What is needed is a global master plan for dealing with emergencies created by natural disasters, because they happen often and all over the globe. Independent organizations and governments should all have to organize and stage their efforts through one agency.
The humanitarian community finds itself looking inward as it confronts twenty-first century emergencies. Some of the old guard worry that the explosive growth of relief and development organizations is diminishing their efficiency and effectiveness and in some cases politicizing aid.
Alyssa Kuchta is the founder of eff.Y.bee, a lifestyle jewelry brand that has an employment program for women in Haiti called Bay Lavi, or "Give Life." Initially started as a charity line during Kuchta's senior year in college.
Haiti has been a microcosm for all that could go wrong in the advancement of human potential. Before the country was ravaged by an earthquake, it was ravaged by a nonexistent educational system and no sanitation system whatsoever.
We tend to focus on what is wrong with relief and aid, and in some cases it is justified. But it is time we recognize the people who are dedicating their lives, long after the world has moved on, to chipping away at the work that remains to be done in Haiti.
It is easy to believe in what we are doing. We are in the midst of training our staff to collect data as we monitor and evaluate our strategies to create change for the orphans and at-risk youngsters in Kenscoff.
One avenue for relieving pressure on Haiti's over-taxed relief efforts could involve controlled emigration to an area where displaced Haitians would develop agricultural management practices and other skills applicable to the climate and geography of the Caribbean.
As governments and international organizations continue to invest in Haiti's future, we must have the humility to admit that we don't have all the answers. Let's heed the advice that knowledge lives with people on the ground -- not within the bowels of bureaucracies.
Many have expressed pessimism about the disparity between Haiti's slow reconstruction and the billions of dollars spent in and promised to the country. I have witnessed firsthand how projects can make a tremendous impact if the work is implemented with local actors on the ground.
Despite billions in aid that were supposed to go to the Haitian people, hundreds of thousands are still homeless, living in shanty tent camps as the effects from the earthquake of Jan. 12, 2010, remain.
I love traveling with a group of supporters and donors who are eager to do service with me because I can see how they feel about the children and help educate them about our mission and vision. The happiness of the children simply strips us of our defensives
It was recently reported that work on neighborhood revitalization in Port-au-Prince is about to finally begin. This is both welcome and long overdue, since more progress needs to be made in neighborhood revitalization.
The Expo was one of the first reconstruction projects approved by the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission -- the idea was to "expose best practices for housing reconstruction by encouraging innovative ideas."
"During the second trip lots of medical volunteers were in the bunkhouse with us. At meal times they shared horrifically graphic tales from their work, and I began to feel some misgivings: were we 'just playing' while they were 'really working'?"