Haiti Watch

Resettlement Community Gives Hope to Haiti Six Years after Earthquake


Six years after the devastating January, 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the community of Leveque has emerged as one of the most successful resettlement communities in the country and a beacon of transformation.  

The once barren land where Leveque now sits was granted to Mission of Hope, Haiti (MOH) by the Interim Haiti Relief Commission after the earthquake as a place to rebuild homes for those who lost everything. Over the last six years, MOH built more than 600 block homes in Leveque through its Blue to Block program, enabling families to move out of the blue temporary tarp huts that were erected following the quake and live in a truly thriving community with a church, school, clean water, and sustainable farming. Over 150 hearing-impaired families have been integrated into the community as well.  

"These people not only have a new home, they have a new life. They have hope again," says Brad Johnson, President of MOH. "And it could not have happened without the collaborative effort of many partners, including New StoryInternational Deaf EmergencyWater Missions Intl and many others."

The cost of each home built through MOH is $6,000 and includes 3 rooms, a small plot of land for farming, a detached bathroom, and fruit trees.  The overall objective of Blue to Block is to build a community, not just a housing project. This has been accomplished by establishing a school, a church, clean water solutions, and agricultural training in Leveque. 

"Our mission is not just to change a village, but to change a nation. We want to empower Haitians to transform Haiti," says Johnson.

Mission of Hope currently works with over 420 indigenous organizations in Haiti and is committed to seeing the nation transformed through sustainable growth. To reach that goal, MOH trains and supports over 3,000 local farmers in sustainable farming techniques, feeds over 90,000 children a day, and hopes to have 100% of the food used in its food distribution program to be grown by Haitian farmers by 2020.  MOH also educates over 6,500 students and is currently building a technical school that will provide further education and job training.

Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson Travels to Haiti for Discussions with President Martelly’s Administration about Reconstruction Efforts and Haiti Elections

MIAMI - Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24) will travel to Haiti today at the invitation of House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman-emeritus Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-27). The purpose of the trip is to examine the findings of a Governmental Accountability Office report, commissioned through the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which reviews the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) assistance efforts in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. The delegation, which also includes Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25), will also assess the security situation in Haiti and receive an update on the status of local elections.

“It has been four years since the worst natural disaster in recent memory occurred in Haiti—the Haiti Earthquake of 2010. Despite heavy investment in Haiti, many projected goals have not been met.

I am committed to restoring Haiti for the good of its people, who are more than our neighbors: they are the loved ones of my constituents, my staff, and my friends and family. It is time to renew our efforts to rebuild Haiti by insisting on accountability and transparency,” said Congresswoman Wilson.

Throughout her life, Congresswoman Wilson has been a champion of Haitian causes. In 1982, she stood up for the fair treatment of Haitian women refugees who were incarcerated at the Krome Detention Center.

Congresswoman Wilson’s tireless activism led to a change in policy and improved living conditions for women at the Krome Detention Center.

Congresswoman Wilson has traveled to Haiti numerous times, including soon after the devastating 2010 earthquake. She fought to extend and expand temporary protective status (TPS) for Haitians, led the effort to get the State Department to add Haiti to the list of now-58 countries eligible for the H-2A and H-2B nonimmigrant visa program, and introduced a resolution to combat gender-based violence.

Congresswoman Frederica Wilson Leads Effort to Assist People of Haitian Descent in the Dominican Republic

WASHINGTON, DC   - Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24) and Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy III (MA-4) submitted a letter to President Danilo Medina of the Dominican Republic in response to a recent Dominican court ruling that makes many Dominican citizens of Haitian descent into outsiders in their own country.  The ruling by the Dominican Republic’s Tribunal Constitucional in TC/0163/13 strips persons born on Dominican soil to parents without legal documentation of their citizenship rights. 

 Excerpts from the letter are as follows:

“For over a generation the international community has agreed that governments have a duty to prevent statelessness. The right to nationality is fundamental and a gateway to almost all other human rights and government protections. Without citizenship one cannot access basic services such as education or health care, let alone find employment or exercise any number of political rights.”

“This decision by the Tribunal Constitucional could result in an unprecedented humanitarian crisis and seriously threaten regional stability. In light of this, we urge you to take all necessary steps to stay the tide of the denationalization campaign exemplified by the Tribunal Constitucional, and together we call for the protection of the thousands of Dominicans currently at risk of becoming stateless.”


Please watch the video below to get an idea of the human rights violations being endured by Haitians and people of Haitian descent in the Dominica Republic.

