Lakou Mizik Entertains a Delayed Flight With Impromptu Concert

  • Posted on: 16 August 2016
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

In Haiti, most people travel around in tap-taps - pick up trucks that cram people, both sitting and standing, into the back.  It can be crowded and uncomfortable but talking, telling stories, and sharing jokes makes the time go by. I thought about this when Lonely Planet posted a story about Lakou Mizik being on a flight that was delayed six hours. The band jumped up and gave an impromptu concert.

The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves Launches Five Year Program in Haiti

  • Posted on: 29 June 2016
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

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 thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions.  At present, 93% of Haitian households cook with wood fuels - a major, ongoing driver of deforestation. The Alliance has launched a five year plan to improve access to clean cooking alternatives in Haiti. If you have partners or staff interested in working with them, contact information follows.  

Female Entrepeneur is a "Professor of Toilet Paper" in Haiti

  • Posted on: 25 June 2016
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Toilet paper is something that it is not adequately appreciated until one does not have it - and forty percent of Haitians do not. Myrtha Vilbon, with support from USAID, has grown her toilet paper production facility significantly. While Haiti is not yet an easy place to do business, she has done well, with over 100 employees (70 of them women) in her factory. The full article by the Miami Herald's Jacqueline Charles follows. 

Haitian Ministry of Health Launches New HIV/AIDS Campaign

  • Posted on: 25 June 2016
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The Haitian Ministry of Health and its partners have launched a new HIV/AIDS campaign focused on raising awareness, rapid testing, and treatment.  With the support of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, TB, and Malaria and other donors, Haitians can be tested and treated for free.  Stigma and discrimination, especially against women and members of the LGBT community, remain challenges.  Courtesy of AFP, more information about the campaign follows.

Eliminating Lymphatic Filariasis in Haiti

  • Posted on: 14 June 2016
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Below is an article from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about lymphatic filariasis (LF) in Haiti. While Haiti is one of only four countries in the Americas where LF is found, progress is being made toward elimination.  Many partners are working together to that end including the Haitian Ministry of Health, the CDC, USAID, IMA World Health, the University of Notre Dame, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  More information follows.    

Haiti's Centre d'Art Is Being Reinvented

  • Posted on: 1 June 2016
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Art is perhaps Haiti’s only inexhaustible resource. Generations of artists have carried on Haiti’s artistic traditions although political instability limited opportunities available to them. Louise Perrichon and Pascale Monnin are now leading an effort to recreate the Centre d’Art in Port au Prince which was destroyed in the earthquake.  Its mission will remain the same – to find, mentor, and promote young Haitian artists. David McFadeen's full article follows.  Learn how to get involved at the Centre d’Art website (in both French and English). 

Timberland Explores Feasibility of Organic Cotton Production in Haiti

  • Posted on: 3 May 2016
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

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.  

 

Radio in Haiti is the Heartbeat of Communities

  • Posted on: 25 April 2016
  • By: Bryan Schaaf
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

  • Posted on: 25 April 2016
  • By: Bryan Schaaf
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

  • Posted on: 22 April 2016
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

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. 

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