Harvard Square restaurant will host Sunday fundraiser

An event benefit for Haitian relief through Partners in Health will be held on Sunday, Jan 24. at OM in Harvard Square. It will run from 6p.m. to 10p.m., with a $10 donation to gain entrance or $20 and your first Pinnacle vodka drink is on the house, as well as food specials all night (with a large percentage of sales being donated by OM). Fifty percent of all Pinnacle vodka sales will also be donated all night.
Here is a facebook page for the event. Read more

Watch tonight's Hope for Haiti Telethon at Reggie Lewis Center

The Reggie Lewis Center Gymnasium will be the venue tonight for a special gathering to support the nationally televised Hope for Haiti telethon. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the televised program starts at 8 p.m. The telethon will be shown on two big screens at the RCC facility.
The event will feature live performances by local artists and a chance for Bostonians rallying around the Haiti crisis to connect under one roof. Representatives from the American Red Cross, Partners in Health, and UNICEF will be in the house to collect funds.
Money raised tonight will be given directly to their representatives. Read more

Partners in Health issues call for supplies, volunteers in Boston & Haiti

Partners in Health, the Boston-based organization that has thousands of medical personnel and volunteers on the ground in Haiti right now, has put out the call today for volunteers and supplies that they say are urgently needed both in Haiti and in Boston. Read their latest update here. Read more

Louverture's biographer on Huffington Post: Hire Haitians to rebuild Haiti

In a new post in the Huffington Post, Toussaint L'Ouverture biographer Madison Smartt Bell presents this novel idea as a key ingredient to re-building Haiti: "Hire Haitians."

Free clinics on TPS planned for Friday-Saturday in Dorchester

Catholic Charities says that it will work with immigration attorneys from Boston law firms to provide free advice to Haitian nationals who are eligible for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) under a directive issued by the Obama administration last week. The legal assistance clinics will be held on Friday (1/22) and Saturday (1/23) from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at Catholic Charities Haitian Multi Service Center in
Dorchester. Read more

Interfaith prayer service starts at 5 p.m. in Mattapan

An Interfaith Prayer Service for Haiti has been scheduled for Sunday, January 24, at 5 p.m. at Jubilee Christian Church, 1500 Blue Hill Avenue in Mattapan. The event is co-sponsored by the Archdiocese of Boston, Black Ministerial Alliance, Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston and others. Read more

Kerry Urges Sec. Clinton: Guarantee 'safety and timely removal' of Haitian orphans

Call Endorsed by McCain, 20 other Senators & 22 Members of House Members of Congress-
Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton today (Jan. 21) urging her, and the State Department, to develop a coordinated and timely exit strategy that ensures the safe and timely removal of thousands of Haitian orphans. Read more

Editorial: It's up to us

“For me right now, I feel like God sent me here for a purpose. Nothing’s happened to me, not a scrape. I’m doing all these things. I thought when I’d see blood I’d pass out. I’m not. I’m carrying dead bodies. I’m pulling people out with my own hands. I feel like I’m in a war basically.”
— Richardson Innocent, Delmas 33, Jan. 15

These powerful words from our friend and colleague Richardson Innocent — relayed directly to our ears and onto our pages this week via cell-phone— tell the story. Haiti is under siege. It is battered, bloodied and bent.
It is not defeated.
Haiti will survive because of people like Richardson. It will rise again because of the neighbors in Delmas and Petionville and Carrefour and Leogane and Jacmel who refuse to let their nation descend into the night. Not without a fight. Read more

Water, Pedialyte drive underway at Dorchester bank

Mt. Washington Bank in Codman Square is the drop-off location for a supply drive focused on collecting bottled water and Pedialyte for transport to Haiti this weekend. The collection effort began on Wednesday and continues today (Thursday, Jan. 21) from 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Friday (same hours) and Saturday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
The bank branch is located at 305 Talbot Ave, Dorchester, MA 02124.
According to event organizers, the Boston Harbor Ship Yard Marina of East Boston has donated a ship to send relief supplies and is sailing for Haiti on Sunday Jan, 24.
For more information please contact bostonforhaiti@gmail.com

