Monday, September 3, 2012

Meet Norly Germain, URI Visiting Research Scholar


Haiti: 31 months after the quake, 400,000 people still live in makeshift camps.

Whenever world news organizations mention Haiti in news reports, it seems as if it is only to focus on the newest catastrophe whether a natural disaster or political turmoil. After the earthquake of January 12, 2010 struck Port au Prince and killed more than 230,000 people and left 1.5 million people homeless, Haiti became the number one topic in national and international news. This attention lasted for about two months and then Haiti disappeared off the news pages. Lots of attention and support were pledged on behalf of Haiti, but the population still struggles to survive and to have roofs above their heads. Billions of dollars have been raised in the name of Haiti while the population cannot satisfy even their basic needs. Who could believe that 31 months after the quake, 400,000 people still live under tents in makeshift camps despite all the international aid that has been brought or sent to Haiti as well as the presence of more than 12,000 non-governmental organizations (better known as NGOs) on the ground?

During my recent trip to Haiti, I was surprised to see how slowly the effort to re-build the country has gone. Millions of dollars are spent in building temporary housing, which are not secure enough to protect the population against seasonal hurricanes and storms. Anarchic houses are built over and over again despite the authorities’ prohibition. In addition, the Haitian people still need to deal with basic life difficulties since food and water continue to be a luxury and there continues to be electricity and transportation problems. While education is provided sparingly, I noticed an increase of health care facilities in the country and road constructions. There also seems to be a better communication and understanding between the government and the population. To encourage the Haitian authorities and the international community to effectively rebuild the country and to help the earthquake victims to finally live a decent life, Haiti needs to be part of the international news on a daily basis. The Haitian people’s voices need to be heard. The same problems still exist and the people's needs and their expectations should be satisfied.

Norly Germain is a Haitian citizen who received a B.A. and M.A. in Industrial Engineering in Haiti and in France. Norly is now working on his PhD at the University of Metz in France and is a visiting research scholar at URI. The goal of his work is to propose a system of healthcare infrastructure for Haiti to reduce infant and maternal mortality rates, which are the highest in the western hemisphere. Along with Professor Roger LeBrun, Norly will take part in the URI Diversity Week panel on Thursday, October 4 from 12:30 to 1:45pm to talk about Haiti beyond the scope of Tracy Kidder’s Mountains Beyond Mountains.

42 comments:

Rachel Matteson said...

I think that one of the main problems with the lack of help for the Haitian people is the lack of publicity they have in first world countries. People may hear of the trouble in Haiti but they most often do not grasp the extent of the suffering plaguing the country.I think that it is more important than can be expressed in word that the true state of the troubles in Haiti be made more know to the public because I think that there should be more people trying to help this country which is so often consumed by disaster.

URI Common Reading said...

Hello I am Kristen Levesque an incoming freshman undecided in my major. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder, it was an eye opening book that got me thinking more about the less fortunate and less about my everyday dilemmas. Reading about the horrid conditions over in Haiti makes the reader want to help out, but a lot of individuals never act on it. Farmer is a role model who conveys any individual can change thousands of lives.

In the United States the social class varies a great deal. There is the upper class that has more than enough money to pay for everyday expenses, then the middle class that has enough money for everyday expenses and a little extra cushion, at the bottom comes the lower class. This lower class suffers to make ends meet, and could really use our help. I believe that it is the middle class and upper classes responsibility to aid with the poverty in other countries as well as ours. Whether it would be by donating their money to efforts like Farmer’s, or putting there time into organizations through hands on experience. No one deserves to suffer; any help will push one individual closure to comfort. The way I look at it is if I was in the less fortunate position I would love to have someone better off than me take a little time or money to help me out. We all live on common ground and could all benefit from eliminating poverty not only in other countries, but also the United States.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am Shayla Minteer, a Medical Lab Science/ Business Junior in the Honor's Colloquium. I am very interested in hearing about Norly Germain's infrastructure for a new healthcare system in Haiti. It seems to me that since PIH is such a huge force in Haiti already, that one would want to jump off their programs instead of trying to recreate the wheel. It does not say here whether Norly Germain plans to use the PIH structure or not.

