Thursday, August 16, 2012

Haiti Today


Check out the article, "Years After Haiti Quake, Safe Housing Is a Dream for Many," by Deborah Sontag in the August 16, 2012 New York Times. It lays out how the reconstruction efforts after last year's earthquake have fallen far short of human need. What do you think?

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Since the earthquake of Jan. 12, 2010, a scrappy 12-year-old boy named Givenson Fanfan has been sleeping on the rock-hard floor of a tent pitched in a fetid camp dominated by a 50-foot tower of trash. He dreams of a bed.

In a hillside community, Terilien Brice, a 63-year-old grievously injured in the earthquake, lives like a shut-in inside his condemned house, which was marked with a red tag that is supposed to mean “no entry,” not no exit. He feels helpless.

Dieu Juste Saint Eloi, 68, in contrast, secured a one-room shelter with plastic sheeting for walls, but his clan of 12 squeezes into it. And it perches on a ledge above the ruins of his spacious home, into which his granddaughter keeps tumbling and breaking bones.

Unexpectedly, though, his 29-year-old son, William Saint Eloi, hit the housing jackpot. Isolated all his life because he is deaf, he now has a new home and community because two can-do Christian charities have taken deaf disaster victims under wing.

Two and a half years after the earthquake, despite billions of dollars in reconstruction aid, the most obvious, pressing need — safe, stable housing for all displaced people — remains unmet.

Go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/16/world/americas/years-after-haiti-quake-safe-housing-is-dream-for-multitudes.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120816 to read the entire article and view the connected videos!

40 comments:

URI Common Reading said...

Hello, my name is Erica Allen and I am an incoming freshmen majoring in marine biology. While reading Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder, it hit home for me as I have spent summers in third world countries doing community service and research programs. There is a proverb that states, “Give a man a fish, you will eat for a day, teach him how to fish, he will eat for a lifetime.” People of wealthier nations should not directly give people of poorer countries money, but instead volunteers and money focused directly into educating the people of the developing nation. This education could teach them how to better develop themselves and their country. The basis of any countries development is education, whether is may be in medicine, business, commerce, engineering, or any other field. By developing the education in these fields, it will lead to more jobs, leading to more employment and income for the specific country to develop. The best way to go about this would be donations to NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) which would allow volunteer workers to come education and help out the specific countries need at a minimal cost. Giving money to charities of small businesses, such as the local fishermen, would help boost the local communities income.

In regard to what Mara believed, I too believe that where one’s passion is may be the most important factor in making a change. For instance, one would be able to give education and fiances to the appropriate businesses, so they could be involved in educating the people in an intelligent, focal manner.

Anonymous said...

Hey everyone, my name is Cameron and I am a freshman majoring in engineering. This article stating specific examples of the unfortunate people in Haiti now really makes you feel sorry. It is heartbreaking to know that humans like us are dying and don't have things that we take for granted like food and a home. I agree with Erica. We need to keep developing education and technologies and we need to expand them into the third-world countries. This would give people like the Haitians jobs, better health, and wealth. If we helped Haiti develop their businesses and technologies, one day that country could escape the poverty and terrible circumstances they are under now. It will be a long process, but it is possible.

Anonymous said...

Hello, my name is Kayleigh Hill and I am majoring in Nutrition and Dietetics. After reading and contemplating Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder there was one conflict in the book that really stuck to me. The unanswered question of whether or not it is best to approach the problems and issues of these destitute countries in a global way or in a less broad, almost personal way. Dr. Farmer, of course, thought it best to focus on individual patients. In other words, he wanted to attack poverty by helping one person at a time, by setting up many little facilities that would help aid some of the world’s poorest countries. While men like Howard Hiatt and Alex Goldfarb believed that the more effective way to help these desperate countries was not to focus on every patient and every little problem, but to handle the greater issues, the ones that influence the majority of these third world countries.

