Thursday, January 28, 2010

[Wadabo_updates] Haiti: How to Help? Support Pou Soley Leve Food Pantry

Dear WADabo Family,
As we are all watching the events unfold in Haiti, 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 food pantry 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 <>
Subject: Haiti Fundraiser
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.


pou soley leve logo


Hot Food Initiative
Several days after the earthquake, many of the Haitian people continue to be without food, water and essential medical care.  We have all heard the stories - medical supplies and food stockpiled at the airport, millions of dollars being donated to organizations with high administrative costs.  Haiti has a long history of international aid never reaching the people, and unfortunately this time may be no different.

The generosity of Americans has been unprecedented, but many Americans are looking for a trusted grassroots organization where donations will directly reach the Haitian people.  Pou Soley Leve provides this opportunity.  A donation to Pou Soley Leve - goes only to providing cooked meals to Haitians in need - no distribution problems, no governmental interference, and small overhead- only salaries for the Haitians preparing the meals.

Pou Soley Leve
Hot Food Kitchen
Pou Soley Leve is a grassroots organization in Haiti that has provided hot meals to Haitians in Cite Soleil, Port-au-Prince since 2004.  Pou Soleil Leve was founded
by Jean Yvon Kernizan and Beverly Sanon.  Yvon and Beverly both worked in New York City for over 25 years, and then returned to Port-au-Prince to engage in community work.

After evacuating post-earthquake, Yvon and Beverly now return to Haiti to revive the organization's meal program, this time out of Yvon's home in Port-au-Prince.  They are in a unique position to provide food to the people.  As an established community organization, Pou Soley Leve will be able to access raw food distribution from international aid groups.  As locals, Yvon and Beverly can tap into Haitian food markets as they emerge again.  And because the home's kitchen is still standing,  they can cook the food - raw ingredients will be useless for the majority of Port-au-Prince residents whose homes have been destroyed.
A little goes a long way with us! $100 feeds 160 people for a day; $300 feeds 500.  Even small donations make a big difference.  Just give what you can afford - every dollar helps!  If you have questions, email us at  Click on the website to see past projects,  Donate directly at />
Featured Event
We are holding a fundraising mixer @ White Rabbit (145 East Houston St) on Thursday January 28 @ 6pm. Suggested donation of $20 at the door. Featuring DJ RedLox. Come out and support!



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