I have to also disagree with the fact that the only way to bring help to Haiti is to feature it on the news every day. I am 100% all for humanitarianism in Haiti by US citizens, but I do not think that drowning the news in Haitian publicity will be the correct form of action- people in today's culture strive on new events, and if they don't receive, they will turn elsewhere. Instead, it would be effective to make a big-screen movie about struggles in Haiti, or have representatives from Haiti like Norly Germain speak on college campuses around the world and promote to benefactors or volunteer organizations.

As far as having 12,000 NGOs on the ground in Haiti that are not making as big of an impact as expected, I believe that if more people were self-starters, goal oriented, focused, and willing to creatively use resources to solve problems, that less than half of the current NGOs would even be necessary. Not that the NGOs do nothing, but I have to speculate, based on my experience, that many people are not driven to help the poor, but driven by other motives, such as wanting to build up a resume for medical school or the like.

Whatever the case, I am interested in hearing Norly Germain speak.

Shayla Minteer

Anonymous said...

Hi, I think that in order for people to really understand and begin to help out in Haiti, we should have them see how life is like for many people in Haiti right now. So have them either go down and experience it first hand or try and simulate it in different cities so people can go and comprehend the way the people of Haiti are currently living.

Shi'kwana Adams said...

This article was interesting to me because I didn't realize that all the help Haiti was receiving still wasn't enough. It also ties in with the book and how Dr. Paul built hospitals and lived like Haitians while he was in their country. I believe more people should get involved with helping out other countries. Being Americans we have more than any other country could ever hope of having; even those on or below the poverty line.

Unknown said...

From Dr. Karen Paley in Writing and Rhetoric:

It took me well over a month to read Tracy Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains because it was so disturbing. I was one of those people mentioned by Norly Germain who paid attention to Haiti after the earthquake, donating some money and a tent to Partners in Health (PIH) and to a small clinic I learned of from a Haitian nursing student at RIC. At the time I knew nothing of Farmer's work or the rampant problem with infectious, drug-resistant diseases. Germain's blog comments about the many hundreds of thousands still homeless from the earthquake (as well as the deaths and damage from Isaac) turn my attention back. One of the most compelling pieces of information in Kidder's book was the construction of the Peligre Dam that flooded the land of many peasants (37-8), which made it clear that poverty is exacerbated, if not caused, by some with no apparent concern for the consequences.

This book is a tough read, but worth it.

Dr. Karen Paley
Writing & Rhetoric

lalashauna said...

My name is La'shauna Adams and I can honestly say that while reading Mountains by Mountains, I was amazed at how committed Paul Farmer was to getting medical care in Haiti. I admire how driven and how determined he was and that no matter where he went, he always thought of Haiti. Living there, he put himself at risk of catching one of the many diseases floating around but still managed to practically make a home there. If I hadn't read this book, I would have never known about the harsh diseases, how expensive medicine is, and how hard people worked to keep the world disease free. I hope that one day it'll be easier for people to get the treatment they need to prevent illnesses.

Anonymous said...

I think that one of the main problems with the lack of help for the Haitian people is the lack of publicity they have in first world countries. People may hear of the trouble in Haiti but they most often do not grasp the extent of the suffering plaguing the country.I think that it is more important than can be expressed in word that the true state of the troubles in Haiti be made more know to the public because I think that there should be more people trying to help this country which is so often consumed by disaster.

Kristy said...

Hi my name is Kristy Berdugo and to me the main problems in Haiti is that people do not really see what the Haitian people are going through. I was through out the book in Mountains beyond Mountains, Paul farmer did everything he can to help the needed people in Haiti.And I hope people that the people would get the treatment they need to get better.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am Nicole Lazzaro. I found this article to be extremely enlightening because many people are very unaware that the devestating earthquake that occured in Haiti still leaves its mark today. In Mountains Beyond Mountains, Paul Farmer built hospitals and tended to the needs of the people who are impacted so negatively by their surroundings. Most people believe that presently, because there is not as much hype about the disaster that still exists in Haiti, that it just does not exists. This article and Mountains Beyond Mountains are eye opening in that they show the public that these atrocities still very much exist, and althought they are slowly improving the quality of life in Haiti, there are only so many people like Paul Farmer. I believe that more awareness should be raised, and more help should be provided in order to restore Haiti back to suitable living conditions.

