A Secondhand Blog: Used Clothes and Haiti

  • Posted on: 13 February 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf
We call them secondhand clothes, hand-me downs, or more likely donations.  Doesn't matter what you call them, all will be processed in the same way and wind up in ports throughout the developing world where entrepeneurial women will buy bales and take them back to their villages and cities to sell on streets or in markets.  Once in the Haitian markets, they become kennedys, dead men's clothes, or more generically, pepe (used merchandise).   In much of the developing world, second hand clothes have become the national dress.   Shell and Bertozzi explores the pepe phenomena in a documentary called "Secondhand."

Can You Hear us Now? Cellular Phones Give Haitians a Voice

  • Posted on: 10 February 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

For too long, Haiti has been in a communication stranglehold.  Making a telephone call through the local Teleco station, when it worked, was a long and expensive ordeal.  Sending a letter was like buying a lottery ticket - better to send it on the "Diaspora Express" by handing it to someone you know going to the U.S.A.  But Haitians now have more communication options than ever before - the impact of cellular technology has been particularly dramatic. 

Haiti Networking Event- Miami, FL (March 15)

  • Posted on: 9 February 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Rotary Club of Miami hosted the first Haiti Networking Event last October in order to bring together organizations that provide assistance to the people of Haiti. The forum allowed for a greater understanding of the extent of aid being provided in various geographic areas of Haiti. More than 40 attendees, representing over 20 organizations, exchanged information in hope of developing partnerships. Several organizations had similar needs and concerns although many had different resources. This meeting became the perfect opportunity to promote discussion and collaboration to further expand projects in Haiti. The next networking event will be hosted by the Rotary Club of Miami and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines on March 15 in Miami, FL.

Biking Haiti

  • Posted on: 8 February 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

 I don’t fully realize why I put myself through it until days afterwards when the tightness subsides, the soreness in the muscles evaporates and the numbness of my body dissolves making movements like standing, sitting and walking possible without grunting or wincing. It is only after all this that I begin to recall and can share the stories of the many amazing people and encounters had along the road. And it is only after this that I have the mind to really appreciate the beauty of the experience. And equally be astonished by the absurd contrasts of unequivocal spirits against relentlessly hard living. The French poet and philosopher Andre Malraux after visiting Haiti for the first time decades ago said of it, “Surrealism finally has a country.”

IOM Releases Video on Child Trafficking and Abuse in Haiti

  • Posted on: 6 February 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is active in Haiti in a number of different areas. One if its priorities is the prevention of child abuse. In advance of a forum in Vienna next week organized by the UN Global Initiative to Fight Trafficking (UNGIFT), IOM releasd a video to raise awareness of the plight of an estimated 173,000 Haitian children internally trafficked for domestic servitude, known as Restaveks.

Jatropha World 2008 in Miami (June 10-11)

  • Posted on: 4 February 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The Singapore-based Center for Management Technology has been holding a series of conferences on Jatropha - what it is, what it can do, what it can't do. The next conference will be held in Miami on June 10th - 11th. For those interested in planting, harvesting, and processing the Jatropha plant in Haiti this could be an invaluable networking opportunity.

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