Wednesday, January 12, 2011
For Haiti's ten million and for the Diaspora's four million, last year's earthquake was the shock of a lifetime. We pause today to remember, reflect and mourn. In a brief minute, Haitian friends and families from all over the world were brought together in worry for each other's fate, and in wonder at the natural forces that rule us all. Hundreds of thousands of lifetimes were ended, and hundreds of thousands more became immediately preoccupied with the plight of the survivors. After a year now, we are still worried about Haiti's fate and the plight of the survivors because the condition of both seem to be essentially unchanged, if not worse.
Individually, Diaspora leaders, community organizations, schools and colleges, businesses and government agencies did what they could in the first months, mostly by themselves, with their own money, their own logistics, their own networks of emergency suppliers and shippers. Of course, the costs were grueling, added to the heavy burden of remittances that continued unabated. All during this time, even up to today, no government or charity came to the Diaspora with requests to lead the way; this despite the fact that hundreds of millions of dollars were available and some of it, in the expert hands of Haitians abroad, could have accelerated rescue and recovery had they only been asked for help. After a year, no government or charity has offered a satisfactory explanation for their exclusion of Haitians abroad. Meanwhile, giant contracts for every imaginable relief and development project continue to be awarded to others, most of whom do not know Haiti, nor the culture, nor the social and political system that regulates progress every inch of the way.
In late March, while corpses were yet being discovered and then buried in mass graves, a Federation of individuals and organizations was created, intent on unifying the Diaspora for the cause of Haitian recovery and the well-being of communities abroad. The burden of working in the absence of many Haitian colleagues whom we will never see again, has been great. Their memories contribute to the motivation, their foreshortened lives compel us to carry on.
Haiti has not been saved; far from it. And as criticism of the world's humanitarian response sounds loudly and constantly over the airwaves and in private conversation whenever we return from the poor country, a change in attitude may be occurring. Non-Haitians are beginning to realize that Haitian involvement in Haitian crises is essential, and it makes little difference whether those participants are nationals or emigrants. Recent meetings with foreign officials confirm that the once-confident first responders are struggling to repair a country they don't quite understand. At the same time we offer them counsel, we remind them that actions speak louder than words. The Diaspora has been ready and willing; it is time for those who have authority and resources to put their offers on the table. Next year's earthquake remembrance should not be clouded by the obstacle of exclusion. As a practical matter, and ultimately, the Haitian Diaspora will be among the major cast of characters in Haiti's recovery.
We wish the survivors long life, peace and tranquility. Haiti is too good a country to waste, too good a democracy to hold back, too long in existence not to claim its rightful place on the world stage.
MR. STUART M. LEIDERMAN
P.O. Box 1055, Concord, New Hampshire 03302 USA
ph 603.776.0055 firstname.lastname@example.org
To see pictures on Boston.com please visit: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/01/haiti_one_year_later.html
CHES still strongly believes that it can help the country most by sticking to its mission and we are currently working with CHES Haiti on business plans. This Sunday(January, 16, 2011) at Roxbury Community College from 4-9 PM, CHES will be part of a Boston city-wide event to commemorate the lives of the victims affected. Come out and support. For more information, visit the link. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1015763152&sk=friends#!/event.php?eid=115043008566339
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Conversations that I had with Haitians and foreigners residing in the country revealed that the organizations have come in offering homeowners renter fees well over the market rate therefore jacking up housing rent. Many people have had to take to the streets because they are unable to meet the new increases to their rent.
I was surprised to see that all nice properties and even the nicer hotels were occupied my countless different nonprofit entities. I paid the highest car rental fee in my life (being well traveled throughout the world) for vehicles that barely run because the nonprofit organizations came in and rented out all of the car rental companies at top dollar therefore causing transportation costs to rocket as well!
It was such a saddening paradox to see that the help for Haiti is helping the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer. I definitely do not want to take away from the organizations that have gone into the country and have really affected some positive change but there is a serious issue that has arisen as well by nonprofits taking up space in the country and aren't really helping in the end.
See this Yahoo article on this subject:
Monday, October 18, 2010
He does present a compelling argument that I believe is worth thinking about but at the same time, to me, he is just presenting something old with new words.
Monday, April 19, 2010
CHES US and CHES Haiti worked together to help 100+ Families!
Earthquake Victims Receive CHES Donations
The CHES Basic Needs Drive for Haiti began as a an email campaign with a letter template for individuals to take to their work places and local companies to set-up collection sites. This model proved to be very effective way to engage individuals and organizations. Among the participating organizations were Chartwells at Northeastern University, Harvard University, Excalibur Food Dehydrators, Chef Robert LLC, Bentley University, MassArt, Phoenix University, The Liberty Hotel, and Children's Hospital.
From January 26 to March 6, 2010, CHES collected 200+ boxes at equaled 5,411 pounds of food, clothing, shoes, medical supplies, toiletries, etc. These donations left the US for Haiti on a Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ship free for charge for Labadee Beach in Northern Haiti on March 19, 2010. They arrived to Haiti on March 26 but due to torrential rain caused the roads to become unusable, CHES Haiti was unable to pick up these boxes until the following week.
We are so proud of our Haitian brothers and sisters in CHES who sent us a detailed distribution plan and a report out of the actual distribution. CHES Haiti repacked the donations for distribution day and organized the distribution by calling the earthquake victims in the area and giving them time slots to come and collect a box for themselves. They distributed 145 boxes made up for a five person family and 115 boxes made up for an individuals. With your help, CHES has touched over 300 lives. To see more pictures, visit our Facebook site.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
CHES is looking to raise just $5,000 that can really go a long way in this effort. Sadly at the Universite Chretien du Nord D'Haiti (UCNH), over 100 of their students lost their families, homes and their financial means to pay for their higher education at UCNH due to the earthquake. If we are to have a part in rebuilding Haiti's economy, then we must support the education of the people. They will be the most critical part of the country's recovery and will lead to the self-sustaining Haiti we want to see.
CHES is looking to pick up where it left off on our mission oriented work before January 12. We were working on helping a group of entrepreneurs in the rural town of Semine/Limbe, Haiti draft a business plan for a poultry farm and help raise the money to start up their business! We wish to resume this work which will become more critical then ever in Haiti.
Frantz Verella, Haiti's former Minister of Public Works stated that it is critical to rebuild the rural towns and create jobs in these places before rebuilding the capital. He also spoke about the importance of having strong major universities in the rural areas of Haiti as the population of countryside of Haiti is rising exponentially. CHES is happy to have been already aligned with this view and taking action. However, we cannot do it alone.
WE NEED YOUR FINANCIAL HELP! PLEASE DONATE!
If you are unable to support us financially, you can support us by joining our team. We are looking to fill the following positions:
• Fund Developer
Any time and effort you commit will make CHES that much more effective in its impact and reach in Haiti. Please contact us if you are interested in committing a small portion of your time.