Drew Couilliard said...

Hello, I am Drew Couilliard a Freshman Chemistry Major. Hearing and reading of all of these types of things has shown how desperate other countries around the world are to survive. Every day I walk around campus and hear complaints about the food or dorms at URI. Tracy Kidder's book has shown how people in other countries are suffering just trying to get the bare essentials for survival where people in more fortunate countries take everything for granted. If more people were able to reach out a helping hand to those in need, the world would become a much better place. Every day countries like Haiti go through these kinds of problems and seem to have to deal with them on their own. If other people would step in to help then better senses of unity in the world could be made, and there wouldn't be as much hate as there is today.

Anonymous said...

I would agree that in order to help the country of Haiti there needs to be a more in depth way of showing how the Haitians are suffering. However I believe it is completely unrealistic to propose the idea that we should simulate in cities how Haitians are currently living as said a few posts below. VR

Anonymous said...

I would agree that in order to help the people of Haiti there needs to be a more in depth way of showing the state in which the Haitians are living. However I believe it is completely unrealistic to propose the idea to set up simulations of Haiti in different cities as said in a few posts below. VR

Jacquilyn Camacho said...

Reading Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder and hearing his presentation really made me think how many things we take for granted. Some people don't have the luxury or even the basic necessities a human being needs to survive. I agree there should be more publicity of Haiti not only when a disaster strikes but also to inform the public of the conditions Haiti is still in. Hopefully leading to awareness and receiving more help for those who are still struggling to overcome the rage of the earthquake and the lack of resources.

ben said...

hello my name is Benjamin Ezike and mountains beyond mountains help me better myself because farmer was a role model to all he put helping other over himself. Even thought it was a impossible task to save he worked day and night to make it possible. farmer truly was a incredibly man and hero what he did for Haiti was one of the greatest this i ever read and he made me want to changes life and help people and give my all to a cause that's why my family sends clothes to Africa ever year.

Lauren Petrone said...

Haiti is one of those countries that people forget about until a catastrophic event takes place. I think that the Haitian lifestyle is one that many people realize, but often forget about. For example, when the hurricane in '10 struck. It was kind of a reminder for people that this less fortunate country was struggling in many ways. I think that other countries have a huge responsibility and countless resources available to help Haiti. We often forget that these people struggle everyday, not only during times of crises. And by "help Haiti" I don't mean just by donating money and calling that a deed done. As a country we should share our knowledge and resources with Haiti so that we can help them build a stronger community and healthier lifestyle. We have this responsibility because we are a much more stable and resourceful country. Haiti does not only lack the money to fix problems, but lacks the guidance it takes to get things done.

alec said...

The book was a moving story and its a shame not all people can be a privileged as we are. But we still need to recognize that they are there and they need help. People need to be informed about the problem and told that they can help.

Maira said...

Mountains Beyond Mountains opened my eyes to the awful conditions going on in Haiti, I had no idea how bad things were at Haiti. After reading this novel my opinion is that more people should be aware of the horrible conditions people are living there in order to help them. Also, it made me come to the realization that there are truly good people out there that don't do things just for money. It was inspiring to read about Doctor Farmer and what he does for the Haitian people.

Anonymous said...

After reading "Mountains Beyond Mountains" by Tracy Kidder, the book really opened my eyes about how horrible some things were in the world. I had no idea Haiti was so bad. Dr. Paul Farmer is truly an incredible person and helped show me that anyone can make a difference. This article shows me that Haiti is still in need of help, and suffering from extreme poverty. Reading about the conditions in Haiti makes people want to help. However, the popularity of this issue is minuscule. To receive help, the everyday lives of the Haitian people should be revealed. One by one people can make a difference by donating anything they have.

