The headlines about thousands of Haitian migrants seeking asylum in in the US underscores the desperate conditions facing their homeland.
Many are asking how we can help Haiti. Nonprofit organizations that already work in the region are best positioned to respond effectively respond to the humanitarian crises in Haiti. Partners in Health, founded by Paul Farmer, is an inspirational organization that not only provides healthcare but also trains incredible local teams of doctors, nurses and medical staff. Hope for Haiti and Fokal are also excellent grassroots organizations that work in Southern Haiti, the region most effected by the recent earthquake and are delivering emergency aid. I highly recommend donations to these organizations.
In addition, the underlying cause of the chaos, instability, and even the high casualties from natural disasters is Haiti’s high rate of poverty. One way to help Haiti rebuild over the long term is to purchase goods from Haiti, supporting the economy. The hardworking people of Haiti create exquisite products, but they often lack marketing and advertising budgets. Below I've listed two Haitian businesses that not only sell beautiful and delicious items, they also go an extra mile by empowering their employees. I've curated additional social enterprises in a post I wrote for the Give A Day Global blog here. Bit by bit, if these businesses can flourish, then it may help with Haiti’s longterm recovery. As they say in Haitian Creole, “Piti, piti, zwazo fe nich li;” meaning little by little the bird builds its nest. We can all contribute just one twig.
See many more wonderful Haitian social enterprises on a post I wrote for the Give A Day Global blog here.