IRISH HAITI RESPONSE – WHO ARE WE?
Here’s some more info on where your money, if donated to Our Litle Borhers and Sisters in Haiti, is going…
IRISH HAITI RESPONSE – WHO ARE WE?
We are a group of returned volunteers based in Ireland who have worked in Haiti over the past 20 years at different times and for varying periods of time – primarily with Nos Petites Freres et Soures NPFS (Our Little Brothers & Sisters – Haiti) – www.nphhaiti.org or http://saintdamienhospital.wordpress.com/ . However Irish people from other Irish NGOs / Agencies have also been working and assisting with humanitarian work in the past few years. In addition some recently established private commercial enterprises in Haiti have also contributed to development and humanitarian programmes financially and personally.
Over the years we worked and shared our time & skills as electricians, carpenters, builders, drivers, teachers, doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists, childcare workers, Computer programmers (the list is endless!) within NPFS Projects and Programmes in Haiti. And yes it’s a cliché- but we learned so much more from Haiti and her people than we ever contributed to them…
We have always shared a hope and a passion for Haiti and her people and have continued to keep in contact with our fellow workers and friends in Haiti over the years. We continue doing small but significant work funding and awareness raising for specific locally managed - primarily on-the-ground projects and services with health education and social care and special needs children.
Needless to say these past few days have shocked and hurt us all – as we hear of our old working sites of the hospital and offices collapsed and the heart rendering news of missing staff, friends and volunteers. We are so thankful for all those that are safe and well – but we need to keep the hope alive and assist as best we can in the current crisis.
For us Haiti a once beautiful Nation of tropical richness with a wealth of proud history, the first Slave Colony to gain Independence & Freedom to be followed by decades of political instability, economic corruption, and plagued by natural disasters is once again over burdened. None-the-less Her people remain proud, rich in culture and resilient to the last and they need our help.
For those of us who have worked in Haiti or are ‘connected to it’, it has always been a needy place – one of the poorest and most underdeveloped nations in the world – as UNDP, Amnesty International, UNICEF, World Health Organisation and other independently verified sources will attest to – including Trocaire, Concern, Goal.
The work has always continued in Haiti (very often out of the media spot light). So many dedicated local people and aid organisations including International and Irish Aid funded Projects have been working on sanitation, communication, health, education, childcare and environmental / shelter programmes.
The Irish have always been well represented in Haiti working away quietly and diligently – with help of funds raised in various parishes, clubs, communities and private donations in Ireland. Of course some areas have been better than others!! We have to mention Mayo (for Gena who Thank God is safe and well as is Maeve), Adele’s brilliant work in Dublin particularly in Artane, Noelle’s great work in Limerick, and of course not forgetting the Rigney’s in Banagher Co. Offaly and all the rest of us scattered around the country but who try to keep connected occasionally!!
This current earthquake tragedy is a tremendously devastating blow following on from the 2008 Hurricane recovery work that was still in progress when this earthquake struck. So it’s now more important than ever to re-connect in collective action.
We wanted to set up this webpage and blog to communicate with each other and keep the spirit of hope alive for our friends and colleagues – whom we are in contact with when possible. Gráinne sincere thanks for taking the time to set this up.
This resource is very much in the early stages – please use it to assist you in whatever way you can with the emergency relief efforts, humanitarian aid, and to offer hope faith and love to all those we know working, living and surviving in Haiti, their loved ones at home here in Ireland and last but not least to give financial help to your chosen charity / agency if possible.
As a group we do not advocate for any specific Non-Governmental Organisation / Agency or Government – we’re all in this together. We simply believe in the power of people to mobilise practical help and offer words and messages of encouragement to ALL individuals and Organisations / Agencies working in the relief efforts. Whatever your faith, religion, beliefs (or none)– please take a moment to pause, pray, meditate for those suffering in Haiti.
Many Thanks – On Behalf of the Irish Haiti Response Group (IHRG).
Pijay33@hotmail.com / 087-6310989
Irish Haiti Response Contacts: firstname.lastname@example.org