Please read the article below:

If you are black, get out: The crisis of statelessness in the Dominican Republic


Help for Haiti: Message from The Global Syndicate and Project Medishare


Please help The Global Syndicate and Project Medishare as we do our best to prevent a potential epidemic. Click here to donate funds of which 100% will support Project Medishare and its efforts on the ground in Haiti.  No amount is too small, but no support is unacceptable.  200+ have perished, 2000+ have been infected, and the number can increase exponentially rapidly if adequate containment efforts are not undertaken.  Please contribute right away and encourage at least 5 other people to do the same.

Reports have been confirmed of a Cholera outbreak in several provinces in Haiti.  Cholera is a serious infectious disease caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholerae, which affects the intestinal system of the body. An infected person experiences severe vomiting, explosive diarrhea and severe dehydration. Without immediate medical treatment, cholera may result in death within four to twelve hours after symptoms begin. Due to a large loss of body fluids, cholera is gruesome in the way that it leaves survivors in their physical appearance, as well as in the biological toll it takes on the body.

We are currently raising awareness and much needed financial support for our non-profit partner, Project Medishare, who is leading efforts to battle this ongoing viral attack. Below is an excerpt from the leadership at Project Medishare…

"Project Medishare is on the front lines in the Artibonite, Central Plateau and PAP fighting this epidemic as we speak. We have 100+ community health workers who are canvassing the camps with prevention tools and education, as well as our hundreds of doctors and nurses in country who are working closely with Haitian Ministry of Health at these clinics to provide manpower and support in St Marc as well as the new areas of outbreak.  Medishare has been called upon by the American Red Cross as well as PIH for back-up in the areas outside of St Marc which are now showing major outbreaks and we have been asked to get our four massive 5,000 sq feet field hospital tents put up out of the ground to provide 20,000sq feet of additional hospital space to treat patients, setting up cots as most are laying on the ground, and providing antibiotics, bleach, water tablets, buckets etc.  We are mobilizing a major cargo shipment down tuesday with additional supplies to help in St Marc and Artibonite and assist the haitian red cross as they are experiencing shortages in many areas.  

We should have these makeshift cholera treatment centers in the four  5,000sq foot tents built up by Tues (they are being built right now) so that we have space to treat an additional 400-500 patients at a time, as well as getting portable AC units and fans up to these areas because of the heat+high fevers, people are losing their lives much faster before they can get treatment in the overrun hospitals. We were hoping for containment and prevention but because of the alarm this caused in St Marc, there was a mass exodus out of the area and into PAP which we suspect has now carried cases into PAP and the MSPP (ministry of health) have given a very dire outlook on the situation with another 800,000 cases and deaths possible in the next 6 months if we can't get this contained.  We can most definitely (and pretty desperately) use the help in the way of an emergency grant to cover this effort because we did not have resources available to direct towards these expenses of cholera treatment supplies+ cargo lift to Haiti and any assistance would be greatly appreciated and put to worthy use."

Please help The Global Syndicate and Project Medishare as we do our best to prevent a potential epidemic. Click here to donate funds of which 100% will support Project Medishare and its efforts on the ground in Haiti.  Please contribute right away and encourage at least 5 other people to do the same.




Jacques-Philippe Piverger
The Global Syndicate
Founder & Chairman


Political Notes from the Miami New Times

Luke's Gospel Local rapper, businessman, coach, etc. Luther Campbell opines in his blog Luke’s Gospel at the Miami New Times that suspended City of Miami commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones is innocent and (I’m paraphrasing) there was a huge conspiracy to get her out of the way so now commission chair Marc Sarnoff can have his way with the allocation of City of Miami finances.

Since former County Commission chair and Spence-Jones mentor, Barbara Carey-Shuler basically changed her testimony and said she authorized the transfer of funds from two community groups to Michelle Spence-Jones’ family business, tongues are wagging as to who is really guilty and of what.

No matter how you slice it, State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and her staff, especially Atty. Frank Scruggs, are taking a beating in the court of public opinion. There’s still more to deal with as far as MSJ is concerned but let’s just wait and how this plays out. Anyhoo, there are lots of unanswered questions and plenty of opinions to go around. Wyclef

Haitian superstar Wyclef Jean may run for president of Haiti. It has been reported that he has not decided if he will run but has definitely filed the required paperwork.  Jean is Haiti’s best known advocate and anything is possible. Stay tuned.

Hope for Haiti Now Telethon [VIDEO]

I didn't watch the entire Hope for Haiti Now telethon. I did manage to see the performances of Madonna and the other celebs after her. I must say that Wyclef Jean, even after the latest controversy, was off the chain --- if that terminology is still used any more.