- Chris Reed

Anonymous said...

After reading "Mountains Beyond Mountains" I have come to realize that I really want to make a difference in the world. Even if i can't fully do so, I want to at least change someone's life for the better because doing so, would also change mine. Dr. Paul Farmer is an inspiring man and I will be happy with myself if I can accomplish half as much as he has.

-Sarah Carvalho

Christopher Acosta said...

Hi, I am Christopher Acosta, and I am a sociology major. I really enjoyed reading Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. It really made me appreciate the comfort's of America's health system. It made me realize how unfortunate people were in Haiti that greatly needed medical attention. I have never heard about how plaques in Haiti are negatively affecting its residents, and many people are suffering from the lack of resources. More people should pay more attention about the distress in Haiti and how disabled they are compared to us Americans.

Anonymous said...

After reading "Mountains Beyond Mountains", Paul Farmer made me believe that one person can really make a difference. But in cases like this, it shouldn't have to be only one person. Yes, it is extremely generous of individuals to volunteer and help, but it shouldn't just be a few people. Poverty in Haiti is a serious issue today and is leading many other problems. The lack of shelter, food, and sanitation, are causing infectious diseases and malnourishment. As fortunate people, we need to take a look at the rest of the world and see how badly people are suffering.

Sydney Duquette said...

After attending the Mountains Beyond Mountains Diversity Week event, I felt so much more aware of the happenings in other countries. Although reading the book did enlighten me, hearing stories face to face always has much more of a bigger affect. It seriously amazes me with how much troubles people in other countries have to go through, and how different it is in America, or at least in my life. I'm sure the people in those countries greatly appreciate all of the donations they receive from people donating to charity, but it probably does not even start to help their problems mentally. In my Com 100 class we are doing a project in groups, and my group is focusing on mental illness. Problems in poverty, and starvation have a great affect on the number of people who have some of the mental illnesses that exist. It's sad because these people can't help how they live, but they suffer different kind of diseases due to their surroundings.

Anonymous said...

I personally agree that in order to keep people aware of the devastation that hit Haiti two years ago, we need to keep it on the news. I remember hearing about the awful earthquake that killed millions and left others homeless. However, today, I did not really think that Haitians would still be homeless from that earthquake today. Back then, I wasn't really aware of the living conditions of the Haitians. I knew there were poor countries and wealthy countries, but I didn't actually understand what the poorer countries have to go through on a daily basis. After reading Mountains Beyond Mountains and this post from Norly, I have a better understanding now. So again, this may just have happened to me that I forgot about the horrible earthquake, but I think that the news should keep spreading the word of the earthquake, instead of all the robberies, fires, and killings.
-Cassie Genung

Nicolette Guarneri said...

After attending the diversity week event with Norly Germain I was instantly inspired to help a cause such as big as this one. We go through life day by day complaining about such miniscule things that we are never looking outside of the box. I for one am guilty of that. After reading and attending this event Germain was able to help me open my eyes and see that this is a great problem Haiti and many other foreign countries are facing. During my senior year I went on a mission trip to Camden, New Jersey, a town that is so poor and dangerous no one would ever fathom going to visit. I knew in my heart I was going for a good cause and although I was aware of how dangerous it was I knew I was going to help at least one person. I did just that, we were able to go to a food pantry and help serve food to the homeless and play with the younger homeless children who didn’t have much. The smiles brought onto their faces were touching. Here I was complaining that my jacket was not going to be warm enough and there were young kids who didn’t even own a pair of shoes. That night I went back to our heated room and looked out the window at the snow that was falling. I immediately began to think of the starving kids on the street whose feet were probably numb. Once Germain shared his experiences of the life style back in Haiti I knew that was another trip I would love to make. The feeling you get of putting a smile on another person’s face is priceless. If more people stopped worrying about their first world problems a change might be able to occur. However, it is not up to one person but many.

Crystin R said...

Hi, I loved reading Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. It really inspired me to read the book and it made me realize many things that we have and take for granted. We should all do action instead of just saying that we will help out other countries. For example, Haiti is one of the countries that really need help from us here and from the rich people that has money. I myself want to help out and not just by sitting down and just feeling back for the other people but to actually go there and help in any way I can.

For the rich people, they should provide things for people in poor countries. For example the kids over there cannot afford school because it is very expensive so money should be provided to them. Also, some people don't have enough food. And some do not have shelters.

Cassandra Cangiano said...

I attended the diversity week event that Norly Germain was at and he had some interesting points that I agreed with. But something that really struck out to me at that event was how Norly kept saying even though we may think we are helping we truly aren't just because we are mainly only helping when something bad happened, we are not coming frequent enough to stop the problem, and the fact that Haiti is an independent country and they don't want to rely on us for everything and we could make their lives so much more effective if we decided to help them become self sufficient and learn to take care of them selves. With the whole self sufficient idea I think we should still be there to help financially support them but we could educated them how to take care of them selves so when they need it the most they don't have to wait a few months for us to stop there and help; especially if the disease someone has needs to be treated right away they can not wait for us to come up in a while or after something like an earthquake happens. Another thing that was mentioned that I thought was interesting was the fact that Haiti, and other countries that need our help, our only hyped up in the news after something happened and once it is over it means nothing. Haiti had all of the US's attention after the most recent earthquake but now no one talks about them but they still have problems going on. Places like this need to be hyped up at all times until something is done! For example in this essay, it talks about how we are spending millions of dollars on building temp. houses, but that's not solving the problem because they are breaking down shortly after they are built and then the people in that house are back to square one. I think our problem is we need change. Obviously what we are currently doing inst good enough and no one is willing to do anything about it and i think that is because this doesn't personally effect to many people here in the US.

Anonymous said...

I attended a diversity week event that Norly had spoken at and he had commentary on a number of different topics. The thing that caught my attention the most and what I learned most about was how to really help the people of Haiti. So many people think that they can barge into the country, assuming that they know exactly how to help and that them being there will suddenly make everything better. Norly pointed out that the biggest help that they can get is knowledge and funding so that the people as a whole can try and fix their country themselves.

Anonymous said...

While attending diversity week and listening to Norly speak about problems currently going on in Haiti he mainly talked about how we can fix these problems and help the people of Haiti. One thing that Norly said was that even though it is not always the best option to actually go into Haiti and help because of different kinds of very unneeded diseases some people may carry into the county; if people do go to Haiti they should get to know the people. Most people go in thinking that they know exactly what the people and the country need but that is not the case more often then not.

Elizabeth Byrnes said...

I agree with Rachel. First world countries do not give third world countries like Haiti nearly enough publicity or media attention. The phrase "out of sight, out of mind", is very applicable in this situation. If the people in countries like the United States and other first world countries were more aware of the long list of complicated problems in developing countries, they would be apt to do more and to try to help more. If people were made more aware of day to day life for the average citizen in countries like Haiti, they would be appalled and be more proactive in either trying to help the situation themselves, or petitioning the government to assist these nations. Although media coverage was very extensive for the first few months after the massive earthquake in Haiti, the media forgot about them and slowly lost interest. But just because there was no longer a media circus did not mean that everything was suddenly okay. Many, many people were still living in makeshift tents at the approach of hurricane season, which hits Haiti very hard. There was still no money, and the government was still a mess and extremely corrupt. Had there still been a steady stream of media attention in Haiti at all, people may have done more, or would be more likely to help even today. I think that the media should do regular reports on people in third world countries to motivate the people to extend a helping hand.

Cory Alexandra said...

