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Helping with Haiti’s hurricane relief

An elderly man sits on the remains of his home in the western town of Jeremie,Haiti.
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Hurricane Matthew devastated Haiti on Oct. 4 leading to the deaths of 1,000 people.

Now a week after the catastrophic hurricane ravaged southern Haiti, people interested in contributing to Haiti’s relief are encouraged to donate to organizations with a history of grass roots work in Haiti.

“People just have to research any and every organizati­on,” said Ines Lozano, founder of Flying High for Haiti, a youth-focused group. “I believe in always looking at the ones that have always been there for a long time, and the ones that work with people in Haiti and understand the dynamics.”

The hurricane is the second catastrophic natural disaster to touch down on the country, since the devastating 2010 earthquake and the widespread cholera outbreak, which killed thousands in the aftermath. With the United Nations admitting fault in the cholera outbreak, and the revelation that the American Red Cross built six homes with more than a half billion dollars raised from donations, the distrust of the these organizations are now refocusing aid relief spotlight on Haitian-led and grassroot organizations with proven track records of working in Haiti.

Lozano, whose organization mostly works on the island of Ile a Vache, which was badly affected by the storm, says as relief comes into Haiti donations should be made wisely, and only to organizations that people trust to prevent another Red Cross scandal.

“We don’t want what happened after the earthquake to happen again,” she said.

Haiti Cultural Exchange, a Brooklyn-based cultural organization recommends that people seek beneficial donation advice from the Haitian consulate and Haitian Embassy, or trusted organizations listed on their website. Organizations that work in Haiti and responding to relief are: ProDev Haiti, Project Saint Anne, Gaskov Clerge, Flying High for Haiti, and FonKoze, among many others.

Other organizations providing relief for various aspects of the aftermath, emphasize the need for the international community to support the local Haitian economy, and understand how aid can negatively affect the local economy.

“A lot of what we learned to do as Americans is hold a food drive or a clothing drive, but it’s a very different when it comes to the situation in Haiti,” said Natalie Parke, program manager for Fonkoze USA, a multi-service financial service organization. “People may have the best intentions, but it really interrupts the local economy. There are better ways of directing that charitable energy.”

ProDev Haiti is a Port-au-Prince based organzation, focusing on the access to education.

Donations can be made to: www.prodevhaiti.org.

Fonkoze is has over 45 locations in Haiti and an office based in Washington D.C. The organization aims at to providing financial and health services to Haitian women, and will assess the situation. Domations can be made to www.fonkoze.org.

Gaskov Clerge is based in New York, and primarily focuses on education, health, and athletic growth.

Lambi Fund is based in Washington D.C. and in Haiti. Donations can be made to www.gaskov.org.

Lambi Fund has been a grassroots organization operating out of Haiti since the early ‘90s. Lambi Fund provides various services to Haitians from financial, argicultural, to food.

Donations can be made to www.lambifund.org.

Flying High for Haiti is based in Miami and Ile a vache, Haiti. The organization’s founder focuses on building the education and sustainability of children who live on the island. Donations can be made to www.flyinghighforhaiti.com.

Reach reporter Alexandra Simon at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at asimon@cnglocal.com.
Updated 3:05 am, July 10, 2018
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