Monday, January 18, 2010
As you know, Haiti - and in particular Port-au-Prince was hit by a devastating earthquake on Tuesday at 5 pm. News reports and early images show a city in which one out of four buildings have collapsed, and the infrastructure has been shaken to rubble. Tens of thousands appear to be trapped beneath flattened buildings, injured or dead. And as rescue and relief teams start to make their way in, progress is agonizingly slow, and the scale of the task seems almost overwhelming.
Twenty-First Century Foundation (21CF), whose mission to lead, innovate and influence giving for Black community change, has followed these events very closely, sadly reminded of the experience of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 as we examine what our role ought to be in the face of the current disaster.
Drawing from our lessons learned, we recommend the following two considerations and offer numerous places to give. We share this information in hopes that it will enable a compassionate and just response to the suffering of Haiti's people and their aspirations for rebuilding their lives, homes and country to a better future.
1. Giving/ supporting/ helping in these early days after a monumental natural catastrophe is different than the giving/supporting/helping that will be absolutely necessary in the days and months to come when the dust has settled. Consider giving now to organizations that will provide critical emergency medical care, infrastructure and logistical services to help save lives now.
• Doctors Without Borders
• Partners in Health
• Oxfam International
• Church World Service
• Episcopal Relief and Development
• AmeriCares To follow on Twitter: @americares.
• World Vision To follow on Twitter: @WorldVisionUSA
• Mercy Corps To follow on Twitter: @mercycorps
2. Compassionate and just response follows the hierarchy of needs: first survival, then rebuilding and growth. Consider contributing to organizations that authentically develop the capacity of individuals and communities to recover and rebuild, and will stay and work with the local residents and local organizations over the long run.
• Lambi Fund of Haiti
• Grassroots, Inc.
• Global Fund for Women
• Peace Development Fund
We intend to closely follow the rescue and relief effort in Haiti in the days and weeks to come. In Haiti, we see the parallel with Louisiana and Mississippi where behind the natural disaster, there are decades of neglect, poverty and corruption. We see that hope for a resilient and reborn Haiti will come from Haitians wherever they are, and their friends, ready to stand by and to give funds, support and witness.
This Foundation will do its part to help Haiti find recovery by sharing information with our colleagues in the field, and helping to increase strategic investment, social justice and economic empowerment for Black communities here and abroad.
Generosity is compassionate and thoughtful. Think about giving now to help save lives. And think about giving in three months from now when the media has left and the people have to pick up their lives and undertake the hard work of transforming their society into one that is more democratic and just.