Morse code: The man behind the amazing Twitter updates from Haiti

After coming to some terms with the human scale of the current disaster in Haiti it dawned on me that some, all or most of our artistic treasures might be destroyed right now. The Centre D’Art, the murals of Bigaud in St. Trinite, the Presidential Palace itself (a gift from the US) and many other places. And what of the famous Hotel Oloffson? The place around which Graham Greene’s famous novel on Haiti “The Comedians” took shape and which also served as the center piece for the Hollywood film by the same name. Amazingly, the sturdy wood-frame Hotel, stood its ground during the 38 seconds it took for most of Port-au-Prince’s brick structures to collapse.

In the aftermath of the earthquake, the Oloffson’s manager lo these past 25 years, Richard A. Morse was among Haiti’s few links to the outside world. He moved his guests from their rooms to the hotel driveway for the night and kept busy documenting the developing situation on Twitter (@RAMHaiti). The world’s news organizations immediately locked into his accounts and pestered him for more information and the permission to share his growing narrative with their publications. Read more

"Don't come here!" Boston man scouts ways to get relatives out through the D.R.

Updated on Jan. 25—Jimmy LeBon, a Haitian-American from Boston, traveled to the Dominican Republic last weekend in an attempt to enter Haiti to assist friends and relatives on the ground. Jimmy has been relaying a blog to a friend here in Boston — Elie St. Brice— who shared it with the BHR this week. Below (after the video) we print excerpts of his diary. Jimmy and his companions also filmed a brief video on Monday from the DR in which he urges other Haitian Americans not to try to come down "just yet." Jimmy has since made it into Haiti and is relaying information to friends and family here on ways that they can help relatives get out of Haiti through the D.R. The Reporter will update Jimmy's account with new excerpts as we get them. Read more

Special print edition of BHR now available

Earthquake edition: Will be published on Jan. 21Earthquake edition: Will be published on Jan. 21The Boston Haitian Reporter has published a special print edition of our newspaper that is now being circulated throughout Greater Boston's Haitian-American community. It is also available as a PDF version for online readers.

This special edition includes news articles and photographs documenting the Jan. 12th earthquake and the week-long struggle for survival that followed. It also includes a section "Voices from Boston" devoted to the reaction of Boston's Haitian community with more than 20 contributors, including Steve Desrosiers, Yolette Ibokette, Elizabeth St. Victor, Riché Zamor, Sr., Joseph Chery, State Rep. Marie St. Fleur and State Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry, Max Clermont, Michaelle Raphael, Belinda Ancion, Nancy Rousseau, Joelle Jean-Fontaine, NECN's Scot Yount, Jacques Jean, Fafa Girault, and Bill Forry.

The edition features an exclusive diary of Richardson Innocent, a former BHR staffer who survived last Tuesday's devastating earthquake while visiting friends in Delmas, Port-au-Prince. Innocent has been relaying daily accounts of his experiences in Haiti's capitol and the outskirts to the Reporter's newsroom.

The Boston Haitian Reporter, founded in 2001, is published monthly and circulated in Greater Boston. It is a publication of Boston Neighborhood News, Inc., which also publishes the Dorchester Reporter, Mattapan Reporter and Boston Irish Reporter newspapers.

For another vantage point on the last week's response in Boston's Haitian community, see this article in the Boston Phoenix. Read more

In Cabaret, Haiti: Another day, another earthquake

Richardson Innocent: Former Reporter staffer relays the latest news from Haiti.Richardson Innocent: Former Reporter staffer relays the latest news from Haiti.Wednesday, Jan. 20 — This morning, at roughly 6 a.m., Haiti was jolted for ten seconds by another earthquake measuring 6.1. Richardson Innocent, in Cabaret, tells me that he is fine. A wall just collapsed behind the house where he is staying with relatives. No one in the village seems to be hurt.
“We were on the porch. Everyone was up anyway so we all just went out to the street,” he said. “We’re up with the sunrise here at 4, 5 o’clock. No one sleeps inside right now, so when the sun comes up, everyone’s awake and going to work.”
“I’m going to try and see if I can help somehow,” Rich says.

