As we are all watching the events unfold in , one of the most pressing questions is: How can I really help? Although it is critical to give in any way we can, it is hard to know with large, international organizations how your donations are spent and how people on the ground in Haiti are benefited.
One small scale, local option is being organized in part by our WADaBo friend, Selena Rhine, who was in Haiti during the earthquake. Upon her return to the states, Selena is running a benefit campaign for a in Port-au-Prince where she spent time while in Haiti. Called "Pou Soley Leve", this organization provided reduced priced meals to over 1000 people per day, from four sites throughout Cite Soleil (a very poor area of the city) before the earthquake. Amazingly, the organization still has access to a site that is partially operational and can be up and running again with our help. All the information for donations is below, along with Selena's contact info and details on an event being hosted in NYC.
Be well and pray hard, Darya
From: selena rhine < >
Date: Sunday, January 24, 2010, 8:53 PM
Dear Friends and Family,
As many of you know, I was in Haiti during the Earthquake last week. I am writing this to introduce Jean Yvon Kernizan, the man whose home I was a guest in and one of the small heroes of this epic disaster. I was at his dinner table when the earthquake hit and spent the next 48 hours with him, as we responded the best we knew how in the face of unspeakable circumstances.
Within 10 minutes of the quake, Yvon opened the doors of his courtyard to injured and scared neighbors, and immediately responded with integrity, care, and even humor. His family cooked rice to feed everyone, and he tended to serious wounds with basic household first aid supplies. The second evening, as hundreds of people began running up the hill to avoid the rumored tsunami, Yvon stepped into the street and helped the panicking crowd assess danger and eventually calm down. I was moved by the experience of watching Yvon at work. I could see clearly why he is considered a leader among his people, as he cares, he acts quickly, and he treats people with utmost dignity.
Yvon founded and directs, with his wife Beverly, a small grassroots organization called "Pou Soley Leve" that, before the earthquake, provided reduced priced meals to over 1000 people each day, from four sites throughout Cite Soleil. Yvon is now returning to Haiti to revive this hot food program, but will serve from his home that is miraculously still standing within a neighborhood of devastation.
Many of you have asked how you can help the Haitian people in a meaningful and direct way. I have chosen to help Yvon get this program running, rather than to donate to an international organization where a large portion of my money will go to administrative costs. In addition, I want someone on the ground who engages with this strong, but traumatized population, with dignity and respect.
At this time, every dollar to "Pou Soley Leve" will translate into a simple, prepared Haitian meal to the people of Debussy, Turgeau, and Canape Vert, neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince hit hard by the earthquake but not central to the news coverage.
Thank you all for your amazing support this last week. It has helped me tremendously, and has allowed me to figure out where to put my own efforts. Let's carry it forward and make something tangible happen, even when the cameras are off and the attention dies down.
In Gratitude, Selena
PS- please see our FB page and event this Thursday in NY.
><((((º>` ·´¯`·.. ·´¯`·.. ><((((º>