Boston-based online seeks to connect Haitians to help; Diaspora needed

A Boston-based team of computer technicians and organizers is reaching out to the Haitian-American diaspora today with a request for volunteers to help their project. In particular, they are asking local Kreyol speakers to come out to a training session on the campus of Tufts University in Medford this Saturday (tomorrow) at noon. Sabina Carlson of the Ushahidi project explains further below: Read more

New website pools tech resources to discuss rebuilding Haiti

The editors at Wired Online have created a new website — ReWiring Haiti — in which experts in tech and innovation are already discussing ways to re-build Haiti. Please pass the word to Haitian-Americans and allies in the appropriate fields. The site also includes articles related to the EQ and its aftermath — including a fascinating interview with Pierre Fouche, one of the few Haitian earthquake specialists who had long warned of the catastrophic consequences that could come with a large EQ in Haiti. Read more

Boston Phoenix: Local girl "stranded" in Haiti after quake

Chris Faraone of the Boston Phoenix tells the compelling story of Jenny Ulysee, who has been stuck in Haiti due to immigration issues since being injured in the Jan. 12 quake. Read more

Harvard's Kennedy School plans Feb. 1 Forum on "Haiti after the Earthquake"

Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government will convene a special forum entitled "Haiti after the Earthquake" on Monday, Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend. Seating is limited. Please see the Kennedy School's Institute of Politics site for more details. Speakers will include Massachusetts State Rep. Marie St. Fleur; State Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry; Dr. Allen Counter, Harvard Foundation; Ricardo Hausmann, HKS; and Mary Jo Bane, Academic Dean, HKS.
Harvard's W.E.B. DuBois Institute is also hosting a Symposium on Haiti on Friday, Jan. 29 at 4 p.m. Details here. Read more

Kerry: "Haiti's recovery must belong to the Haitian people"

U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) made an opening statement this morning at a Congressional hearing held to discuss the U.S. response to the earthquake in Haiti. Included in his remarks: "Haiti's recovery must belong to the Haitian people. They may need our help today, but they must be empowered to build their own future down the road." To view a video of the proceedings- including testimony from Dr. Paul Farmer of Partners in Health and UN Deputy Special Envoy to Haiti- see this link from C-SPAN.
The full text of his statement is below, courtesy of the Senator's office: Read more

Activists, academics urge Congress to shift focus to relief aid, away from military

In a letter organized by the TransAfrica Forum and sent to members of Congress today, activists and academic leaders are urging the U.S. to de-emphasize the military's role in the response to the Jan. 12 earthquake and to shift focus to improving the relief efforts on the ground. The letter notes that "an over-emphasis on security has meant costly delays in distributing aid that have cost lives and led to otherwise unnecessary amputations in some cases."
The letter was signed by TransAfrica Forum's Harry Belafonte, actor Danny Glover, Jesse Jackson and BHR columnist Brian Concannon, Jr., who leads the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti — along with many other signatories from colleges and NGOs.
The full text of the letter follows: Read more

Poll: Two-thirds of Haitian-Americans willing to return to Haiti to help

A poll sponsored by New American Media and released today gives new insight into just how deeply the American Dyaspora has been affected by the Jan. 12 earthquake.The poll, conducted last week in both English and Kreyol, suggests that "three out of five respondents said they had lost some of their 'loved ones.' Two-thirds felt the situation in their country was so dire they were willing to move back to Haiti for a period of time to help with the reconstruction. Read more

Plymouth boy writes about the loss of family members

The Patriot Ledger has published an article today by a nine year-old Plymouth boy who lost members of his family in the Jan. 12 earthquake.

Boston Haitian doctor honored with prestigious award

Dr. Michele DavidDr. Michele DavidBoston resident Michele David, MD, MPH, MBA, FACP, an immigrant from Haiti, has received the 2010 William A. Hinton Award.
David was selected by Public Health Commissioner Dr. John Auerbach in recognition of her many years of activism, commitment to public health and tireless work to educate others in order that they may better understand, promote and support efforts to eliminate health inequities. David is an assistant professor of medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine, director of community health programs at Boston University Center of Excellence in Women's Health and co-director of the Boston Medical Center Haitian Health Institute. Read more