Earlier coverage of the BHR's Richardson Innocent's experiences in Haiti since Jan. 12:
Rich Innocent, now safely in Cabaret, re-visits Port-au-Prince
In Delmas, it's Haitians helping Haitians with no sign yet of outside help Read more

WGBH-2 will air Hope for Haiti telethon on Friday

WGBH joins stations across the globe in airing Hope for Haiti Now, the benefit/telethon hosted by George Clooney, Wyclef Jean and CNN's Anderson Cooper, on Friday, January 22 from 8-10pm on WGBH 2/HD. Hope for Haiti Now features
performances and celebrity appearances, as well as live news reports from CNN. All donations directly benefit Oxfam America, Partners in Health, Red Cross, UNICEF and Jean's Yele Haiti Foundation.

Additionally, documentaries that explore the resilience of the Haitian people are scheduled to air on WGBH World tonight and WGBH 44 Thursday, from 8-10pm. For additional information, please visit http://www.wgbh.org/news. Read more

Eyewitness: Boston man evacuated from earthquake zone

Escape from Port-au-Prince: Patrick Jean Louis was among the Americans who were evacuated from Haiti aboard a U.S. military cargo plane on Saturday.Escape from Port-au-Prince: Patrick Jean Louis was among the Americans who were evacuated from Haiti aboard a U.S. military cargo plane on Saturday.On Tuesday January 12, Patrick Jean-Louis arrived in Haiti for the first time in seven years. Besides visiting family, Jean-Louis — who works at Roxbury Community College —had heard that Haiti’s economic situation “was moving in the right direction, so [he] went to see that.”
On the afternoon of his arrival, the 7.0 earthquake struck the two-floor building in Belleville where he, his uncle, and cousin were visiting. Jean-Louis asked his uncle, “What is that? It felt as though it was coming towards us.” His uncle replied that it was an earthquake.
Jean-Louis ran down from the second floor and out the door.
“It wasn’t easy getting out the house – the stairs were shaking.”
There were smaller, nearby homes that collapsed but Jean Louis reports that the larger buildings in the area, including the one he’d quickly left, were intact. Read more

"Certain" Haitian orphans cleared to enter United States

The Obama administration today has announced it will allow "certain" orphaned Haitian children to come to the U.S. where families are waiting to adopt them. The Miami Herald provides a full report here.
The press release, sent to the Reporter by the Department of Homeland Security is below: Read more

Today! Artists unite to benefit Haitian relief in Roxbury

The Massachusetts Haitian American Earthquake Task Force is teaming up with local artists, gospel choirs, and special guests from across the nation to launch a major fundraising effort this Sunday, Jan. 24 to benefit organizations working to support victims of the January earthquake in Haiti. The program will be staged from 3-9 p.m. at Madison Park High School , 75 Malcom X Boulevard , Roxbury. Read more

Helping kids cope during crisis: What do we tell them?

“Will we have an earthquake in Cambridge?”
That’s one of the questions my students asked during a discussion about the earthquake. You can bet that in numerous schools and households throughout the country, the same question is being asked. It’s important that adults address children’s concerns during this difficult time. Here are some suggestions from Dr. David Fassler, a child and adolescent psychiatrist practicing in Vermont.
As adults, we are traumatized by the events unfolding in Haiti. It’s even more traumatizing to children. To begin with, he reminds adults that a catastrophe such as an earthquake is very scary to kids. Talking to kids decreases their fear. They might also get incorrect information from friends. So it’s important to give them the facts. If your child is not comfortable talking to you, find an individual that the child likes talking to. Read more

Help needed! Translate messages from victims for emergency responders

The Center for Future Civic Media at MIT has reached out the BHR and our staff and readers for help with a new database intended to help get emergency responders to Haiti's earthquake victims. A new text/SMS code — 4636— is being employed in Haiti to help coordinate emergency response to those in need. We are asking all of our Creole-English speaking readers to help with this effort ASAP. Please follow the directions carefully.