In a discussion amongst the Soros Foundation Goldfarb clearly expresses his beliefs when he says, "And assuming that ten percent have MDR-TB, forty-five hundred will be cured and five hundred will go down with MDR-TB and die. And there’s nothing you can do. So. I have a choice. And my choice is to use another three million dollars to treat the five hundred with MDR-TB, or go to another region and treat another five thousand. I'm working with leemited resources. So my choice is not involved in the human rights of five hundred people, but five hundred people versus five thousand people". What he is saying is that sometimes it is better to not worry about every single loss and to focus on the bigger picture because that could mean saving more lives. So my question is, which view is correct? Which call to action will ultimately save these countries? Farmer’s, never rest until everything possible is done to every person in need, belief or Goldfarb's mindset that in order to make the biggest difference, one must ignore the small problems?

In relation to the destruction in Haiti from the earthquake, I think that the best way to help these struggling people is to perhaps set aside the idea that they are going to be able to rebuild every house that was destroyed. Perhaps it is more logical to try and do what Erica suggested above, put the money and energy into creating jobs. Constructing schools and businesses will lead to an increase in both educated and employed citizens. Although I find it heartbreaking to leave these Haitians without homes, I think the best hope to ending their misery is looking at the bigger picture.

Anonymous said...

Hello my name is Andrew Wallace, an incoming freshman majoring in Criminal Justice. As I was reading through the comments of this article I began to think of posible responses I would have to the article itself. To add on the Erica's, yes education would greatly help the people in third world countries will help in both personal health and economic worlds. But seeing what Haiti has become now after the earthquake, should the surrounding countries be directly funding the people and businesses of Haiti to allow the rebuilding of a society? These people are wishing for things that we take for granted, and better funding would fix all that right? Feel free to correct me if I am wrong but that is just what Farmer did the beginning of the novel, he had white send him money so new programs could be built that would ultimately help the people of Haiti.

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Ana Opishinski and I am majoring in anthropology. After I read the NY Times article and “Mountains Beyond Mountains,” I was struck by how poorly the reconstruction effort in Haiti is being managed. I think the fact that so many different organizations are attempting to rebuild or to help the Haitians, is actually hindering the entire process. Because all of these different organizations are coming in a building in certain places with limited resources, they are only managing to aid a select few in getting new houses or clean water or basic supplies, but many Haitians are being overlooked. In the case mentioned in the NY Times article where two organizations collaborated because one had land and one had funding, the rebuilding process was more successful. For me, the saddest part about the reconstruction of Haiti is that the companies and organizations running it are not setting up a sustainable environment. They feel as if they are improving Haiti by building houses and sending money, but when these companies and organizations leave, many Haitians will still be living in collapsed houses or not have access to clean water or bathrooms. If these bodies could collaborate an organize their efforts into something larger and share the resources with all of Haiti, I believe they could set up homes for many more people and then go on to do more, such as build schools and hospitals that would in turn create a more sustainable economy for Haiti and help more people. The people of Haiti really need help with reconstructing buildings and infrastructure, but after that, they will need to rebuild their economy and industry, and I believe this could be done if resources were more equally distributed and investments were made not only in housing but also in education.

Taylor Losure said...

Hey, my name is Taylor Losure and I am an incoming freshman majoring in engineering. While reading the book I noticed a re-ocuring theme; Journey of the individual and his trials and tribulations, the hopes and dreams followed by the realization of the actual impact that he could have. Like in Dr. Farmer's case this article shows that even with the best intentions of reconstruction and the will to make a change, the results are subpar . I personally believe that the true key for progress in both the case of housing and medicine is organization. Organization in a sense of both fundraising and goal setting. If funds were organized from all these special interest groups underneath one program with a keen focused objective, results would be achieved. In times of great destruction and desolation, public works and services can boost an economy and fuel progress. I fully realize that the state of Haiti isn't in a position to enable such a large scale project; however I envision some coalition of nations doing something along the outline of FDR's Civilian Conservation Corps. A united effort by far beats the work of the divided.


On a brighter note if anyone has Netflix, I recommend watching "When the Drum is Beating" its a documentary about the Haitian musical act Septentrional, and follows their upbeat joy filled music, contrary to their nations history. It's a slightly happier look at the country in light of this article and the book.

Anonymous said...

