Pinterest

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

getting stuff done in Haiti

Who is getting things done in Haiti?
We were impressed with the Canadian military. I saw Samaritan's Purse tarps in use and trucks on the road. I saw Doctors without Borders and Gynecologists without Borders. We were frustrated with the U.N. One U.N. rep told our team leader, Scott, that they would give us 5000 emergency shelter kits to distribute. Our team was then formed with the intention of distributing all these over a few days. When Scott returned to Haiti with us, the UN could offer us no more than 1000 kits. They also changed the timelines and distribution points on us at a late hour. They held a 2 hour coordinating meeting that concluded nothing. Haitians are fed up with their own government as well as the UN.
The UN did deliver to us 1000 shelter kits.
From Haiti trip Feb 2010

But they went to the wrong location and refused to listen to the Sri Lankan officers with them who knew where we were and would not move until Scott drove back with the Sri Lankans to prove he really was located somewhere else. The aid we received from the UN was US AID packages.
From Haiti trip Feb 2010

So thank you, US government.

We also met some US marines on patrol in Fauche, where they have a base set up on the beach.
From Haiti trip Feb 2010

They were happy to not be in the Asian theater for a while. Unfortunately, we heard there has been some fraternization with the local young ladies occurring in Fauche.
From Haiti trip Feb 2010

That's the last complication Haitians need in their lives.

But the Canadian army is doing so much where we were. They distribute food and aid and befriend Haitians. Fluency in French sure helps them connect with the Haitians.

I helped distribute the aid in two remote towns. The site in this picture received 300 kits. At another we passed out 150. The UN is learning what the local pastors and missionaries already know. Aid gets to the people in need if those people have tickets. Tickets also prevent chaos at the distribution.
From Haiti trip Feb 2010

Scott brought rolls of tickets from the US down in his luggage. He gave local pastors the rolls and asked them to make sure the people most in need in their areas got them so they could get aid. This allowed the aid to get directly in the hands of those most in need instead of the strongest who could fight their way to the front of the lines.

But the big aid bureaucracies are victims of their size. I advise you to read the rant of this Catholic priest and his experience with aid officials at his orphanage in Haiti.

I helped build a temporary bridge across a ditch to a piece of property that we started to turn into a campground for the rainy season.
From Haiti trip Feb 2010

We then used this bridge to bring across 3 dump truck loads of crushed limestone to make a drainable 6 inch think base to set real tents on.
From Haiti trip Feb 2010

All of this material needed to be brought across with 5 wheelbarrows and 10 guys. It was the hardest day I have worked in my entire life. But when the sun set, a few families that had been living in the orphanage cpd with us were able to move into their own little area that will keep the rain off them.
From Haiti trip Feb 2010

As the week went on, more stone was brought in and I had the privilege of setting up more tents for more families. This campground could eventually hold 120 tents. It will cost altogether $12,000.
In contrast, the UN set up a similar sized campground in Port-au-Prince to very high standards. Their campground cost $2 million. Perhaps half of that went to the 20 or 30 brand new UN labeled SUV's parked around the campground.
So if you can give, give to the smaller organizations. If you can give long term, please support a child in Haiti. Look at Mission E4's page for one avenue of sponsorship.

One other source of shelters I saw in Leogane was ShelterBox, the emergency relief arm of Rotary clubs.
From Haiti trip Feb 2010

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No comments: