There are a couple of interesting and thought provoking things that have made their way around the internet this past week (since Hurricane Matthew devastated soutern Haiti).   Let me share them and a few thoughts about them……

Make sure you do it right this time:  There is plenty of evidence that much of the “relief work” that was done after the earthquake in 2010 didn’t actually help Haitians.   And much of the money that was donated could not be properly accounted for.

Do it local – When at all possible, use Haitian labor, supplies purchased in Haiti and help the Haitian economy while helping rebuild.

Huge parts of the farm land in Haiti was almost literally wiped off the map – and just before harvest.  That means there is and will continue to be a food scarcity issue for a long time to come.

Shelley wrote on the AP blog yesterday and explained very well the situation and the importance of not only giving to help disaster relief but of helping to develop Haitian businesses by buying Haitian and creating jobs.   You can read her post at http://apparentproject.org/after-the-hurricane/  

Yesterday, a friend of mine posted on Facebook.   She and her husband have been living and working in Haiti for over 30 years.   She said that 99.9% of the $25,000 they have received for hurricane relief has come from Haitians.   I don’t know whether they are Haitians in country or Haitians who live elsewhere but I do know this, what she said shows the importance of creating jobs and creating income in Haiti.

Because if you buy Haitian, it supports someone in Haiti (duh) and they can then support their family and others who are in need.

Beyond the original emergency relief need, helping in a way that empowers Haitians will go a long ways towards making sure that the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew is a better road than the post earthquake road was.   

So give.  Donate –  but unless an organization directly asks for a particular item, don’t donate things.   Let them buy the things in Haiti if at all possible.   It most likely won’t be possible to buy everything to rebuild half of the country without purchasing some things outside but do as much local as possible.

Buy – buy things from Haiti.  Urge family members to buy from Haiti.  Give the Haitians the income to be able to support their families – not only their children but their extended family.   I don’t know statistics but let’s just say based on the people I know, a LOT of them have family in the disaster zone they will help.   If they have the money.

Go to http://apparentproject.org/donate/ and donate – we will make sure that money goes to organizations in Haiti who are providing disaster relief.

And then go buy Haitian.  Because if you buy from Haiti, the Haitians will have the means to support their families.

And that is disaster relief with dignity.

TJV