Hello my name is Chris Blewet and I am an incoming freshman majoring in engineering. After reading "Mountians beyond Mountians" and some of the post I agree with most everybody. We need to educate poorer countries to better themselves, we should be the example showing them what should be done, but not doing it for them. By showing the people of the region what should be done like proper construction and schooling, jobs will arise. With jobs will come an increased economy, which will cause a cascade effect where the people of that country (in this case Hati) can gain hope and begin to prosper agian. Unforuntanetly supplies are limited, charity begins and some times has to start at home. Which means before we get into other people's business, we need to straighten out our own business. Yes as a wealthier nation we do have a responsiblity to help other countries but without the proper means, i.e. money, we cannot extend our help.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I’m Robert and I am an incoming pharmacy major. The book mountains beyond mountains by Tracy Kidder was a thought provoking and educating book about helping less fortunate people. I believe that people of wealthier nations should give back to others, but not by just donating money and supplies. The people of these nations need to be educated on how to improve their lives and take care of themselves. We need to give them the tools and resources to succeed but teach them how to use them. This is what Dr. Farmer did when he trained and educated the Haitians that worked in Zanmi Lasante. Many groups do this with trips to impoverished nations. While providing aid to a town in Nicaragua, a group from my school helped build a water pump station. Along with providing clean drinking water to the surrounding villages this severely cut down on the cholera infections in the area. It will take time to educate these people but the rewards are worth it.

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Elizabeth Byrnes and I am going to major in psychology. This book was really interesting to me because I chose pyschology because I want a job that allows me to help people in some way. Mountains Beyond Mountains is a great story of a man who used his talents to the best of his ability and was able to greatly help the people of Haiti. Although Paul Farmer clearly did great things for the people of Haiti, he was in the ideal situation to go and serve the people of Haiti. He had the financial means, and had essentially no ties to Boston. Not everyone can be in that situation, and just pick up and leave. The best way for the average person who has reasonable means to help people would be to fundraise, but all too often the money or goods get intercepted by corrupt political governments, and never reach the people in need. The best way the average person can help the people of other countries is to donate to trustworthy organizations and people who can go to third world countries. As Theodore Roosevelt famously put, "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." We should try to help the people of poorer countries as much as we can to the best of our ability.

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Elizabeth Byrnes and I am going to major in psychology. This book was really interesting to me because I chose pyschology because I want a job that allows me to help people in some way. Mountains Beyond Mountains is a great story of a man who used his talents to the best of his ability and was able to greatly help the people of Haiti. Although Paul Farmer clearly did great things for the people of Haiti, he was in the ideal situation to go and serve the people of Haiti. He had the financial means, and had essentially no ties to Boston. Not everyone can be in that situation, and just pick up and leave. The best way for the average person who has reasonable means to help people would be to fundraise, but all too often the money or goods get intercepted by corrupt political governments, and never reach the people in need. The best way the average person can help the people of other countries is to donate to trustworthy organizations and people who can go to third world countries. As Theodore Roosevelt famously put, "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." We should try to help the people of poorer countries as much as we can to the best of our ability.

Michael Dunn said...

Shocking.. truely, all I've learned about Haiti in the last few months has hocked me more than I knew i could be. From the widespread disease, to the dismal housing and food, I can't believe the most I've heard about this on the news was only after a major weather disaster. It goes to show how little world issues are brought to the public's notice. When the issues there were noted, there was so much aid given, the hard working men and woman of that nation were overwealed, unable to handle the huge quantities of suplies given to them by concerened people around the world. If people were to be more aware of these issues, I would not be surprised if they could be enormously stomped out in only twenty to thirty years.
Michael Dunn

Anonymous said...

Hello, my name is Ryan Feeney and I am a Chinese and Economics major. Having read Mountains Beyond Mountains I can see that private individuals can make a huge difference in improving the standard of living within a country. Paul Farmer made a great impression on the Haitian people and brought them hope that their situation could collectively improve. However, I do not see intervention by national government to be the solution. Lets say our government decided to run a health clinic operation in Haiti. More likely than not this would be run by some agency that sets standards and methods of operation based on what Washington demands not what Haiti demands. Bureaucratic agencies by nature are inflexible and follow the status quo. Private individuals like Farmer can run their operations on their own rules and standards. The operation would not need to answer to some agency some few hundred miles away and would be very reactive to change. This however, comes with its own problems. Wealthy governments have more resources and more overhead so mistakes would be minimized to an extent and research could be easily funded. In the end I see private efforts having far more success and positive effects on the Haitian people than a government run operation although a minimal government involvement could be useful depending on how much control is given to the private individual. I also belwive that it will be the Haitians themselves who make their country prosperous or at least sufficient. Nation building has never really worked well and it must be left to each country individually to develop and grow. Private efforts can help this process and bring new life into destitute situations.