Hello Everyone!
My name is Cory Ross and while I was reading some of the comments I noticed that one of the main issues that was being brought up is the fact that no one knows what's going on in Haiti.
What's going on in Haiti now reminds me a lot of what happened during Hurricane Katrina. It was on the news for weeks, of course longer than Haiti, but after a while people forgot and went on with their lives. It sounds like an awful thing to say but when something doesn't affect them directly on one really care beyond that first moment of sympathy.
Life went on for the rest of the country and New Orleans was left to fend for itself and is still trying to rebuild seven years after the fact. This is probably what Haiti is going to be like, they had problems before the earthquake even hit and they'll have problems for a while.
Sure, a lot of people read Mountains Beyond Mountains and maybe they cared and maybe they didn't. Most of them probably read it because they had to and could care less about what's going on in Haiti and wouldn't even be able to tell you what that book was about even though they read it less than two months ago. As much as it is important for people to know what's going on, it's equally important for them to care. That was the problem with New Orleans; people stopped caring. They figured that the government would fix it or that they would fix themselves and of course neither of those things happened. I just hoped that more Americans start to care about what's happening in Haiti and maybe that with help them get back on their feet.

Stephanie Gioielli said...

Hey, I'm Stephanie Gioielli, a psychology major, but hopefully I will be switching to Political Science next year! In the novel, Mountains Beyond Mountains I had a feeling of revelation. Paul Farmer discusses the help Haiti needs in order to prosper and rebuild, and while the issue is currently happening, many of the first world countries are oblivious to the hardships in Haiti. While ignorance maybe the case for some countries, many have heard of conditions in Haiti, but they are uncertain on how to give resources. The best resource a country can give is knowledge; help train the people of Haiti to help their country: medical, education, infrastructure, etc. One of main things Norly stated during his lecture at the Multicultural Center is that they are not receiving the correct help or receiving the food and infrastructure development that is being sent to Haiti. I believe, as a country, the US needs to an advocate for the people of Haiti.

Stephanie Gioielli said...

In reply to Cory Ross's comment, I agree with the idea that people tend to forget or push the "burden" of helping a community; whether it be a country, a state, a community, away. This is also being seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Many counties in the hard his areas are still without power, running water, food, shelter and the basic necessities. All the natural disaster relief is parallel to the Haitian situation. While relief may be coming, it is not coming soon enough and it is not sufficient for the country to regain economical standing. In regards to the shelter crisis in Haiti, infrastructure is one of greatest problems. Many children and their families still live in tents, or ally-ways, basically unsanitary conditions. This all needs to be advocated to the mass media, something has to be done to stop the impoverish nation of Haiti from falling further with not recovery in sight.

Antoinette Kou said...

I enjoyed reading Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. The novel was really inspirational and these types of stories always create that soft spot in my heart. There is just one issue i have with the way other people are approaching the book.

A recurring theme that i have heard and seen is that there is a lack of publicity on the issues going on over sees. I believe that in order for America to try and help other countries, it has to stable enough to stand on its own two feet. Don't get me wrong, i would love to help others live better life's. However, there are still many issues we as Americans face.

Antoinette Kou said...

An anonymous person that commented above said, "Norly pointed out that the biggest help that they can get is knowledge and funding so that the people as a whole can try and fix their country themselves." I believe that this is a great idea because who better to know how to fix a country than the people who actually live there?! Americans can't keep raiding different countries expecting to be welcomed joyously. Although they may have good intentions, the best way to help is to help them help themselves. And if they don't succeed at least you know you tried.

ifeanyi onyekaba said...

I think the main problem in Haiti is lack of publicity. Their problems are not been spoken in depth to other people in different countries.

Differences in social class can also be a factor in which the Haitians get less contribution in finance and construction. The upper class has enough money to pay for their daily expenses and have lot money left. While the middle class have enough for everyday expenses and a little extra left. The lower class on the other hand suffers to make ends meet. it is very sad because I think the population is becoming more lower class and middle class, the upper class are very few so their contribution alone to Haiti wouldn’t do but so much.

I disagree with Norly for saying he wants Haiti to be on the news always. I think been on the news line everyday gets people bored and less concern about their condition. The society is always looking for current news; they want to be updated with current news not same old stuff they see every day.

schools in the United States should do mission trips for college and high school students, so they could experience the life the Haitians have to deal with daily, so they could see it for themselves. by doing this, it would result to a life changing experience for students and it would make them appreciate the things they have and it would also make them want to reach out and help. Even if it’s by doing fund raising just to raise money to help their fellow students who are in a different country but they can’t get a good education because of what they are going through.

Anonymous said...

