW of Port-au-Prince (epicenter of the earthquake). The hospital has been providing health care and hosting medical staff volunteers for the past 54 years. The staff is currently working around the clock to help the victims: http://www.hashaiti.org/
  3. World Food Program, provides ready-to-eat food to the victims: http://www.wfp.org/
  4. Partners in Health: http://www.pih.org/
  5. Doctors Without Borders. The organization has helped over 2,000 injured so far, and needs to expand its surgical capacity. http://doctorswithoutborders.org/
  6. World Vision. WV offers the possibility to sponsor a child through their organization. Here is an information sheet they provide about the island. For donation to the relief effort, click here.
  7. SOIL. “Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting soil resources, empowering communities and transforming wastes into resources in Haiti.” Nicholas D. Kristof once highlighted their work in a video, while meeting two young Americans who volunteer there. for more information: http://www.oursoil.org/
  8. The Saint Luke Mission, in Haiti: The mission does much for children, providing for their education as well as health care. Here is general statement from their website: Poverty, ignorance, war, sickness, and hunger: These are ancient scourges that persist in modern times; robbing people of dignity by taking away the power they have over their own lives and dispelling hope. All of these afflictions cause untold suffering and humiliation among many throughout the world. Let’s come together and commit ourselves to fighting these threats for a better and more fulfilling life… one child at a time…” To learn more and donate: http://www.compassionweavers.com/
  9. IBBY (Internationatiol Board on Books for Young People), among other project, is dedicated to helping children in crisis in Haiti.
  10. I also wrote about them in an earlier post.

Last but not least, here’s a Haitian writer’s perspective on the situation. The following information is a courtesy SpeakEasy, one of the blogs showcased in Walls Street Journal. “Edwidge Danticat (note: pronounced Dahn-tee-kah), the recipient of a MacArthur “genius” grant and an Oprah’s Book Club author, is one of Haiti’s most acclaimed writers. (…) In this time of tragedy for Haiti, it’s worth noting that the country’s culture is far deeper than the bleak reports currently blanketing the news. (…) Danticat took the time today to recommend some books and music that people who are interested in Haitian history and arts should seek out in order to place the current disaster in a broader context.”

To read about Ms. Danticat’s reaction, as well as the books and music recommendation she was asked, for the whole article, click here.

Wishing you all a safe and fairly enjoyable weekend. Thank you for reading.

Nathalie

Edited 01/18/2010: Thanks to a link provided by author Olugbemisola on her Twitter account, which provides a resource for news and updates on her blog about the situation in Haiti; click on Mrs. Pilkington Knits.
Edited 01/20/2010 to add the Yéle foundation.
Update 01/23/2010: I’ll update the post as I receive links to add up to the list of ways to help. I thank Nicole Langan for telling me about Compassion Weavers!

Advertisements

About Nathalie Mvondo

Nathalie Mvondo lives in Northern California. She is a writer, a blogger, a community organizer and a social entrepreneur.
This entry was posted in Miscellaneous and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Friday Special: Haiti

  1. linda covella says:

    Thanks, nathalie. so tragic…

    Like

  2. Pat Kahn says:

    When it is so easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless in the face of such a catastrophe, you’ve given us tools with which to help. Many thanks.

    Like

  3. Cheryl says:

    Thanks for the information Nathalie. I am donating to the Red Cross. This is such a tragedy and I am deeply saddened. Let’s all try to remember our duty to humanity. We all must help. Thanks for your eloquence Nathalie.

    Like

  4. michelle says:

    Thank you for commenting on my blog, which brought me to your blog. I’ve donated and watched the clip-thank you for making this so accessible. It is a heart-wrenching tragedy, of which it is difficult to know exactly how to help. When we first heard about the earthquake I told my family around the dinner table how I wished I could just fly there and help do something…anything. I look forward to reading your blog!

    Like

    • Hi Michelle, so kind of you to stop by! I understand how you feel. I talked with my family, and they had the same reaction…
      I’m glad I found your blog through MotherReader and Lee’s challenge. I look forward to your upcoming posts as well. 🙂

      Like

  5. Anne M Leone says:

    Thanks for publicizing this useful list. Just a note: read an article this morning raising concerns for Wyclef Jean’s charity:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/sns-ap-us-haiti-wyclef-jean,0,5725106.story

    Like

    • Hi Anne,

      I read the article; thank you for bringing it to my attention. The first thing that I noticed when I put the list together, was that his foundation didn’t seem to have a website (i.e. which does allow transparency in how much is received, what projects are funded, etc… It did puzzle me, but then he’s been receiving so much press) Then I read that he was apparently working with three other organizations.

      I still applaud his efforts, but will take it off the list. I hope that his charity’s situation improve in the future.

      Thanks again…

      Like

  6. Tina Lee says:

    Thanks for the post and the Danticat link. And the clip. I also have been so touched at the speed at which people seem to be responding. It’s nice to see something hopeful happening.

    Like

  7. Barrie Summy says:

    Thank you for all the links and for putting so much time into this post. It is such a sad, sad situation.

    Like

  8. Nathalie;
    your post is so important. I appreciate having a list of different organizaitons to donate too….but really, really want to do more. It is heartbreaking!

    Like

  9. Karen Strong says:

    Thanks for posting these links, Nathalie.

    Me and my co-workers are still raising money for charity and our company has told us that they will match what we raise.

    I’m trying to find other ways to help out as well during the rebuilding of Haiti. My hope is that maybe the infrastructure of this country (education, buildings, medical care, etc.) can be better than before.

    Like

  10. Pingback: BBAW Registration « Multiculturalism Rocks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s