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Harry Shearer

Harry Shearer

Posted: January 16, 2010 10:20 AM

How To Help in Haiti: the Grass-Roots Version

What's Your Reaction:

This relayed by my friend Lolis Elie, reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, who describes Beverly Bell's work in Haiti as "selfless and inspiring":

Friends: There are ways that your donation, no matter how small, can have a big impact. They are not via the huge bureaucracies, but via the foundations who have long histories of accompanying, trusting, and strengthening the grassroots groups which, in Haiti, are the only ones who have ever made a sustained difference. These are small foundations that know that the only thing that ever works in Haiti is for people to have control over their own rebuilding, over their own communities, and over their own needs and destinies. These are the small foundations who understand that the best that they can do is strengthen those groups' capacities and strength with funding, infrastructure, and technical support.

The need today is of course enormous and overwhelming. Even the UN and Red Cross have no idea how to respond to a calamity of this size. Past the urgency of everyone now getting food and water (which will not happen) and the wounded getting care (neither), what will be needed is what the Lambi Fund called today "second responders." That involves rebuilding the efforts that were under way to move Haiti "from misery to poverty with dignity," as it is known there. That is the slow, careful work of helping grassroots movements get back on their feet, reclaim what they lost, and move forward - both individually, and as organized movements working for change and justice. The two groups listed below bring respect, trust, and integrity to that process.

Lambi Fund of Haiti, www.lambifund.org
Grassroots International, www.grassrootsonline.org

If you have any questions or want any more information, please let me know.

With gratitude,
Beverly Bell
Other Worlds

 

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