Hi my name is Jake Pare, I'm a freshman psychology major. What seems to be the issue here is that our government isn't stepping up enough to try to help Haiti. I understand that that vision is what we need to be doing, but unfortunately our government sucks. However, you do have to understand that as much as we want to point fingers and say this person isn't stepping up is wrong. What we need is someone who would step up for the better of the people and make a movement to just lend a hand to give relief to the people of Haiti.
As for what Anonymous and Antoinette said, how can you expect a nation to just hop back on it's feet in 31 months? Think of how long rebuilding New Orleans was after Katrina. What they have on their hands is what we had with FEMA and Bush. They will eventually get over it, yes. But how long is that going to take? These people are suffering on a daily basis, and now that we are sitting around doing nothing we could help support Haiti. And if you say that we have to help the people in Jersey and New York, then that's ridiculous. There's 300 million people in this world. You don't need all of them in one area. It's up to people who have a good heart like Paul Farmer to go there and teach how to rebuild their nation. It's the people of America's duty to help out this country, with as much aid from the government as we can. We need to come together to help Haiti.

Anonymous said...

I remember when disaster struck Haiti, and for those two first months it seemed to be on everybody's news feeds. The terrible thing about it is that, although the world joined forces to help bring aid to Haiti, those forced seemed to fade by the end of those two months. The truth is that people don't care about things that don't pertain to them personally. Thirty one months after the earthquake hit Haiti there is still a lot of work to be done. Half the reason that people do not help out is because they are unaware that this is the case. Even if a person is confronted with the idea of sending help to a struggling country or foundation in need, he or she usually hesitates and politely rejects the offer. How many times have you been urged to donate a dollar or two at your local grocery store to benefit a certain cause? I know first hand how awkward it is to be asked to help out and how guilty I feel when I deny them that help. I feel bad for a little bit, but then carry on with my life and forget about it within the next couple of hours. The truth of the matter is that people will always put there personal agendas before any other situation, no matter what the circumstances, because it is simply not there problem.

Anonymous said...

Also! I believe that helping people isn't really about who has to pay for what. I don't think it's the upper class' job to get people out of poverty. We should all work together to get each other back on your feet. If you really care, money won't be an issue.

-Jake Pare

Anonymous said...

To the anon above me, it's gross how people put on a mask for a few months and then lose interest completely. Fake people occupy this country and thats why nothing ever gets done here. More people are about pointing fingers instead of owning up to the responsibility of helping others. Not saying that Haiti is necessarily our first priority, but we should be having more than one priority on our list. We should be equally distributing our intrest in things, not just focus on one topic. That's how you lose people's attention.
-Jake Pare

Anonymous said...

I went to see Norly Germain give a speech informing people on how Haiti is doing since the time Mountains Beyond Mountains was written. He informed the group listening to him that Haiti was still in crisis and that most of Haiti is still in poverty. He urged us all to consider going to Haiti with the school. HiI thought his speech was awakening to the fact that something still needs to be done about Haiti and even though Haiti has received help not all of it was as beneficial as we may have thought like how many Haitians are still living in earthquake relief camps that were set up years ago and don't have permanent homes or shelters. I agree with what Norly said about how the United States needs to help Haiti in a different way. The temporary kind of help we have given to Haiti is not going to fix the permanent seeming poverty they have there. -Michaela DiBiase

Mike said...

I found this article to be very interesting. I think on eof th biggest issues as far as recognition for Haiti, is that it is a victim of it's own geographic location. It is within close proximity to the U.S., and in the Western hemisphere. I find that the average citizen immediately thinks of Africa of Asia, and assumes that a nation so close to our own cannot be in such dire straights. In addition, I feel the upper class has no obligation to help Haiti, but I personally would. That being said, volumes have been written on how inefficient the modern charity system is, and I think if we set upon improving that, we can stretch every dollar we already donate a little further. Finally, what about France? As a former french colony, does France have any obligation to get haiti back on it's feet? Legally, no, but with all the moral high-horsing of late, France would be hypocritical not to ensure Haiti's economic and social growth.

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