Here is a brief backgrounder from Christopher Csikszentmihalyi, who is directing MIT's efforts on the project:

"It was set up by two great organizations, Ushahidi and Frontline SMS. It is a free sms code that anyone in Haiti can dial, asking for help, reporting news, etc. It is just going out on one or two radio stations as we speak. The reason they can do this is that the dispatchers can be anyone who speaks Creole on the web. You can see the reports received so far at:
http://4636.ushahidi.com/
and full instructions here.

"You'll see "messages in queue" at the top left of the screen; you can click on the number next to it. If there is a message in the queue you'll see the SMS received from Haiti, and you can "code" the message; entering name, location, type of request. Anyone can volunteer to dispatch on line, but we have lined up SEIU -- who are setting up a command center here in Boston -- to respond to the demand.

"This information will be available to air workers, Haitian authorities, etc...And if you think the short code could help, it
would be great if you could forward it to the larger community so they could tell their people in Haiti."

If you do participate in this effort, please let us know by confirming with a message here at our site so we can keep track. And please pass the word on this via Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Non-Kreyol speakers can track what's going on here.
-Bill Forry, Managing Editor Read more

Update: BHR's Rich Innocent now in Cabaret, north of Port-au-Prince

The Boston Haitian Reporter's Richardson Innocent has left the Delmas section of Port-au-Prince and is now in Cabaret, a town north of Haiti's capitol where the situation is considerably less dire. The Reporter spoke to Innocent on Sunday afternoon just before 3 p.m. We had last talked with him on Thursday when he was still in Delmas. Read more

A troubling call from Les Cayes

(2:20 p.m.)- Our newsroom just received a call from Renel Louis Jean, 22, who is in Au Cayes and is desperately looking for help. He has left Port-au-Prince, where he was when the earthquake hit, with a group of survivors.
His says mother Alourdes Pierre and his father, Jeanty Louis Jean, were killed in the earthquake and have been buried in Carrefour, just outside Port-au-Prince, where he is from.
“They are still picking up bodies from the streets,” he said. “We are not getting any help.”
Les Cayes is located several hours away from Haiti's capitol.
They have no food or water, he says, and there is no sign of relief workers, Louis Jean said. He pleaded with us to get help there quickly. We are not sure how he got our phone number. He has no family in the U.S.
Eduoard Baudouin, Jr. contributed to this report. Read more

St. Fleur: Red Cross needs 100 interpreters to go to Haiti

Rep. Marie St. Fleur passes along word that the American Red Cross needs 100 Creole speaking interpreters who can join relief efforts aboard a US hospital ship bound for Haiti. It is a minimum one month commitment. Read more

Wyclef: "Disgusted" by scrutiny of Yele Haiti

Wyclef Jean is speaking out against public reports that have raised questions about the track record of his charity Yele Haiti, which has raised over $1 million through a text message campaign since Tuesday's earthquake. Read more

Bi-partisan push for help: Obama taps Clinton-Bush for new Haiti fund

The White House has announced today that two former presidents —Bill Clinton and George W. Bush — will head up a new fund.
Here is the statement from the fund's website. Read more

Zamor: Fondwa University is 'gone', town flattened

Riche Zamor, a Boston man who serves as president of the University of Fondwa tells the Reporter today that the school's facilities have been completely destroyed. Fondwa, a town located about 45 minutes southeast of Port-au-Prince, is utterly destroyed, according to Zamor, who is in the United States but has spoken directly to several members of his staff on the ground. Read more