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone, my name is Shiana Ashworth and I am an incoming freshmen majoring in Biology. Throughout reading the book Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder, I felt thankful for all that I have. To know that there are people in third world countries dying truly hurts me. I want to be in the medical profession, and this book was an inspiration. By learning about Haiti I realized that I need to help the world little by little one day at a time. If Haiti had a chance to have more technology along with a better way of receiving education, Haiti could become a better country. Agreeing with Erica, the education in Haiti is what is going to help them in the future.

Ronny Beaulieu said...

I keep seeing one point that keeps coming up in this blog that i wanted to comment on. This point is as we expand our education and technological capabilities we must expand them to other third world countries. We actually do expand them to other countries, but it takes way to long to do so. For example, it took years for places in Africa and India to get educated on Birth Control. Sometimes something as simple as Birth Control can have huge positive impacts on third world countries.

Also the article brought up the point of how people had to build their own houses out of concrete blocks. This goes back to a point that Farmer made in the book when they witnessed the mango lady. Farmer pointed out how Haiti's government was not taking the proper steps necessary in ensuring the safety and well-being of its people. Haiti's political figures should take some responsibility and provide its people with the resources to help them instead of letting them fend for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Taylor Carpentier. I thought Mountains Beyond Mountains, by Tracy Kidder was both insightful and inspiring. I already love to travel and work with those who are less fortunate then I am, and so this book only opened up my eyes more. It gave me hope for the future, in that one day I will be able to go out into the world and help others.
I believe that individuals in wealthier nations have great responsibilities towards people in poor countries. There one main responsibility is to teach others and lead by example. The greatest gift someone can give is knowledge. Simply, giving someone something is the easy way out. If they are taught how to do it, they will have the knowledge for the rest of their life. People of wealthy countries don't necessarily have to hand the poor money to make everything ok. If they volunteer their time and energy to share their knowledge and information that will help the poor and last them much longer than any sum of money. Of course, money can help, especially in dire situations, however money is not the answer to everything. The best way to express or act on this sense of responsibility is to literally lend a helping hand.

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Kajsa Carlsson and i actually really loved Mountains Beyond Mountains. It was interesting to see how one man could devote his entire life to one cause. I mean he pretty much gave up seeing his family to help the people of Haiti.
But at the same time, it never seems like his help is enough. The articles just showed us that people are still suffering in Haiti this many years after the earthquake. And how Mountains Beyond Mountains described Haiti before the earthquake it didn't seem to be particularly better.
I think that wealthier nations should help and send supplies to Haiti but we shouldn't have ever tried to mess with their economy. Because in the end it only really help Americans, not Haitians. I think that this book really was an eye opener about how countries are looked over or even down upon due to economy and way of life. I honestly hope that Haiti recovers in the next few years with as little economic and political persuasion as possible.

Andrew Morin said...

Hello everyone, my name is Andrew Morin and I am majoring in marine affairs. Upon starting Tracy Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains my first thoughts were that I definitely envied Farmer's devotion, and humanitarian mind set. I could also connect with what Paul Farmer was experiencing. Two summers ago I traveled to the Dominican Republic where Haitian Migrant workers were forced to cut sugar cane in order to survive. These villages where they lived to cut sugar cane were called, "bateys." There, a team of people from my church and I evangelized, provided food, and medical supplies to the Haitians. It was a life changing experience and made me appreciate Farmer's work in third world countries even more.

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone, my name is Victoria Petit & I am an incoming freshman nursing student. After reading the article by Deborah Sontag and the book Mountains Beyond Mountains, I noticed an underlying theme of inequality with both works. In one specific instance in Mountains Beyond Mountains, Paul Farmer talks about how he lost a baby girl and how horrible he felt for days after. This was after he had his own child, Catherine, and figured he was imagining her in the place of his dead baby. His conclusion was that he loves his own child more than any other children or patients. At first I was baffled by what he meant by this; did he not want to love his child as much as he did? Nothing made sense. But when I took a step back I realized that this issue of not loving others as much as your own was an underlying issue with wealth and humanity in the world. Most people have a hard time ‘loving thy neighbor, as thyself (Farmer 213).’
I thought that this was an interesting concept and was surprised to see it in action in the article as well. Sontag writes about how a Haitian man, William Saint Eloi has his life taken from extreme poverty to what she calls a ‘housing jackpot.’ What is interesting is how his father, on the other hand, with twelve others, secures a single room shelter with plastic sheets for walls. How can charities pick one man over the other? The article points to the idea that people give money to others whom they identify with or feel the most sympathy towards.
So after contemplating both works I think that the biggest responsibility individuals in wealthier nations have is to distribute money & help in as many areas in need as possible. But before money is spent, I believe that the first step is for people in these areas of wealth should do their homework and become more educated in the regions of need. By getting to know the region and people, a bond will begin to be formed to hopefully help guide the way for the betterment of mankind.

Anonymous said...

Hi my name is Laura Hugel, and I am a Textile Merchandising major. I found the book to be very interesting. It made me really think about the world and how fortunate I am with the wonderful opportunities and the Health Services that are given to me.
Reading Mountains Beyond Mountains and this article by Deborah Sontag really opened up my eyes. Paul Farmer is a very influential man, because he is helping people who need it the most. What is unfortunate is that, in America we have very wealthy people who most likely do not give money to organizations like the ones in the book. This is one world that everyone lives on, and I am a strong believer that we should help everyone as best as we can. It is very unfortunate because many people are to busy to even focus on the major issues like AIDS and TB. What everyone should focus on is helping those who have these major diseases. People do not realize the extreme poverty levels that are occurring in the world today.
After Reading everything, it has come to my attention that people should be more informed about these types of issues that are occurring in other parts of the world. It is one world and we all need to help out one another.

Anonymous said...

My name is Shayla and I am a Medical Lab Science/ Business Junior in the Honor's Colloquium. I found this article to be extremely disturbing, and yet only one example of wrongly directed humanitarian assistance. We find the same thing happening in small towns in Africa now, where "better" housing is being built that the townspeople are against because of the quality and the fact that they will be pushed out of their own traditions and housing styles in order to occupy new, westernized housing. The same thing in Haiti when a damn was created to supply water for a government town, forcing Haitians from their flooded homes and now infertile farmland.

Why do all humanitarian organizations not think of the people they are serving above all other motivations? It would seem that failing to do so will only result in further distress to a constantly changing landscape. The article mentions, "a fifth of the damaged homes’ owners are not benefiting, because their houses would be too expensive or dangerous to repair safely or because they declined a shelter." I have mentioned in a previous blog entry that to help we must help silently, learning the culture that we are entering into and involving the people in the projects. Without approval of the community, who do we think we are helping?

People like Paul Farmer constantly kept in mind the Haitian belief system and culture, spending time learning and respecting the poor people, never assuming that he could sweep into the country and fix everything, then go home.

We should target organizations that are using money and resources in Haiti in a right, just, and humble manner.

Shayla Minteer

Wilson Flores said...

Hello my name is Wilson Flores and i think that both the book and article give substantial information that Haiti is not receiving the right assistance it need to recover from the earthquake and the constant effect of diseases on its people. I think that there are are flaws to the aid we give to countries for example Haiti. What the book teaches is in order to make a difference you have to be devoted to your job like Paul farmer. I think there needs to be people willing to create personal relationships with their patients as Paul farmer did. The idea of helping countries is set more on pride and recognition today then on actually personally feeling what the victims are going through like the disaster of the Haiti earthquake. As I read through the comments on this blog someone spoke about the question what is the most effective way of assisting countries in need. I think the most effective way is through personally having relationships with the people to understand and feel what they are experiencing. Paul Farmer did it in Cange Haiti and it proved effective on the decrease of TB and other diseases in his area. I think the main outlook on issues like Haiti there needs to be more people willing to help in the situation and have a mindset like Paul Farmer.

Anonymous said...

