Haiti is suffering from the massive Jan 12 earthquake and needs our help. Below I've posted some first-hand accounts of the quake from people in Haiti. Please consider a donation to an organization in Haiti. If you would like to give directly to a Haitian family, please contact me (anna.versluis@gmail.com).

Saturday, January 16, 2010

How to help: Haitian organizations

The following are four smaller organizations that work in Haiti. They do not have international reputations, but they do impressive work in Haiti. They tend to have excellent Haitian leadership which, in my experience, makes for more successful programs. They are not search-and-rescue type organizations; they are going to be working hard in the long-term to rebuild Haiti.

National Human Rights Defense Network (RNDDH in French): This is the organization I worked for when I lived in Haiti. They’re absolutely amazing. I loved working for them. Unfortunately, their site doesn’t have any easy way to donate (except by sending an email—English is fine—to admin@rnddh.org), and most of the site is in French. The website has not been updated since the earthquake disaster. I’m guessing they have their hands full with other things right now.

The Lambi Fund: Lambi is the Haitian word for conch shell. Throughout rural Haiti, blowing into a conch shell is the traditional way to call people together—the sound is audible for quite some distance. (Though I do wonder if the cell phone revolution has put the conch shells out of business!) The Lambi Fund works in a wide variety of areas, from environment to micro-credit to leadership training.

Fonkoze: Fonkoze stands for “Fondasyon Kole Zepòl,” which means “Shoulder-to-Shoulder Foundation.” They are an “alternative bank” that provides micro-credit—small loans—to poor people in Haiti. This is an extremely important service in Haiti, and they have an excellent reputation throughout Haiti.

Beyond Borders: This organization is affiliated with Tony Campolo. I got to know them because I shared office space with them in Port-au-Prince. They always struck me as one of the most progressive, “with it” service groups in Haiti. They do excellent work in education and literacy especially.


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