Haiti Micah Project Update (8/9/2008)

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

The Haiti Micah Project (HMP) was established in 2005 by Father Joseph Constant, a Haitian Priest who was born in Mirebalais and is now living and working in Virginia.  Like many in the Haitian Diaspora, Father Constant wanted to give back to his hometown and his country.  He established a feeding program for street kids and other vulnerable children as a first step toward meeting their basic needs which include shelter, water, health care, education, vocational training and spiritual/emotional support.  HMP is growing and this blog provides an update of their activities.

Human Rights, Water and Politics in Haiti

  • Posted on: 7 August 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

In taking a human rights-based approach to development, the final outcome of humanitarian aid should be to build the capacity of the Haitian government so -at some point- they can fulfill the basic rights of the Haitian people. Having said that, the efforts of international aid are reversed when policies (illegally) deny the Haitian government loans they intended to use in fulfilling Haitian's right to clean water. After filing a Freedom of Information Act, the RFK Memorial and Zanmi Lasante have released internal documents outlining US actions to block life-saving funds to Haiti. Hopefully some of their energy and work will improve the accountability of the international aid system. You can access the press release below...

Fonkoze Haiti Solidarity Conference in Miami (October 10-12, 2008)

  • Posted on: 3 August 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Fonkoze (Foundasyon Kole Zepol) has recently upgraded their website. One of the events being featured is a Haiti Solidarity Conference that will take place from October 10-12 at the Wyndam Miami Airport Hotel and Conference Center. The conference features speakers from the Grameen Foundation and the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, discussions on micro-finance, as well as Haitian music and theatre. The registration form is attached below.

Haiti's Lambi Fund Awarded Grant from Major Marketing Firm

  • Posted on: 2 August 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Last week, there was an announcement on Corbett's List that Lambi Fund had been awarded a grant by the Blue Print Creative Group.  This grant will help them to cultivate brand awareness, increase volunteerism, and stimulate corporate and private donations.  Americans are a generous people who make possible the work of scores of local and international organizations in Haiti.  However, support is often more forthcoming for natural disasters than the heavy lifting (capacity building, civil society strengthening, livelihoods) that is needed to help people feed themselves, manage their own emergencies, and become active leaders, instead of just aid recipients, who can address social problems. We hope that this grant will help them get the word about what they do and why it is important.

Thugs, Drugs, and Guns: Haitian Ex-Military Re-Emerge in the North

  • Posted on: 30 July 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Like the United States, Haiti has a military tradition.  Both countries won freedom through warcraft.  Sadly, the Haitian military went on to kill far more Haitians than all attacking forces combined.  The Haitian military degraded into an engine for corruption, human rights abuses, and coup after coup. Jean Bertrand Aristide disbanded the military in 1995 but they remain a threat as Jonathan Katz reminds us in the Miami Herald.  

USAID Announces Three Year Effort to Promote Literacy and Fight HIV/AIDS

  • Posted on: 29 July 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

USAID has just announced that literacy and fighting HIV/AIDS will be the focus of a new three year stabilization effort.  HIV/AIDS will be built into curricula and training will be provided for for teachers, school administrators, and inspectors.  If you've had any exposure to the Haitan education system(s), you know how important this is.  Food may be the key to the present, but education is the key to the future.  For more information, take a look at the main USAID website or the USAID/Haiti website.

Give a Hand to Haiti Through the American Express Top 25

  • Posted on: 29 July 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

American Express is hosting a competition on its website where users (you don't have to be a member) submit ideas that could have a positive social impact if given a little bit of funding.  $2.5 million will be divided among the top 25 projects.  Let's face it - this is mostly advertising for American Express but a little seed money can go a long way.  There is one worthwhile Haitian project concerning reforestation in Les Cayes but you could always submit an idea of your own.  The deadline is August 18th.

S.O.D.A. Volunteers Making a Difference in Port au Prince

  • Posted on: 28 July 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Though I haven't interacted directly with S.O.D.A (Sosyete Djòl Ansanm pou Demokrasi Patisipatif), I am intrigued.  SODA is a local organization, not an international NGO, that describes itself as "...a decentralized network of grassroots groups based in poor communities in that are dedicated to promoting voluntary and cooperative ways of organizing in the pursuit of social justice, economic self-sufficiency and universal education."  Their programs are ambitious and the website well done.  This organization is definitely worth a look.

Haiti Food Security Update (7/19/2008)

  • Posted on: 19 July 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Is the third time the charm? Prime Ministerial Candidate number three Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis was approved in a 61-1 vote in Haiti’s lower legislative chamber.  Sexism, homophobia, and power politics could yet derail this nomination. Haiti needs a Prime Minister in order to have a functional government that can tackle developmental challenges, chief among them food insecurity.