Our thoughts are with all of the people of Haiti, and their families and friends, during this time of terrible devastation. The outpouring of support and rise of awareness from the global community in the wake of the earthquake provides a glimmer of hope a midst the suffering. We hope that the attention on Haiti will be sustained, as the country will need help for many years to come.
While Philanthropiece does not engage in immediate relief efforts, we pledge our solidarity to groups who are undergoing this courageous and devoted work. We recommend that people give to organizations that are focused on both the immediate relief efforts, as well as on short and long-term recovery projects. In particular, Philanthropiece advocates for donations to be made to the Lambi Fund for Haiti, an organization committed to partnering with grassroots groups to develop sustainable projects and to promote democracy in Haiti.
Tracy Kidder, author of Mountains Beyond Mountains (a chronicle of Partners in Health founder Paul Farmer’s work in Haiti and around the globe), reflects on aid and on the work of international humanitarian organizations in his NY Times Op-Ed piece, “Country Without a Net.” In response to the disaster in Haiti, Kidder speaks of the importance of international humanitarian organizations to collaborating with each other, and of the critical responsibility that these organizations have to build relationships with just the people that they are committed to serving. Kidder mentions that Partners in Health (he sits on PIH’s development committee), “…offers a solid model for independence – a model where only a handful of Americans are involved in day-to-day operations, and Haitians run the show.”
Kidder’s words speak closely to the vision of Philanthropiece, and, I believe, remind us of the importance of reaching out to other organizations in collaborating efforts, and of the vital nature of identifying, developing, and working alongside local leaders. Kidder writes that, “The ultimate goal of all aid to Haiti ought to be the strengthening of Haitian institutions, infrastructure, and expertise.” In response to the recent disaster in Haiti, Philanthropiece reaffirms our commitment to collaborate with other international organizations, and to build deep and meaningful relationships in the communities where we work. We recognize that the wisdom and resiliency of the people is what truly allows a community to rise from destruction and to mobilize towards a healthy and sustainable future.
• We also recommend reading the following commentary by Gillian Yeoh on “How to aim relief dollars where they’re needed in Haiti“ •
By Katie Doyle Myers, Philanthropiece Director of Programs
Photo Credit: Lambi Fund of Haiti