Hey there, my name is Stephen DelGaudio and while reading this book, all I could think about was how privileged I was for having the life that I have. In a way, I feel very sheltered because I probably would have never heard of the problems in Haiti without the book, or for that matter, the rest of the world because Mountains Beyond Mountains made it clear that there are many problems that human population is facing as a whole. Much like the people above me in the blog feel, I think we need more people in this world like Paul Farmer. Thats not to say that people should devote every waking moment and disregard everything else. We need people who really try to connect and who want to help out of the goodness in their soul. As negative as it seems, I dont think that one man, alone can truly change how things work but if people begin to rally behind a leader and continue their work in other areas much like the people under Farmer, things may actually change. going back to Haiti, we need to step up the medical care given there and pave the way for locals to overtake the hospitals and become self sufficient, hopefully creating a stable country.

Anonymous said...

Hello, my name is Aimee and I am a freshmen- undecided major. After reading Mountains Beyond Mountains, it made me think about how there really aren't many people around like Paul Farmer. He is such a genuine person just looking to help and to give back, although he did not have a great childhood or home life. He dedicated his whole life to helping strangers. I find that very admirable. On the other hand, it is very sad to see how little we do as Americans to help out third-world countries. Many celebrities have donated money to help Haiti right after the earthquake, but I believe that it was just to give themselves a good look- which I find very selfish, not selfless; like Paul Farmer. I feel that Americans are very sheltered and are not made aware of situations unless they are bad situations. You never seem to hear about people like Farmer on the news or in any type of media, they only seem to stress the negatives in the world. I believe that there are not as many people who are like Paul Farmer as there should be, and if they were informed on more things about third-world countries and shown what their living conditions are like, people may be more apt to want to help and to give back.

Anonymous said...

Hello I am Tori. I enjoyed Mountains Beyond Mountains and I felt that I really learned from reading it. I personally have not visited a third world country on a mission trip like many others have on a mission trip but while on vacation with my family our cruise stopped in Honduras. It really opened my eyes to the way other people live and I felt very lucky and greedy to have been on vacation and simply passing through an area where people are living with much less than I could possibly contemplate living with. This book reminded me how lucky we are to have the opportunities that we have been given and inspired me. I do think that publicity will assist the cause but rather than sending money I think that we should send aid, medication, and education to these areas. I do not believe we should impose on their governments but simply help the countries "get back on their feet" and they should work it out themselves because many of the natives of the countries would fear anterior motives or imperialism from richer nations.

Anonymous said...

Hello, my name is Heather Marty and I am majoring in Kinesiology. While reading Mountains Beyond Mountains, I found myself very interested in the idea that even in the modern world, the people of Haiti still had a very strong belief in magic and Voodoo. I believe that having a knowledge of science is extremely critical in the modern world, and that may be one of Haitian peoples’ downfalls. They believe that it is neither infections nor pathogens that make them ill, but rather that someone was out to get them, and cursed them with their disease. Dr. Farmer was very reasonable and considerate in approaching his patients with his thoughts on medicine, not talking them out of their beliefs, but instead explaining the science behind his medicines in hopes of making them realize that they were cured not through prayer but through antibiotics. However, it seems as though the reason behind so many of the problems in Haiti was that they were uneducated and underdeveloped as a nation. If the Haitian education system was stronger, there may be a lesser belief in magic and thus more people seeking medicine for their illnesses; in addition there would be a growing job field in many different areas of learning such as small businesses, technology, or jobs to help build a safer, cleaner nation such as civil engineering to develop a way to access clean water for citizens. If other nations continue to push reform on Haiti, I believe the best way to do it would be to have long-term volunteers set up schooling and teach the people not only academically, but more importantly about personal health and preventative measures to avoid disease, as opposed to solely operating a hospital for people who have already become ill; if the people of Haiti do not understand why they became ill, they will not understand how to avoid it in the future.

Anonymous said...

hello my name is Lillian Vanderbilt and i am majoring in Chemistry. Mountains Beyond Mountains inspired me and made me think more about the people who live on the other side of the world. Many of them being poor and un-wealthy nations and their daily routine of living in unsuitable conditions. I believe that we should help educate these types of countries to help them gain knowledge of certain things they can do to create a stable life for themselves. Education is always a basis for any other field, therefore education is a necessity in helping these countries. Volunteer work, and donating money to non-government foundations or organizations, will improve. This article "Haiti Today" makes me realize how lucky i am to have the things we have and take granted for them every day. Having a family, a bed to sleep in with a roof over my head, heating and air conditioning, and enough food to fill me 20 times a day. I can say it is heartbreaking to know someone EXACTLY like myself is somewhere in the world suffering because they don't have the luxury hat i can afford to have.

