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Haiti

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by downndirty, Jan 15, 2010.

  1. downndirty

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    So, this little country is in the news even where I am. I almost started crying when I saw the pictures (<a class="postlink" href="http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/01/haiti_48_hours_later.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/0 ... later.html</a>). Jesus Christ, that stuff is purely horrible, an absolute nightmare. The US has pledged $100M to the relief effort and the entire world is pitching in, it seems.

    FOCUS: Haiti. Anyone been? Anyone joining or know someone that's a part of the relief effort? Legit places to donate money? I can vouch for personally working with Engineers Without Borders and Doctors Without Borders, and they are top-notch.

    ALT-FOCUS: Ever been affected by a natural or large-scale disaster? Tell your story. What are the issues that we're not seeing or hearing about from the mainstream media?
     
  2. Nettdata

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  3. Crazy Wolf

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    I've heard very good things about Dr. Paul Farmer and the organizations he's related with. Although it's not directly related to this specific disaster, Haiti has been the place where joy commits suicide for a while. He does good work in fixing up sick people and fighting disease, and this earthquake's going to make whatever infrastructure in-country even worse, making it even tougher for diseased Haitians.
     
  4. Sean Daley

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    The church I grew up in is heavily tied with mission work in Haiti, specifically a mission group called HAFF (Haitian-American Friendship Foundation) which is located like 70 miles from Port-au-Prince (the capital). When I was a sophomore in high school I went there for a week with a group of 10 other high school kids to deliver school supplies to schools around the area, we painted a couple schools, and we put on a huge soccer tournament for the local kids (there were easily 200 kids there of varying ages, and they could not have been having more fun that day). The schools we saw were basically just a shelter you would see at a park. Beams around the edge holding up a roof. No walls to separate classes. No individual desks (they would have been better off if they had picnic tables or something at least). The way they separated the different classes was by which direction they looked. So I could be in 5th grade, but sitting next to a 3rd grader, and the only difference is that we would be facing opposite directions. Students were lucky to have a notebook and more than one pencil to write with.

    Where we stayed had no running water. No electricity (although they had a generator that lit up one light and a refrigerator and freezer. The shower was a 50 gallon drum that would be filled with water in the morning, warm up during the day and be warm for our (very limited) showers at night. Houses around the area were lucky to have a roof, and the children that run around the dirt roads would be lucky to have two shoes, a shirt, and some type of shorts/pants - it was very very rare to see a kid fully dressed.

    The people I met (not including the missionaries running the HAFF program) lived off an average of $300/year, yet were some of the happiest and most gracious people I've ever come by. I am truly saddened that this type of disaster happened to a country already in such despair.

    Since most of the main hospitals collapsed in the capital, people are traveling to get any medical help they can, and HAFF is thinking of turning their property into what would basically amount to a refugee camp. My old church is trying to secure a couple of seats on an aid flight that is heading down there next week to go help the HAFF group and help however possible.
     
  5. Beefy Phil

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  6. fubar

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    I use Direct Relief International: <a class="postlink" href="http://www.directrelief.org/EmergencyResponse/2010/EarthquakeHaiti.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.directrelief.org/EmergencyRe ... Haiti.aspx</a>

    100% of your donation goes to the cause.
     
  7. downndirty

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    One of my friends told me this today: "Paul Farmer is public health's poster child. He's amazing." Good call, and he got his start in Haiti, supposedly at one point going door to door to get his organization started.
     
  8. Noland

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    I've never been, but, since my French ancestors were chased out of there in 1791 as a result of the slave rebellion I assume I have family there, however distant.

    What you aren't seeing from the mainstream media is anything even remotely practical for anyone affected by the earthquake. I watched CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and any other 24 hour news channel I could find for 12 hours a day when we evacuated for Katrina and all I learned was that George Bush doesn't care about black people.

    When I snuck back in to the city 2 weeks after Katrina I miraculously had my cable back up and learned more from the local news stations that were operating out of Baton Rouge than I had learned from countless hours of CNN.

    The mainstream media both sucks and blows.
     
  9. taikaviitta

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    Unlike Wyclef Jean's charity. What a cunt.
     
  10. dubyu tee eff

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    For those of us who don't have enough money to make contribution, or want to help in a way that is easy and free, try this link out: <a class="postlink" href="http://chrisblattman.com/2010/01/14/whats-even-better-than-giving-money-to-haiti/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://chrisblattman.com/2010/01/14/wha ... -to-haiti/</a>

    Write a brief message to the white house in support of granting Haitians TPS status.

    TPS status is outlined here: <a class="postlink" href="http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=848f7f2ef0745210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=848f7f2ef0745210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/ ... 2ca60aRCRD</a>
     
  11. swagger

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    Let me say that I don't think that donating money to such a thing is a bad thing, BUT I can't help to wonder in 2-3 months when we have forgot all about these poor people: How much the money have helped them? Sure people have helped them rebuild there society to what? Their society was, as you know, incredible corrupt and an economy which is comparable with my cock a sunday morning after drinkin' heavily. This it still will be. I think my point is that I think it's sad that it takes a disaster to make people wake up and help.

    FOCUS: Never been to Haiti and to be honest I never think I will.

    ALT-FOCUS: In Denmark we don't really have any disasters. We've had a couple of storms that had awesome power. But it happens very rare and they only do some material damage. We had a earthquake in 2009 which measured 4.8 on the richterscale. Most people slept trought it, including myself - but the medie hyped it like we almost all died.
     
  12. JProctor

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    Why is there no betting thread? The latest report I saw had between 50-100k dead, and I will be taking the over.

