When Haiti makes the headline news for a couple of months, you can imagine how bad things must be on this troubled island. We pray that there would not be another disaster that draws the attention away from Haiti. Alas, we know that is impossible.
It is the early morning of January 13, 2010 that I get a call from Andrew. He wants to know whether or not I had heard of the earthquake which had hit Haiti the day before. Since I am on my way to work, I promise to get back to him later. However, upon getting home that afternoon, I realize that Haiti is all over the media. It does not take long for the panic to set in.
It is just a matter of days before the wild estimates begin to surface. One news headline puts the fatalities at 10,000. Then another one suggests that the number could be as high as 100,000. Then I say to myself that the extra zero must be a typo. Too bad; it’s not a misprint. By the time the last dead is accounted for, a quarter of million will seem a more accurate figure. Haiti has become fertile ground for some 9000 NGOs.
Friends, colleagues, and people I barely know are reaching out to help me cope during the week that I am unable to reach my loved ones in Haiti. Just like so many others, I grieve and complain about what is being done (or the lack thereof) to help those in need. Crying won’t raise the dead, goes the Haitian saying (Kriye pa leve lanmo).
People chip in in whatever ways they can. Some of you may recall my personal endorsement for established organisations such as the Red Cross. Others help in smaller but personal ways. I can think of my friend Corrine, whose ten-year-old boy takes the initiative to bake cookies for fundraising at his school. A school principal calls me to ask what she ought to do with the money that her students have collected. Some University of Lowell alumni contact me via Facebook, to confirm that I am alive. People from all corners of the world express their solidarity. One thing is for certain, this natural catastrophe has reminded us how precious and fragile human life is.
After a period of stumbling, I have joined forces with some partners in putting together a non-profit organisation named Initiative Diapason. Initiative Diapason (ID) proposes an alternative yet meaningful contribution to help Haiti pick up the pieces in the aftermath of the January 12, 2010 earthquake. Particularly, ID favors an investment in human resources, which are essential to sustainable development. Recognizing the importance of human creativity, ID is dedicated to supporting competencies in the arts and the performing arts as an alternative way forward. A website is set to launch very soon. All I ask you is to stand with Haiti. How can you help? Visit our website for details: www.initiativediapason.org.
Initiative Diapason Tunes Up for Haiti
When Haiti makes the headline news for a couple of months, you can imagine how bad things must be on this troubled island, which has now become fertile ground for some 9000 NGOs.
It is the early morning of January 13, 2010 that I get a call from Andrew. He wants to know whether or not I had heard of the earthquake which had hit Haiti the day before. Since I am on my way to work, I promise to get back to him later. Upon getting home that…Continue
Posted on January 15, 2012 at 0:00
2010 in Review
First, I wish you all best for the New Year. The year 2010 was particularly difficult for Haiti: Earthquake, cholera, contested elections, and mismanagement of donations, etc. This much we know. While much of the
attention has been focused on the desolation and frustration of the victims, I
thought it worthwhile to share with you a few positive anecdotes.
Posted on January 4, 2011 at 5:54
Haiti Trip Summary
In case you are wondering how my trip back home went I would prefer to tell you what you do not usually see or read about in the mainstream media. Sure, there are obstacles. Seeing the destruction, the litter, and the makeshift tents, Port-au-Prince and the surrounding areas seem like a war zone. Yet, there are signs of hope, for…Continue
Posted on August 13, 2010 at 22:13
Trip to Haiti (Summer 2010): Does Music Matter?
Six months after the 12 January 2010 earthquake, progress is slow. Millions or billions of dollars (who is counting?) in aid seem not to matter. The rubbles, the tent cities, and the filth are still present. The rebuilding of Haiti is a puzzle.…Continue
Posted on July 14, 2010 at 11:30