Anonymous said...

My name is Deanna Marler, and I am majoring Chemistry. When I was reading the book Mountains Beyond Mountains, by Tracy Kidder, I realized the lack of medicinal technology that there is in other countries. As an aspiring doctor, I think that having a good medical foundation in every country is very beneficial. The story of Dr. Farmer is truly inspiring, because I too want to help people in ways that they are not able to help themselves as Dr. Farmer did. Educating Haiti is one thing that will help them make big strides towards success.

Anonymous said...

My name is Michael Croke and am majoring in business. While reading Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder the facts about the world hit me. The third world countries that have a need for medical supplies and other basic needs really came to light and showed me how much help they need. This book seemed to inspire a person like Dr. Farmer to help others in need like in Haiti, so I would encourage people to follow in his footsteps

Avery Beaty said...

My name is Avery im a freshman and majoring in Public Relations. When i was reading this article i found it very disturbing and sad to read. The fact that people know about these people's living conditions and would take no action to help them is unbearable. When people heard about a tragic event in America like the hurricane in New Orleans a few years ago people drove down just to help them. It is sad to think that just because they live in a third world country that no one would care to help them. When that should be the reason that you should be helping them, because they dont have the resources to help themselves. It goes on to talk about how much it would cost to build camps for the people in Haiti but I think that in this sense it would a project that would pay off in the end if you really built shelters that would hold up for them in disasters then we wouldn't have so many displaced people and in the long run it could solve a lot more of Haiti's problems. Relating this back to the book there would probably be less people trying to live in the hospitals because they feel like thats the only place they can get shelter. Then the hospitals could be used to treat people who are actually in need of them.

Anonymous said...

Hello, my name is Lauren Gareau and I am a Forensic Chemistry major. I read Mountains beyond Mountains my junior year of high school and having to read it again really proved how much we need people like Paul Farmer.It really makes me wonder why we don't have people like him. Yet, it does make sense in a way, people are selfish, as sad as it seems and while it is heartbreaking a lot people don't want to put the time and effort into helping rebuild a country especially after it has had such a devastating disaster. People tend to only focus on themselves which is why it is not teaching just the people how to care for themselves, we need to make sure the government can equally help and care for them as well. We need to get rid of the dictators so that the country can learn to take care of itself and then be able to care for its people. Only then will Haiti, and any other 3rd nation be able to have a sustaining economy, better housing, education, jobs for its people.

gregvan said...

Hi my name is greg and I also agree that there would be great improvements if education was improved or offered. The problem is money however. There needs to be the resources in place in order to offer education. This includes the basics such as health care, clean water and food, along with shelter. This all costs money and thats the main problem facing a third world country like haiti

Sam said...

Hello, my name is Samantha Destremps and I am a psychology major. In my COM 100 class we are doing group projects and my groups is doing mental illness. It seems to me that because of the poor physical health that many people in developing nations are in mental health gets put on a back burner. It surprised me that people in Haiti use voodoo and curses to explain the misfortunes and health problems they face. I feel that this may be a way for them to do something that may be more in their control, such as break a curse, rather than going to a hospital and believing that there is something wrong with them that they cannot control. From a psychology perspective, I would be interested in knowing what organizations are doing to help the mental health of people in developing nations, or if it is simply not a pressing issue.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with what Cameron said about establishing education and technologies in Haiti. I remember from Mountains Beyond Mountains that a Haitian passing the seventh grade was seen as good in their country. It is really sad to see that there are a lot of uneducated people in Haiti. It will be a long process, and very expensive, but this would be an awesome project, and this is also definitely possible.
-Cassie Genung

Anonymous said...

