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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. 

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.

A War on Hunger in Haiti - What Would It Take?

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

I have seen several articles lately concerning the clay biscuits that the poorest of the poor in Haiti eat to make the hunger pangs subside. This is not a new phenomenon. Much of that clay comes from an area in between Hinche and Thomonde, where I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer.  We all know Haiti is desperately food insecure, but with hunger being such a complicated issue, do we know what to do in order to respond?  What would a Haitian “war against hunger” be like?

 

Rome Foundation to Bring Jatropha Nursery to Petit Goave

  • Posted on: 31 January 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Rome Foundation is a Tampa based non profit organization that is involved in building health care infrastructure and in promoting livelihoods in Haiti.  Its staff are active in the southern portion of the country and recently secured thirty acress of land in the Petit Goave Area.  They are currently raising funds for the establishment  of a Jatropha nursery - an innovative way to both fight erosion and create jobs at the same time.

UN Calls Water a Top Priority

  • Posted on: 27 January 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the world on Thursday to take action against water shortages.  Whether we are talking about global health, economic growth, or global peace,  how water is managed, used, and shared must be taken into account.  As a developmental and humanitarian issue alike, water shortages will need to be addressed nationally, regionally, and globally. 

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