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Thursday, 14 January 2010

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I have been watching a lot of the rolling news since the the quake struck and I can picture a sea of Photojournalists heading out to Haiti, some of the results will no doubt be entered in to next years world press photo, contest. That will sit easier with me if it were a bi-product of trying to aid the people of Haiti. I'm sure that's a naive and idealistic point of view, you've got to go where the pictures are.

In these cynical times it's good to see the world rally round in support for the people of Haiti. I hope it's swift and lasting and I hope good journalism makes it all the swifter and longer still

Well put. The key now is finding a charity that is reputable. If anyone has suggestions for a good one, it would be great to share the name, etc

I agree, we all need to consider making a donation ASAP, discussing camera equipment, printers, etc. needs to be put on hold. Instead of wondering what we should purchase next we should take half that dollar amount and donate it to the people of Haiti. I can't imagine the daily struggle for simple needs like water, food, clothing and yes my employer does match my contribution, always has.

In case you want to give money and do not know where I would like to suggest Partners in Health (http://www.pih.org).

That organization was founded by Paul Farmer, who, if you don't know about him, has worked in Haiti for decades. He has built clinics in the most desolate places in Haiti, where there were no trees due to environmental degradation and the people is the poorest of the poor. There Haitian doctors are trained, and the best possible care is given to everyone.

His major contribution has been, however, to realize that not until the reality of the people, their culture, their religion and customs are understood the help one can give may be misplaced or detrimental. Effective help starts by knowing who you are helping and what is that they really need.

Paul Farmer has also been appointed by President Clinton as special envoy for Haiti. However what I know about him has come from my friendship to the wife of Tracy Kidder who wrote Mountains Beyond Mountains, which is, among other things, an account of Paul Farmer's work in Haiti. I am sure my friend and Tracy are currently doing as much as they can to help Haiti. I just want to make my little contribution.

Needless to say, if you decide to give your money or help to anyone else that is helping in Haiti, please do so, I am just giving one suggestion for people that may not have a clear idea. One organization cannot help a whole country, a lot more is needed.


For those whose employers don't provide matching funds, it's worth noting that Small Dog Electronics is accepting donations to Doctors Without Borders/MSF on their website and will match donations up to $200. I don't know how long they can afford to do this, but for now that's what they're doing.
http://www.smalldog.com/product/42760/donation-to-doctors-without-borders

And this is an area where photography serves a good purpose. Images of the disaster while heart wrenching, communicate the magnitude of the disaster to us and hopefully cause us to move to action.

I much lament for Zilda Arns. After many decades figthing against poverty in Brazil, she found a tragic death in Haiti. She was 75.

In case any fellow Canadians missed it on the news:
The federal government has announced today that they will be matching Canadians' donations to eligible Canadian charitable organizations in support of humanitarian and recovery efforts in response to the earthquake in Haiti up to a combined total of $100 million.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/01/14/haiti-canada-aid.html

The suggestion to check with your HR department before making a donation is a good one. Our company is matching all employee donations up to $1,000. Right now, the maximum match is $500,000 but I've seen that raised in the past.
We have the option of designating the recipient among the American Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Unicef and Save the Children.
It's unfortunate that some people see this disaster as a way to turn a profit. Their time will come.

Readers based in the UK could donate to the Disasters Emergeny Committee

http://www.dec.org.uk/

Tragic events but good to see people reaching out to help. What makes an interesting comparison is the lack of coverage of the equally tragic Samoa Tsunami Sep 2009 I guess this demonstrates the insular attitudes of America.

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