Radio station WFNX is hosting a live telethon for Haiti relief

WFNX will broadcast a telethon to benefit Partners in Health's efforts in Haiti tomorrow morning. Full details are here. Read more

Farmer, PIH: Aide for Haiti must be rooted in respect for 'what Haitian people want for themselves'

Dr. Paul Farmer, along with colleagues from Partners in Health, authored an op-ed in today's Miami Herald that is a must-read. He says, in part:
"Prescriptions for Haiti will be bountiful from outside, but we must ensure that the prescriptions are correct. Haiti needs a different kind of assistance, one built on solidarity and respect and rooted in what the Haitian people want for themselves. Assistance offered now must develop food sovereignty for Haiti and investment in the rural area, now seeing an influx of those displaced from the capital." Read more

SEIU 1199 donates $1 million to UNICEF's efforts in Haiti

1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East - whose Boston local has already distinguished itself by hosting a relief center for Boston-area Haitians - is stepping up yet again for the Haitian cause. SEIU, the largest healthcare workers union in the country - announced today that it is donating $1 million to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF for earthquake relief and recovery efforts in Haiti. Read more

Salsa for Haiti: Multicultural coalition plans benefit in South End

A multicultural coalition of Latino organizations has pulled together a special Salsa for Haiti event for this Saturday, Jan. 30 at the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts in Boston's South End. Here are the details: Read more

New Yorker: Edwidge Danticat on the loss of her cousin

Don't miss Edwidge Danticat's article in the new edition of the New Yorker magazine entitled "A Little While." The award-winning Haitian-American author recounts the life and death of her cousin Maxo.

Sunday jewelry sale will help rebuild, house people in Jérémie

Ruth Adomunes has never felt as if life was driven by technology. Yet for the past week, this local nurse and humanitarian has found herself glued to the computer and the television for information about Haiti since a magnitude 7.0 earthquake tore the impoverished Caribbean nation apart. More specifically, she is riveted by news about Jeremie, a coastal village located about 100 miles north of the epicenter of the catastrophic earthquake.
Jérémie is one of many villages outside of Port-au-Prince that suffered structural damage from the earthquake. But it was spared the mass casualties seen in the nation's capital.
Adomunes, a Milton woman who founded Designs By Ruth Jewelry, creates and sells handmade bracelets to raise money for the Haitian Health Foundation, a Connecticut-based charitable organization that works to improve the health of the poor and sick families in the greater Jérémie area. Read more

‘Mother Nature has risen up against us’

Haitian linguist and journalist Nicolas André sent this account of the hours and days after the Jan. 12 earthquake to BHR contributor Emmanuel W. Vedrine in Boston. Vedrine has translated his report from French to English.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010 — Waking up with a bitter taste in my mouth, I was far from imagine the horror that I was going to see, refusing to believe at first glance what happened Tuesday night (between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m.) wasn’t a night-marish vision, a simple thing. Feeling the ground trembling under my feet and seeing the back of my house (under construction) pitching like a boat on a stormy sea, I said to myself that was only a slight quake and I thought I was right when, thirty seconds later, I didn’t feel anything. Then... came the information and, little by little as they progressed, I thought it was maybe an exaggeration of the situation. Read more

Wyclef closes telethon on upbeat note: "Enough with the moping. Let's rebuild Haiti!"

For anyone who missed it (where were you??), here's the closing performance of last night's impressive Hope for Haiti telethon, in which Wyclef Jean and fellow Haitian musicians played a medley. The highlight: 'Clef saying: "Hold up, hold up. Enough of the moping. Let's rebuild Haiti... Let's show them how we do it where we come from." Solid indeed.

Former Bush advisor: We should open doors to Haitian immigrants post-quake

The Washington Post published an interesting op-ed piece on Thursday from Elliott Abrams, who served as assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs in the Reagan administration and was a deputy national security adviser to President George W. Bush. This veteran of two Republican administrations makes the case that many Democrats would likely agree with: We need to open the doors to a new wave of Haitian immigrants as one way to help Haiti in the aftermath of Jan. 12. Read more

Longwood Symphony, NEC plan Jan. 31 concert to benefit Partners in Health

The Longwood Symphony Orchestra at the New England Conservatory are planning a program called "Symphonic Relief For Haiti: A Global Concert to Benefit Partners In Health" for Sunday January 31, 2010, from 12:30—2 p.m. Read more

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