    Focus: Haiti and the DR would be a great place to vacation. When I was small my family would go to places like Morocco and Mexico, spending half the time at a resort and the other half exploring the nearby cities. Post-quake Port au Prince would be fascinating from a people-watching perspective.
     
  13. Beefy Phil

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    You're not wrong. It's terrible that it took something like this to turn the eyes of the world on Haiti, and it's entirely possible that once the media frenzy dies down, it will be forgotten again. In the meantime, donations are helping to feed, clothe and shelter people who were victims of that corrupt government and unstable economy, and are now being further victimized by a natural disaster for which said government had no viable contingency.

    Look, I'm the most fervent cynic you'll ever meet. I think the likelihood of Haiti wallowing in it's destruction for the next several decades is quite strong, and that its leaders probably won't take this opportunity to stop bleeding the country dry. But I'm all about giving them the chance to change and better themselves. They have to be alive to do that. That's what the money is for, at this point. Just keeping them alive long enough to begin to try and change. That's worth $10 in my eyes.
     
  14. Guy Fawkes

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    My buddy noticed something interesting when they're showing the rubble and damage.

    None of the building appear to be constructed with any type of rebar, just concrete blocks stacked and cemented.

    I went to Haiti for two days a few years ago when I was sailing out of the Dominican. Great people but a complete shit hole. Corruption is a way of life there. It'll be a miracle if even a 10th of the money makes it to the people who really need it. If there was ever an excuse to take over a country this would be it.
     
  15. Calvinism

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    Funny story actually. A good friend of mine is also named Paul Farmer (Not the same as the humanitarian.) He also did business in Haiti for the better part of 10 years and traveled there at least twice a month if not more for that time. Apparently 95% of the time he went there he had some kind of concierge ask if he was the"Dr. Paul Farmer". I've never been there but from what he tells me the majority of the country is a shithole, with a handful of good people. That isn't to say they're evil people, just that a high percentage of them lack a strong work ethic. (He ran packing plants there and employed hundreds of Haitians at double the going rate, and even at that he said very few of them could be counted on.)
     
  16. dubyu tee eff

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    This attitude misses a very important point. There is no longer a government in Haiti. No one has any power. Charities aren't handing anyone money, money is worthless. The only currency is water. It appears money given to charity is being used to purchase food, water, and medical supplies. Now finding a way to get those items to the people who need them is a whole separate issue.
     
  17. Old Crow

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    Some others have mentioned it, but something to keep in mind:

    <a class="postlink" href="http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/01/15/dont-give-money-to-haiti/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+felix-all+%28Felix+Salmon+-+All%29" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2 ... n+-+All%29</a>
     
  18. Dcc001

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    An interesting article:

    <a class="postlink" href="http://www.canada.com/news/Security+situation+deteriorating+flows+into+Haiti/2454871/story.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.canada.com/news/Security+sit ... story.html</a>

    Essentially, the streets are completely unsafe and there are reports of mass lootings.

    I don't want to derail the thread topic, but before you donate anything ask yourself this: why are you donating? Is it to genuinely help these people, or is it to feel like you've contributed to a worthwhile cause?

    From all my experience and research, I've noticed the following when a crisis befalls a country such as Haiti:
    - Little to none of the donations ever reach the people. They go directly into the pockets of large multi-national corporations or, worse, into the hands of corrupt officials and warlords. The saddest part is that the people who are suffering do not know this; they assume that help was never offered.
    - When large aid agencies come in to "help," they often do more harm than good. The WPF (World Food Program) lands with a multitude of aid - does this help? Perhaps a bit in the very short term. What it also does is ruin the local farmers. Suddenly, whatever meagre harvest is left has no cash value, since food is being given away. It typically upsets the agricultural system for years. This is one example.
    - In a best-case scenario, where goods are delivered directly to the ground, they are often seized by local militias and warlords. The food (or water or whatever) is used to enslave and abuse the people even more.

    I don't pretend to have a suitable answer, but history has shown that countries who have proven themselves incapable of political stability or economic growth decade after decade (like Haiti) typically do not make good use of any 'aid' provided to them.
     
  19. Gator

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    The sad thing I keep thinking is: What are they going to rebuild?

    The same corrugated steel shanties as before? Why?

    And there is no amount of money that can be sent to build all new homes.

    The other thing I saw last night on the few moments of 60 Minutes I watched was from the doctors and nurses volunteering tirelessly to help the people. The 1 doctor they interviewed said "This is the largest hospital on the island, and when we got here there was not 1 nurse or doctor to be found. Where did they all go? They can't all be dead."
     
  20. Beefy Phil

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    What agricultural system? More than half of their entire country is deforested. It's a fucking desert. They import the majority of their drinking water. This wasn't a sustainable nation suddenly swept off its feet by natural disaster. This was a barely functioning society before the earthquake. How could providing food and water do more harm than good at this point? Worry about keeping the death toll under 300K right now, and consider the effects of aid on nation-building later.

    Because any shelter from the elements is better than no shelter from the elements?

    Then build them basic barracks. Iroquois longhouses. Tee-pees. Primitive fucking lean-tos. Frankly, I find it hard to believe that anything a multinational aid organization builds them could possibly be worse than the squalor they've been living in.


    If you're going to criticize relief efforts, at least be constructive. You mean you can see that Haiti is facing seemingly insurmountable problems? And that the future looks bleak? And that there is going to be inevitable corruption and misappropriation of funds?

    Congratulations. So can anyone with fucking eyeballs and a third-grade reading level.

    Suggest an alternative means of support. Discuss the situation in Haiti. Whatever. But offering up reasons NOT to donate money? Really? That's what you're bringing to the table? Newsflash: they can't eat your fucking pragmatism, and no one cares that you were smart enough to "see this from all angles."