liz_marcs (liz_marcs) wrote,
liz_marcs
liz_marcs

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Long-term Haiti Aid...

Yes, yes. I know. I've been a bit AWOL and being a hardcore lurker on teh Internets.

Like everyone with a soul out there, I've been heartsick at the images coming from Haiti.

While I fully support donating to earthquake relief efforts, there are also long-term systemic problems in Haiti that did help contribute to the disaster and are even now plaguing relief efforts.

There are a number of organizations that are already on the ground in Haiti that, while not as large as Doctors without Borders provide vital services outside of Port-au-Prince.

Once such organization that I've supported in the past, in large part because I know people who are involved with it, is the Saint Rock Haiti Foundation (so named for the town that it's located in).

The Saint Rock Haiti Foundation has worked for more than 25 years to create long-term solutions. Aside from providing immediate medical care (and my sources tell me that the earthquake has wiped them out medicines-wise), they also invest in livestock (goats, primarily) so the local residents have a leg up in supporting themselves, as well as a microloan program to help residents start their own businesses.

If education is your thing, you can sponsor a child for a minimal monthly fee. Said fee covers books, uniforms, tuition, and food. Not for nothing, but one family I know of has sponsored one child (now adult) for 15 years. All these years later, he is now a university student in Haiti. (Yes, the young man is alive and well, although had he stayed in that meeting with his professors for 5 minutes longer than he did, he wouldn't be.)

For those (like me) who are reticent about giving money to religious-based organizations, the Saint Rock Haiti Foundation is nondenominational. While the founders may have been religiously motivated (Catholic socialism at its finest), the organization itself is fully secular. Furthermore, all your money goes exactly where it's supposed to go.

While it's fantastic that so much support is pouring into Haiti on an emergency basis, Haiti is a country that has long needed long-term solutions for its problems. And there's always an important bit to consider: what happens after the news cameras leave and the hard work of rebuilding begins?

As for me, the Saint Rock Haiti Foundation is an organization I do trust, and have trusted in the past, to work towards long-term solutions for Haitians by Haitians.
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