Skip to end of metadata
Go to start of metadata

Many people have pointed fingers since the earthquake in Haiti arguing how to best help the country. Some have sent millions of dollars, convoys of supplies, troops to maintain order. Some propose canceling Haiti's international debt. Others ague that is like sending old shoes and these individuals propose an approach I think many would agree with. Shipler makes sure to point out that we as readers understand that no single variable makes you poor and that it is systematic failures that prevent mobility. Like poverty, I think Haiti should have aid that really benefits the country as a whole and not a targeted group.

One important aspect to helping Haiti I think is to not find the best solution and instead of being critical of aid that is pouring in, to find a solution that is  better than those in the past. 

Another key to better helping Haiti is understanding the country. The Haiti Action Committee is a movement that provides many great tools for understanding a part of the history of the country and the many campaigns to alleviate poverty. This group is not a movement that sprang up post-disaster. They have called attention to Haiti long before and I think this disaster is finding them an audience. Please check it out if you do nothing else: Haiti Solidarity.

  • No labels

3 Comments

  1. Unknown User (smire)

    I think it is noteworthy that on Haiti Solidarity's webpage, the top has a quote from Jean Bertnard Aristide. Aristide is a Catholic priest and the first democratically elected president for the nation. He was overthrown by a coup in 2004 by what many believe was a US supported coup. He was exiled to S. Africa. During his presidency, he doubled the minimum wage, increased access to healthcare, built low income housing (ironic given that almost everyone in Haiti is low income), disbarred the military which was accused of human rights violations against its own people, and passed laws against human trafficking. I know quite a few peasant Haitians and I cannot think of many who are not avid fans of him. He worked for the poor among the poor. I spoke with a friend Joe Louis yesterday and he is convinced that the leadership of Aristide would have been more prepared for this disaster than the current president Preval. 

  2. Unknown User (cmceniry)

    I think both Sophia and Mallory are so right in the idea that we have to understand the people of Haiti, just like former President Aristide did. It is so frustrating because all of us are coming into it with an American perspective, but the people of Haiti have a completely different culture with completely different needs and priorities than Americans. So when we are talking long-term action, it's something that has to be completely informed by the people of Haiti, not by America's own priorities.

    That being said, I totally agree that we can't hang out and wait to figure out what they need. There are some things that they need no matter what, and they need them quickly. The short term solution needs to involve food, water, shelter, healthcare, and in the fastest way possible.

  3. Unknown User (lsalter)

    Mallory, I am glad that you posted that link about Haiti Solidarity. At the present time, I think it is necessary to recognize those organizations in Haiti that have been fighting for the citizens for years, and listen to them. If we as Americans expect to have any insight into the issue of Haiti's current needs, we should look to the people who have been analyzing Haiti's situation and have a better grasp on what is needed both immediately and in the months to come. 

    I think that Cortney is right, there is certainly nothing wrong with giving them the essential items for survival. Mallory commented that we should stick with a solution that is better than before, because finding the best solution involves a lot of different opinions from Americans that would just be wasting time by not deciding on a solution and following through with it. The aid that is pouring into the country right now and providing citizens with those staples of food and water is addressing the lowest level on the Heirarchy of needs, but we should use the knowledge of those whose interests have been rooted in Haiti for a long time in order to determine a solution for further needs that will need to be addressed after periods of critical aid begin to end.