As World AIDS Day fast approaches, now is a good time for us to pause and reflect what has been accomplished in 2007, what we've learned, and what still needs to be done.
Infant mortality is high in Haiti, needlessly so. According to the CIA Factbook, Haiti has the 38th highest infant mortality rate of 221 countries. Number 37 is the DRC! Clearly, more needs to be done to protect the health of children...the most vulnerable members of a vulnerable country.
I played too many video games as a child. This was before the age of the X-Box, Playstation, or the Wii. My first system was a VIC 20 and then a Commodore 64. Clearly, I am dating myself! Like most kids, I didnt know anything about international development or humanitarian issues. But video games might have been a good way to raise my awareness and get me thinking.
Auctions can be an excellent way for small organizations to raise seed money with which to start pilot programs. Sometimes these new programs will work, and can be expanded. Other times, the decision will be made to discontinue but it will still have been an important learning experience for the organization.
July Stand-by, August a Must, September Remember and October…OVER? Not in Haiti and certainly not now. In recent years the 10th and 11th months in Haiti are this educational weather ditty’s August, October and November a Must. As the rains have rearranged this hurricane jingle they have also rearranged Haiti’s rivers to destroy homes and lives, numerous Haitians are now living in temporary shelters.
MINUSTAH got off to a bad start. Initially, the force was content to sit back and guard government buildings while Port au Prince became increasingly unstable. The rationale was that they were there to keep the peace, not to be the national police.
We often write about the importance of education....for empowerment, for health, for business, for the environment, or in short, for change. Education is complementary, if not neccesary for success in all other sectors. Sadly, education is often neglected.
A few months ago, perhaps in August, I received an email in my inbox that was interesting enough not to delete but not enticing to read immediately. So it sat in my inbox until about a week ago. It was a link to an online game called Haiti The Cost of Life hosted on UNICEF’s website.
Below is an article I was reading in the International Herald Tribune entitled, "Haiti's Usually Raucous Day of the Dead Solemn After Flood Deaths". I was struck by a quote by Dessaville Espady who said "Each of these trees is a life spirit. The more trees we cut, the more we suffer"
Members of the Haiti Innovation Community are by now no doubt familiar with the organization Partners in Health and the pionerring work their team has done in Haiti bringing community based health care to the lowest possible resource settings, and in particular, developing novel new approaches to treating both HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis.