If you're wondering how to help in Haiti
Stand with Haiti
I know by now you've seen the news about the earthquake that hit Haiti on Saturday. Patrick and I were driving back to Ohio Wesleyan for the start of his semester when we got the news and Patrick started seeing footage and getting calls and texts.
He was able to get in touch with all of his family members who are, thankfully, safe. But many neighbors had their homes collapse and some died. The girls in our program, Fi Ki Fò, are all physically safe as are our staff (same for our partner organization on the ground) but in all cases, direct family members have been impacted and there is severe damage, if not total destruction, to many of their homes. Read the Write to Be update here.
The earthquake was a higher magnitude than the one in 2010 and hit Les Cayes (Patrick's home and where I worked and lived while I was in country) as the epicenter. Anyone who's a teenager or older in Haiti, has visceral memories of the last earthquake. It's devastating for a lot of reasons and especially on the heels of the presidential assassination.
I don’t have good words for it right now, I’ve been busy and haven’t had time to process yet, but since folks have been reaching out to ask how they can help, here are a few ways. First, if you know folks in Haiti and have their contact information and can send money via Western Union, that's one great way to help.
Below are some organizations I recommend that you could donate to where I know that the vast majority (if not all) of their funding goes directly to the people served and to in-country, Haitian staff. If you have questions about any of them, please ask. U.S. involvement in Haiti (including aid) is very complex so don’t feel shy to ask questions if you have them and I can answer.
Write to Be: This is the organization I co-founded that supports girls and young women in Haiti, our website is SUPER outdated, but we’re still actively doing work with 2 staff, 1 full-time in Les Cayes. We have a Famn Ki Fo Fund and 100% of that money gets distributed in cash grants to women and girls--we’re expecting a big influx of requests. No one in the U.S. is paid or compensated (aside from some occasional Haitian and Haitian American consultants).
God’s Vision for Haiti: I worked with this organization for a summer. It was founded by a Haitian couple and is based in Les Cayes. They have one of the first foster care organizations in the country--which is a big deal and big improvement from orphanages and adoptions (happy to talk about why those are problematic). They have all local Haitian foster parents and their goal is to reunite kids with families. They’ll be supporting families on the ground to rebuild.
Hope for Haiti: Based in Les Cayes, 95% of donations/grants etc. go directly to core programs and they have an emergency relief effort already articulated and ready to go including disaster kits. It’s a good organization with expertise in this area and lots of Haitian staff (they do have a lot of U.S. people in leadership positions and on their board, founded by someone in the U.S. as well but from what I’ve seen they do great work in real partnership with local people).
Fonkoze: One of the best organizations that specifically does national work, in my opinion. Microfinance for women. They haven’t released any statement about specific disaster relief, but I would feel confident recommending your money is going to a good place with them.
Like I said, let me know if you have questions and thanks for standing with the people of Haiti at this time. Haiti is a country of incredible innovation, creativity, and revolutionary change and right now they need support. I hope we are better poised this time around to direct our dollars to where they are most needed.