Also, in my opinion, the reason that Haitians cannot finish junior high is an example of Maslow's Hierarchy. This states that the first way to survive is fulfilling your physiological needs. This includes water, food, shelter, etc. Haitians cannot reach any other step in this hierarchy because they need to fulfill all the physiological needs before they can move up. Thinking about this, it is probably very hard for them to have that lovingness within the family because that is the third step. This doesn't mean that every family does not love each other, it just means that it is probably harder for them when they are homeless and starving day to day.
-Cassie Genung

Sydney Duquette said...

The book Mountains Beyond Mountains will always be a book I remember, because of how it inspired me to help others. The book has a great underlying notion to help people realize all of the less fortunate. Also, in this article it talked about earthquakes in Haiti and how it effected some of it's people. With the recent hitting hurricane, I thought to myself that it wasn't as bad of a hurricane as everyone made it out to be. That's just because where I was at the time didn't get hit very hard, my house never even lost power. And then I hear about how houses in New Jersey at up to the doorway in sand, people lost cars, etc. That makes me realize how fortunate I am and to not take things I have in my life for granted. Same goes for Hurricane Irene last year, although my house was out of power for 4 days, I thought it was great because I got to start school a week later than I was supposed to. The worst of it for me was that I couldn't shower. But then I thought about the people in different countries who never have the luxury of showering, and I again realize that I cannot take anything for granted. Reading Mountains Beyond Mountains made me realize all of these things too, it inspired me to be a less selfish person, and made me realize actually how badly I would love to one day go to a foreign country and help those people who need it, as well as go into a career that I will be helping people in need.

Nicole Britto said...

The book Mountains Beyond Mountains is a book that has inspired people and will inspired people. Whether someone are like me and didn't read the whole book or have read the whole book this book makes a person think. It makes a person think about all the people around the world that need help from the people in Haiti to the people who have recently been affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Cassandra Cangiano said...

There is an old dictum that says: “give a man a fish, you will eat for a day, teach him how to fish, he will eat for a lifetime.” I think that applies to the problem going on in Haiti just because even though we think we are helping them we really arent just because they arent able to help themselves. Just think how helpless they must feel needing to wait on our assistance when they fought on their own for their independence. Overall all I am saying is people of wealthier nations, like ours, should not directly give people of poorer countries money, but instead volunteers and money focused directly into educating the people of the developing nation. Another solution we could do besides give them money to educate themselves is to train them. I was thinking we'd go to places like Haiti for 6 months and just teach them how to treat HIV and TB and other major diseases they have.

Anonymous said...

The article on Haiti's reconstruction hit a sympathetic chord in me. I hate to hear about people affected by disaster; physically, mentally, and economically. I felt bad for each case that was presented, but when they talked about the deaf man having better living conditions, I felt a little confused. I know that disabilities warrant further aid, but does this mean that we can under compensate everyone else just to over compensate for the disabled? I'm not saying that being disabled is an excuse for receiving aid. I can also understand the fact that those who are not should have the means to fend for themselves, but the whole situation seems unfair to me.

Anonymous said...

Like Samantha Destremps, I am also doing a project in my communications class that pertains to mental illness. I like the fact that she brought up another side of disease that many people don't consider. While we are busy trying to rebuild physical problems, we tend to overlook what may be going on with each individual mentally. I'm not saying that these psychological problems are any more important than the environmental destruction or physical loss, but I think that it is something that should be focused on as well. Buildings can be repaired, and furniture can be replace, but a healthy mind can take years to be restored.

Mike said...

As a health studies major, this article really illustrates the issues that we're trained to deal with (at least by the time we graduate). The issue of inadequate or even no n-existent housing is near the top of the list of difficulties the people of haiti face. Disease and crime sky-rocket and spread like wild fire; especially when there are as many as twelve people crammed together in an un-secured structure. Paul farmer not only goes about treating patients that are affected by said housing conditions, but it is the way in which he feels treatment should be given that speaks to the issues as well. By taking a very individualistic approach, Farmer allows us to empathize with them; these people are more than a generic mass of disenfranchised or ignorant people. These are individuals, women, men, and children alike, that are being subjected to these terrible and disgusting living conditions. Just because they are from a different nation or a different culture doesn't mean they don't still feel the same pain that we feel from sleeping with twenty other individuals in a rickety check, or concrete floor. Farmer's method makes us more inclined to think this way, to put ourselves in their shoes.

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