This Reuters photo shows the devastation in Haiti's capital of Port-au-Prince.
Responding to the Crisis in Haiti
The American Red Cross
Emily Davis ’99, senior director of financial development with the American Red Cross, Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter, says, “The American Red Cross, in partnership with Red Cross Haiti and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, is already on the ground in Haiti.” The groups are providing immediate relief in the form of food, clothing, shelter and medical services. The American Red Cross is currently deploying a Relief Emergency Response Unit team. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, as well as UN agencies and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are deploying teams to coordinate humanitarian assistance and provide search and rescue services.
For more information: www.redcross.org
Network for Good
This organization, profiled in the latest Haverford Magazine, is an online giving platform that makes it easy to support any charity, anywhere online. Network for Good, whose CEO Bill Strathmann, COO Katya Andresen and Sales Associate Benesha Bobo all graduated from Haverford, has processed over $5 million in Haiti relief donations to date and rushed an expedited payment to several charities so they can start using the funds right away for critical aid.
For more information: http://www1.networkforgood.org/help-haiti-quake-relief
World Food Programme
Charles Vincent ’77 writes: “I have been working for the World Food Programme [WFP] for over 25 years, in some of the most weather and conflict affected countries in the world. About 10 years ago I worked in Haiti, as country director for WFP. This earthquake is, proportionately to the population, probably one of the biggest natural disasters for the last 100 years--yes, 100. I am forwarding this link from the webpage of my organization and would like to know if Haverford could be a relay for the work my colleagues are trying to accomplish in Port au Prince and surrounding areas.”
Find out more at: www.wfp.org/students-help-haiti
The United Nations Population Fund
Ann Pettigrew Nunes '99, a former staffer at the UN Population Fund , says this organization is already at work in the field. “They have a permanent office (or had, I should say) in Haiti where they have been working on maternal and adolescent health for years.”
To find out more, visit www.unfpa.org
Rural Haiti Project
Tom Yarmon ’69 says he will be donating to this organization, which is responding to the devastation by raising funds for a solar water purification system (to try to help prevent water-borne disease outbreaks such as typhoid) and a mobile renewable power station that can serve as a medical post.
To find out more visit www.ruralhaitiproject.org/
The Mangrove Fund
The organization was co-founded by Bill Pierznik ’95. He and his wife Mary adopted a 3-year-old from Haiti last year. “In the midst of the current tragedy, we are going into high gear on fundraising to assist the local NGOs on the ground that we support,” says Pierznik. “We audit every dollar we spend and I guarantee that 100% of the money we collect will go directly to relief efforts.”
For more information, go to www.mangrovefund.org
Catholic Relief Services
American Friends Service Committee
Jon Evans ’77 worked for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) from 1988 – 2005. From 1984-87, he worked with Africare in Burkina Faso which had joint programming with CRS. In the past several years, he has done consulting work for the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). Here’s his take:
Personally, I am sending donations to Catholic Relief Services, my former employer, and to AFSC. I am particularly keen on CRS because I know that they and their local and global (Caritas Internationalis) partner organizations already have a strong presence in Haiti. CRS also has agency-wide emergency response expertise/staff that is/are being put into action immediately. The current CRS Country Representative (Karel Zelenka) and his predecessor (Bill Canny) are both very capable and experienced (both are also good friends of mine going back to the mid-80s). By some stroke of genius or luck or providence, Bill had been appointed as head of the CRS agency-wide emergency team when he was transferred out of Haiti to Baltimore headquarters only two months ago. See www.crs.org for more details about CRS’ Haiti response.
There are of course many other very strong and experienced agencies working in Haiti. Members of the Haverford community may have their own preferences or reasons for supporting any number of them. MSF (Doctors without Borders), Mercy Corps, CARE, Save the Children, and Oxfam are some of the many organizations I have cooperated/coordinated with through the years and come to respect/trust. This is probably already well-understood by the Haverford community, but I just wanted to be clear about another important aspect of the Haiti emergency response. One should, in my view, support only those agencies that adhere to international humanitarian standards such as those articulated in the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (the so-called SPHERE project standards -- see www.sphereproject.org).
The organizations I mentioned above all subscribe to international humanitarian standards. Among other things, that means that they provide relief assistance to those in need without any strings attached (i.e. they do not proselytize or demand any quid pro quo such as religious conversion in return for assistance), and they do not discriminate on the basis of religion/creed, ethnicity/race, nationality, etc. My experience tells me that what is needed now is cash donations. NGOs (at least of the CRS type), UN and governmental agencies will be focusing for the foreseeable future on sending in highly-qualified and experienced emergency staff. To try and send anyone else at this point risks taking up very limited, valuable space on planes and boats that are needed for both relief supplies and trained personnel. Cash donations allow organizations to focus on their strengths and to apply/adapt them to the local circumstances and needs.
Partners in Health
Melissa Dawson '85 shares an email from a friend involved in the field of social medicine: “Any of you who were thinking of making a donation somewhere to help the earthquake victims in Haiti might consider Partners in Health, which has been working with the poorest communities in Haiti for decades under the direction of Dr. Paul Farmer. “
For more information, go to www.pih.org/inforesources/news/Haiti_Earthquake.html
Kentucky Adoption Services
Elizabeth Dowling ’91, who is in the process of adopting a little girl from Haiti, says that Kentucky Adoption Services, which supports children in three orphanages in Port au Prince, is in need of help. “In the aftermath of the earthquake, the orphanages expect to have many more orphans with little additional space or resources to support them,” says Dowling. “Kentucky Adoption Services is working to get medical supplies, food and water to the orphans of Haiti and working to attempt to get emergency visas for those orphans already in process with American families. This will provide much needed space for those children that have been orphaned by the earthquake."
