The Girls and Women of Haiti

10 05 2010

The girls and women of Haiti are in trouble.

They have little protection. Some lost their husbands or loved ones (their protectors) in the earthquake, and some never had protection. Whatever the case, if they’re living in tents, there’s nothing to save them from the rape gangs. Fear keeps them from sleep.

They cannot escape disease. Rape, assault, and lack of decent medical care or basic nutrition put them at increased odds of getting infections. Add to that the cyclical challenge of mosquitos carrying malaria and their burden becomes overwhelming.

Pregnancy and childbirth, always difficult in this poor country, are made more so by the rough living conditions. Babies are being delivered in tents or on the street. If there are any complications, the outlook for a safe birth is grim.

Thieves roam the streets. A female with a bag of rice in her arms is no match for a group of hungry men. Caring for a family is at times a life-threatening chore for the girls and women of Haiti.

We sit in our office chairs, writing this as part of our Haiti Habit series of postings. They’re not just postings, though. They’re people in pain.

We can’t all fly to Haiti and lend a hand, but we can pick up the phone or go online and give a few bucks. A little bit from each of us makes for a pile of cash, and boy do they need it.

If you already support a charity working in Haiti, contact them for more information and donation opportunities. If not, here’s a list of charities to consider.

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The Haiti Habit

29 01 2010

Before January 12th, 2010, Haiti was a threadbare and violent country whose citizens lived hard lives. Since that day, many in Haiti find themselves without…without food, potable water, medical care, homes, parents, children, or hope.

When a disaster strikes and wipes out lives, homes, businesses – even governments – the world is quick to give. It’s a lovely tribute to our humanity and illustrates that we are all, at our most basic level, one community.

These past few weeks, kids were giving their allowances and going out to raise more money in their neighborhoods. People who had little to start with and less to spare were giving what they could. Rich individuals and big corporations gave substantial amounts.

And now, the giving has slowed.

Days melt into each other, and the world’s generosity has been much reported. It’s easy to think of Haiti and say to ourselves: “OK, the worst is over, at least it’ll get fixed.”

But, that may not be true. Not this time. This time, we can’t give and move on to the next thing.  Haiti and her people have to be our next everything for at least a year.

Let’s make 2010 – all of 2010 – the year we give to Haiti. Don’t send food or clothes or any items, because there’s no one working in the post office to receive them, no mail carriers to deliver them, and not enough porches left on which to place the packages.

It’s all about the money. With money, infrastructure can be put in place, water and sewer systems established, homes rebuilt, seeds and tools purchased for planting, healthcare resources made permanently available, and more. With money, everything a society needs not just to scrape by, but to thrive can be provided. And with all that, the chance to grow.

Find reputable agencies that have been working in Haiti for several years and give money to them, directing that your donations be put to use in Haiti.

It’s easy to pass off tragedy of this scope as a societal or governmental problem, something that can’t be solved by you or me. But, ask any changemaker what it takes. He or she will tell you that it takes one person, or a small group of friends, or a family, to decide. That’s it, they just have to decide, and then they do.

We’ve decided to make a habit out of Haiti this year. We hope you do the same.

We’ll post any stories or pictures you have about your Haiti habit. It’s going to be a great year.

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