This performance was a lesson in the power and influence of music. The Junkanoo, Carnaval and Mardi Gras units in New Orleans all dance to that same beat with practically the same movement.

The total donations hasn't been announced but the Canadians donated more than $9 million. GEorge Clooney donated $1 million as did Leonardo Di Caprio.

"Earthquake We see the Earth Shake but the soul of the Haitian people will never break!!"

Wyclef strikes back

by Vanessa Woodard Byers

Haitian singer Wyclef Jean's foundation, Yele Haiti, has been trashed in the media for how monies it has raised in the past have been spent. Unfortunately, for Jean the reports lingered far too long before he issued a response so the damage done to his fundraising effort is unknown.

We do know from reports that Yele Haiti raised $2 million dollars in two days. Donors were able to send a text message that would donate $5 to Haiti earthquake relief. Requests to donate traveled quickly throughout the internet. I donated and encouraged others to donate by sending messages through my Twitter accounts, Facebook and MySpace.

Then I saw this: From the Christian Science Monitor and other sources ---

On Yéle's website, the group claims "100 percent of funds raised (will) go to the relief operation." Claims such as this should be taken with a grain of salt….

"There are always going to be some overhead expenses — there is going to be a transaction expense for a credit card donation. So when those types of messages are made about 100 percent going [to a group's work], even if the charity is getting its other money to pay for those expenses, the fact is the expenses are still there."

Statement from Wyclef Jean

"My commitment to Haiti is a unique and everlasting bond."

"I formalized that commitment when I formed my first foundation, in 1994. From that day forward, I have spent tireless hours working on behalf of my homeland on development issues as well as human and immigrant rights.

"I have been committed to helping the people of Haiti throughout my life, and that commitment will continue until the day I die.

"It is impossible for me to even comprehend the recent attacks on my character and the integrity of my foundation, Yele Haiti. The fact that these attacks come as we are mobilized to meet the greatest human tragedy in the history of Haiti only serves to perplex me even further.

"I first learned of these baseless attacks when I left Haiti late Friday, where I had been since 12 hours after the earthquake.

"Let me be clear: I denounce any allegation that I have ever profited personally through my work with Yele Haiti. These baseless attacks are simply not true.

"In fact, I have, time and again, committed significant amounts of my own money to support the work of Yele Haiti and other organizations in support of our efforts over the years.

"More than that, I have spent countless hours, days, months and years of my life committed to the country of Haiti, the people of Haiti and the success of Haiti.

"These baseless allegations were first put forward by a fringe website with a history of pursuing sensationalist story lines. The mainstream media's pursuit of them has required Yele to divert precious resources during this critical time in order to answer various inquiries. That must end.

"I will continue to commit my focus to what is most important right now: Haiti. Right now, Yele is working with its valuable NGO partners, the U.S. Government, the United Nations and so many others to save lives, honor those who have perished and get aid to the millions of Haitians suffering through the worst human catastrophe of our times.

"I will never give up on my commitment."


Related link: Wyclef Jean's Foundation Questionable Spending

Haiti Watch: Keep Haiti’s needs in the forefront

by Vanessa Woodard Byers

We have been inundated with coverage of the crisis in Haiti in the aftermath of the recent earthquake. People all over the world are poised to assist with relief and recovery efforts but actually putting that in action has not happened quickly enough because of the destruction of access points to the islands ---the seaport, airport, roads and bridges.

It is difficult to watch the desperation, destruction and death on television. Several photos are circulating the internet that give the unsanitized version of what the people are dealing with in Port-au-Prince and Petionville. I have yet see any coverage from Jacmel where friends here have received messages from family expressing extreme hunger and thirst.

I won't rehash what you've likely read or seen already but I must reiterate the need to pace ourselves and commit to a comprehensive plan to rebuild Haiti. How many of you are willing to do that? President Obama has received tremendous criticism from some Americans for his swift response to support Haiti. Some have also expressed extreme disagreement with efforts to bring Haitian children to this country in a similar manner of Operation Pedro Pan for Cuban children in the early 1960's. And the granting TPS (Temporary Protective Status) has sent some folks through the roof. When all is said and done, we can agree to disagree on this issue. Those who support our government's assistance to Haiti must not remain silent in support of our government's efforts to help the Haitian people.

While we cannot and do not want to forget the devastation to Haiti; it is crucial to remember the beauty of the nation also.

This blog is on Haiti watch and will follow the relief and recovery efforts. Stay alert! Stay connected! Help the people of Haiti, Follow Blogging Black Miami on Twitter and get updates on my Facebook page.