Timberland Explores Feasibility of Organic Cotton Production in Haiti

By Bryan Schaaf on Tuesday, May 3, 2016.

Timberland has made significant investments in reforestation in Haiti, which you can learn about in the documentary "Kombit: The Cooperative". Timberland's persistence and partnerships have resulted in five million trees (many of them fruit-bearing) being planted.   According to The Guardian, Timberland is also supporting a feasibility study to determine if Haiti could become a significant producer of organic cotton. Cotton production is not without its challenges and the jury is still out as to whether it is a crop that makes sense for Haiti. The full article follows below.   Read more »

Radio in Haiti is the Heartbeat of Communities

By Bryan Schaaf on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Read more »
Finding a television in rural Haiti is not easy. Finding something worth watching is even harder.  Yet even the most rural village has radio coverage.  Radio is critical for staying connected - to the news, happenings in Port au Prince, to political dialogue, and to the outcomes of soccer games when favored teams are playing. Miami Herald writer Carmen Cuesta Roca notes below that legislation has been drafted to recognize and legalize community radio stations.  This would create a more welcoming environment for community radio although the challenge of financial sustainability remains. 

Slaying of Three Deaf Women Highlights Vulnerability

By Bryan Schaaf on Monday, April 25, 2016.
Read more »
Below is an article by AP Writer David McFadden regarding the brutal murder of three deaf women in Leveque.  It is not yet clear why the women were murdered.  However, people living with disabilities in Haiti are often stigmatized, isolated, and abuses committed against them ignored by the justice system. The murders have attracted widespread attention, the families have legal representation, and the Cabaret Police have three people in custody and are searching for two more. While nothing will bring the women back, apprehending and prosecuting the killers could send a message that such abuses will no longer be ignored.  

WFP Will Assist One Million Haitians Affected By Drought

By Bryan Schaaf on Friday, April 22, 2016.


The World Food Programme (WFP) has launched an emergency appeal to assist one million Haitians affected by prolonged drought made worse by El Niño.  According to WFP, 3.6 million people face food insecurity.  Haiti struggles to feed itself even in the best of times due to deforestation, erosion, vulnerability to natural disasters, land tenure issues, lack of modern equipment and techniques and questionable aid and trade practices.  WFP will rely not only on food distributions but also cash assistance so beneficiaries can buy the food they need locally. WFP’s efforts are needed, welcomed, and worth supporting  - as is the long-term development of domestic agriculture.  Read more »

U.S State Department Releases 2015 Human Rights Report for Haiti

By Bryan Schaaf on Wednesday, April 20, 2016.

The U.S. State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL) is mandated to release annual country-specific human rights reports that address individual, civil, political, and worker rights, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The 2015 report for Haiti is linked and copied below. There have been some modest improvements from last year - for example in improving oversight of the police.  However, there is a long way to go in reforming the justice system, corrections, and protecting the rights of women, children, and the disabled. Post your thoughts about human rights in Haiti below.   Read more »

Partners in Health To Open New Reference Laboratory in Mirebalais

By Bryan Schaaf on Monday, March 21, 2016.

Three years ago, Partners in Health (Zanmi Lasante) and the Haitian Ministry of Health opened a major research, training, and practice hospital in Mirebalais.  As part of this complex, Zanmi Lasante is opening a new reference laboratory.  What this means for patients is a quicker diagnosis, better treatment, and more positive health outcomes.  Learn more about Partners in Health's work in Haiti here.   Read more »

Hesperian Releases Zika Prevention Guide in Kreyol

By Bryan Schaaf on Friday, March 18, 2016.

Hesperian has released a wide variety of free health guides including "Where There is No Doctor" or what Peace Corps volunteers with too much time on their hands to analyze their maladies call "Where There is a Hypochondriac."  Their latest guide on understanding and preventing Zika is available in English, Portugese, French, and Haitian Kreyol.  The guide is will be updated on a regular basis.  More information about Hesperian and ways to support them below.   Read more »

Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves Partners with Haitian Chef Ron Duprat

By Bryan Schaaf on Friday, March 4, 2016.
Read more »
The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a public-private partnership hosted by the UN Foundation to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and protect the environment by creating a global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions.  The Global Alliance recently announced that Haitian Chef Ron Duprat is joining the Chef Corps - culinary advocates from around the world who raise awareness about alternatives to cooking with open fires and traditional cookstoves.  More information follows.
 

As Drought Hammers Countryside, Many in Haiti go Hungry

By Bryan Schaaf on Wednesday, February 24, 2016.

Many countries throughout the world are stuggling with drought and food insecurity related to El Nino.  According to FEWS-NET agricultural production in Haiti is fifty percent below normal and coping mechanisms are being exhausted. Associated Press reporter David McFadden's describes the impact that food insecurity is having on parts of the Haitian countryside. The full article follows.  Read more »

NPR Music Review: RAM (Manman M Se Ginen)

By Bryan Schaaf on Friday, February 19, 2016.


For me, Haiti will always conjure up sounds of rara music. Rara is Haitian street music, often celebrated during Catholic and Vodoun holidays, with a rhythm that is almost hypnotic.  Rara can be both celebration and resistance. NPR recently reviewed RAM - a Haitian band that has long combined elements of rock and rara.  Listen to the review here or read the transcript below. Better yet, go see them perform at the Hotel Oloffson in Port au Prince.  Read more »