Friday, February 5, 2010

Why Haiti Should Beware Professional Do-Gooders


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via Home on 2/5/10

The recent earthquake revealed several interesting facts about Haiti, one of them being that the nation has the highest number of local NGOs per capita in the world. The heavy presence of humanitarian and anti-poverty NGOs in the small country - which is also one of the poorest and worst developed in the Western hemisphere - begs a few questions: doe the presence of NGOs hinder Haitian efforts in pursuing development and self-sustainability? If there are more local NGOs in Haiti than any other, then why has it never managed to pull itself out of the quandary of chronic poverty and underdevelopment? As the Haitian government struggles to recover and respond to the recent calamity, increased involvement of foreign players triggers troubling concerns regarding its sovereignty.


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Haiti after the earthquake.


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via Slate Magazine by Michael Deibert on 2/5/10

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti—Haiti's radio journalists, many of whom have long experience of operating under dictatorships and elected governments with little tolerance for critical press coverage, know a thing or two about adversity. But nearly a month ago, when Haiti's capital was devastated by an earthquake that leveled large sections of the city and killed at least 150,000 people, local reporters were suddenly faced with a whole new set of challenges."We try and orient people to where aid is being distributed, and every day we announce messages about people who are still missing," says Wendell Theodore, the silken-voiced news director of Radio Metropole in the capital's Delmas region. His own home destroyed, Theodore now broadcasts the names of the missing from under a tree in the radio station's yard, next to the tent he has slept in since his house collapsed."I saw our building shake," says Rotchild Francois, director of the capital's RFM radio in the Pétionville district, who was at his desk in the studio when the earthquake struck and dashed into the street with a dozen other employees. The station lost a reporter in the quake and was knocked off the air for five days. Reporters from Radio Galaxie, Radio Magic 9, and Radio Télé Ginen were also killed.Francois now spends his days combing the capital, trying to paint an audio picture of what is happening and to get information on the air about where aid is being distributed, the location of feeding and medical centers, and other important information. Many of the station's employees, fearful of aftershocks, refuse to enter the building.

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Haiti - Port-au-Prince - Earthquake - Caribbean - Pétionville


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Fwd: Just arrived in Port-au-Prince

  View this email as a web page.
Clinton Foundation

Clinton FoundationZeeshan,

Flying into Port-au-Prince for the second time since the earthquake -- I was pleased to see continued signs of an expanding relief effort.

Today, I'll help my team deliver the emergency supplies we brought with us on our plane.

Donation by donation, it's the generosity of people like you that is keeping this relief effort going. And your continued dedication is what will make sure the Haitian people have the tools and supplies they need to rebuild.

As you read this, work is underway to deliver meals, set up temporary shelters, and restore access to health services for earthquake survivors. I'm proud that today we were able to deliver laptops, generators, plastic sheeting, protein bars, and 1,900 lbs of medical supplies.

And it's not going to stop there.

Long after the television crews have gone and emergency response teams have returned to their home countries, I can promise you the Clinton Foundation will remain committed to Haiti's long-term rebuilding and recovery.

We will work with reputable organizations, the Haitian government, and most importantly the people of Haiti to ensure that they are empowered to create more opportunities for jobs, education, and health care than existed the day before this tragedy occurred.

There is a Haitian proverb, "Men anpil chay pa lou," which translates as "Many hands lighten the load."

It's going to take a lot of help and a long time, but I know that together you and I can lighten the load that the Haitian people have carried on their own for far too long.

I'll continue to be in touch as our work continues here in Port-au-Prince and beyond.

Bill Clinton

PS. Only with your continued generosity will we be able to sustain these efforts. Please make a donation of any size today:

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The Clinton Foundation seeks to address some of the world's more pressing challenges -- such as HIV/AIDS, global climate change, and extreme poverty -- through collaborative and systematic effort.
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White "Savior-Afflicted" Christians, Black Haitian Babies: This Won't End Well


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via Main RSS Feed by Devona Walker, AlterNet on 2/5/10

Would the Baptists accused of taking Haitian kids out of the country illegally have tried to pull this off in a predominantly white country? Doubtful.


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