For more information, go to www.kentuckyadoptionservices.org.
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee's Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund
Rev. Ken Read-Brown '73, the minister of Old Ship Church in Hingham, Mass., writes, “We will be offering the congregation the opportunity this Sunday and into the future to donate to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee's Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund. Their focus will be on partnering with local organizations in Haiti to meet the needs of those who are less likely to be helped by the major relief organizations.”
For more information, go to www.uusc.org
American Refugee Committee
According to Holly Robbins ’91, a board member at the American Refugee Committee (ARC), the Twin Cities-based organization is mobilizing to help. “An ARC response team has been deployed to Haiti, led by ARC's Senior Director, who has lived and worked in Haiti,” says Robbins. “ARC has significant experience in responding to similar disasters such as the tsunami, the Pakistan earthquake, and Hurricane Katrina. ARC has technical capabilities and experience particularly related to health services, water and sanitation, emergency shelter, and resettlement. The Haiti response team will provide direct aid to the victims of this tragedy and will develop a plan for long-term recovery.”
For more information, go to www.arcrelief.org
Marianne (Smitty) Smith, Director of Residential Life at Haverford, suggests UNICEF as yet another organization currently on the ground in Haiti and worthy of support. Here is an update (as of 1/15) from the UNICEF website:
UNICEF’s response, coordinated with other UN agencies and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent is aimed at the children and women, who are the most vulnerable in times of crisis. Children under 18 make up nearly 50 per cent of the 10 million population of Haiti.
In the town of Jacmel this evening 2,500 kitchen kits and 5,000 1 litre bags of water will be distributed to enable the local population to prepare the food supplies by the World Food Programme. A cargo plane will land tomorrow containing $500,000 of supplies to assist 10,000 people, including oral rehydration salts to combat deadly diarrhea episodes, water purifications tablets, tarpaulins and tents to provide temporary housing.
UNICEF has released a total of $3.4 million toward the relief efforts from several emergency sources. The agency says that more funding, basic medical and health supplies, family kits/shelter and water hygiene and sanitation supplies are urgently needed.
For more information, go to www.unicef.org
David Michel ’01, a native of Haiti who is completing his medical residency at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York, reports that the institution’s GHESKIO center “has been in Haiti for two decades now providing clinical care to the Haitian people in consortium with the World Health Organization and the Haitian Ministry of Health. Although its medical complex has suffered some structural damages from the earth quake, it nonetheless has turned into a major hub for treating hundreds of victims.”
For more information visit The Center for Global Health website at www.med.cornell.edu/globalhealth
Jenna Mulhall-Brereton BMC ’96 reports that Geneva Global, the Radnor -based international development organization she works with, has created a Fund for Haiti. “We have developed a very innovative plan to bring portable solar powered energy units to Haiti for lighting, and charging phones and batteries,” she says. Mulhall-Brereton says the effort, which kicked off with a $100,000 grant from an anonymous donor, “complements large-scale relief efforts, makes use of long-standing partnerships with local nonprofits in Haiti, and provides people with light and and security, as well as the ability to communicate by phone and hear critical radio announcements.”
For more information, go to www.genevaglobal.com
Smaller organizations working in Haiti
Laura Smoot '04 reports:
I've been trolling the internet about the earthquake disaster in Haiti, and trying to learn more about how to support Haitian-led organizations which will need help in the coming days, months and years to heal, rebuild and advocate for more just policies within Haiti and between Haiti and the U.S. I thought I would share some of what I've been finding.
I don't claim any expertise on Haiti. But part of why I believe in supporting small organizations there is because I've worked for small community-based organizations in Philadelphia for almost ten years, and it's been the best way for me to work at making lasting, positive change. Here are a couple of the organizations and charities that people and sources I respect are putting forward as organizations with reputations for doing good work there. I think they might be more able than the Red Cross to put your money to direct and long-term work, and they're not getting as much publicity as the big organizations.
Haiti Emergency Relief Fund
Established by a group of folks who have been doing Haiti solidarity work since 1991, working closely with Haitians to build and support mass-based civic groups on the ground there-- unions, peasant cooperatives, schools, women's organizations and more.
“Committed to the rights of Haitian women and girls." www.dwafanm.org
International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights www.iglhrc.org
Seeds for Haiti
"An emergency initiative to prevent famine in Haiti and to create a 'seed bank' for Haitian farmers." www.seedsforhaiti.org
Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti
The Lambi Fund of Haiti
Supports economic justice, democracy and sustainable development in Haiti. www.lambifund.org
Someone I know through Quaker circles was there during the earthquake and working with this organization, a faith-based org that does a lot of different kinds of work and is also running news updates through their site. www.haitipartners.org
InterAction is a coalition of 150 humanitiarian organizations that Quaker and Quaker peace organizations have been working with. www.interaction.org
Prosthetics Outreach Foundation
Bernice Kegel, mother of Terry Kegel '03, is on the board of the Prosethetics Outreach Foundation. She says, "If anyone is interested in donating specifically to help amputees in Haiti, our organization is accepting those donations, which can be made online."
For more information: www.pofsea.org
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