How to Help Haitians
June 16, 2010
by Joegodson and Paul
We are currently organizing this website to allow readers to directly aid poor Haitians struggling in the aftermath of the earthquake. We have written on numerous occasions about the neighbourhood of Simon (specifically PCS in Simon) on the edge of Cité Soleil in Port-au-Prince. One of the four community organizations dedicated to improving the condition of the poor of Simon has had, for several years, all of the legal certifications that allow it to raise money to pursue its mandate. Consequently, we have assembled the documentation on the ”Donate” page of this Website in order that readers can directly support Haitians who find themselves in the greatest need of humanitarian aid to achieve their vision of local development and social justice.
FFAMIPL, Fondation famille pain de lumière, is not an outside NGO come to help poor Haitians. FFAMIPL, as the documents we have posted attest, is of Simon, by Simon, and for Simon. The people of Simon registered it on January 1 2008, exactly 204 years after the founding of the free Republic of Haiti, in order to confront increasing poverty and diminishing choices. We have been showing, and we will document in even greater detail, the capacity and competence of the poor of Cite Soleil. We reject the proposition that Haitians need foreign NGOs and neoliberal geo-strategists to plan their lives. Those types have tabled their Resurrected Plan of Death. The people of Simon are not going to surrender their lives and futures to people who have no stake in the neighbourhood. We will continue to document on this Website the lives of the people who live in Simon.
We will also describe the specific objectives of the planning committee of Simon. FFAMIPL is one of the four community organizations in Simon that came together to address the new crises wrought by the earthquake. The four local neighbourhood groups joined together to form COAViS, Coordination des organizations pour l’accompagnement des victimes du séisme dans la zone du PCS. PCS is the neighbourhood where the community groups operate. It counts approximately 3,000 people. Because FFAMIPL is legally accredited, it will accept donations on behalf of COAViS. On its own, FFAMIPL is a worthy organization doing noble work against considerable odds.
The corporate masters of the world and their political representatives are appealing to North Americans to donate to the most well-known and best-funded NGOs. In a number of articles on this site and in other media, we have documented beyond any doubt that those NGOs, their political backers, and the media have thoroughly abdicated their responsibility to help their people of Simon. We have decided that, rather than starve to death as good and deferential citizens of the corporate world, we will take our lives into our own hands. We want the readers of our site to help us create a real and honest relationship between this poor enclave and compassionate North Americans. In the days and weeks to come, we will continue to explore the details of life in Simon.
So this appeal for funds goes out to those who know the difference between reality and illusion. We are gambling on the chance that those who say that they support the poor of Haiti to control their own lives mean it and will act upon it. In return, we will show how this experiment is coming along. We focus on the community of PCS in Simon because of our connections with the people there and their trust in us. But Simon is representative of poor neighbourhoods throughout Haiti.
Our own participation in this endeavour is not without risk. Our collaboration between Montreal and Port-au-Prince is expensive and totally unsupported by corporate, government, and non-profit organizations. We have made it possible by accepting vows of ‘voluntary simplicity’ in both Haiti and Canada. We have had to be creative simply to communicate with each other and with the readers. With each new obstacle, we see clearer how those who have done the most to harm the neighbourhood of Simon (and other poor districts in Haiti) will do nothing to encourage us and much to precipitate our demise.
We will not, however, prostrate ourselves before the very people and policies responsible for the suffering that we see among the poor of Haiti. We are both suffering and are under pressure to compromise or, preferably, stop. Both authors lack basic material support. For some time, we have been forced to communicate through public Internet access. Joegodson has no computer. Paul has no phone. Both depend on the kindness of others. Not surprisingly, those sympathetic to our work have limited means to help us materially. However, the two authors have made a commitment to each other to continue to document the truth that we see in relation to the reconstruction of Haiti. (We’re writing a book.) Neither of us can let the other down. Neither can compromise. We are now tempting fate by assuming the role of fundraisers for the people of Simon.
The ‘Donate’ page of the Website will soon be functional. We will post Joegodson’s photographic essays of the people and geography of Simon there. The discussion of the progress will continue to appear here.
We have other – even more ambitious – plans to support the poor of Port-au-Prince in their struggle for dignity. Stay tuned to our channel.
Here are some of the relevant sections of the founding document of FFAMIPL, Fondation famille pain de lumière. The copies of the actual document in its original French, along with other accreditions, are available on the ‘Donate’ page.
– considering that the recognition of the inherent dignity and inalienable rights of all members of the family and all sectors of society constitutes the fundamental basis of individual self-fulfillment;
– considering that all citizens need to work towards self-actualization and to encourage the development of cordial relations between themselves and other members of socoiety;
– considering that Haiti is blessed with a rich culture but is suffering under the weight of globalization;
– given that the articles fo the Haitian constitution of March 29, 1987 authorize and guarantee the right to association on the territory;
– considering that all individuals have responsiblities to themselves and to the collectivity to which they belong;
– in light of the problems of families, children, women in difficulty, handicapped, and youth in the world in general and Haiti in particular;
– in light of the declaration in support of the protection and development of the child, adopted the 29th and 30th of September 1990 during the World Summit for Children;
– We, eleven youths (girls and boys) have come together in Port-au-Prince, #18, PCS, Route nationale #1, Varreux, Cité Soleil, church of Pasteur Gérard Alcy, on 01/01/08, to found Bread of Light Family (FFAMIPL), a humantiarian foundation;
– this association, Famille pain de lumière (FFAMIPL), formally and solemnly proclaims the following statutes:
CHAPTER – 1
Article 1 – founded in Cité Soleil on January 1, 2008 by the signatories of the constitutive act to be an association for humanitarian and communitarian services known as FFAMIPL: Bread of Light Family Foundation
Article 2 – Social Seat – FFAMPL has its seat in Cité Soleil, namely 18, PCS, the local church of Reverend Gérard Alcy, but its activities extend to all of the national territory and so it is able to create annexes in all eleven departments of the country.
Article 3 – FFAMIPL was created on January 1 2008 by eleven people considered to be the founding members.
Article 4 – The emblem of FFAMIPL is a basket full of bread emitting rays of light surrounded by a family standing on the island of Haiti.
Article 5 – The colours of FFAMIPL are red, green, and white.
Article 6 – GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
A) GOAL – the sole goal of the association is to work for the full development of all groups and social categories (children, youth, women, old, and handicapped) at the heart of Haitian families through education and development in respect of the environment.
B) GENERAL OBJECTIVE – FFAMIPL, as a humanitarian association, follows an essentially social objective consisting of working in the following areas: education, sanitation, nutrition, sport, the arts, and spiritual life. The beneficiaries of its services will be disadvantaged children, women in difficulty, discouraged youth, broken families, the sick, prisoners, the elderly, and the handicapped, without discrimination by sex.
C) SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES
a) education: build and open schools capable of welcoming a large number of youth from the underprivileged layers of society.
b) health: offer adequate health coverage to the inhabitants of the disadvantaged neighbourhoods by creating community health centres.
c) nutrition: open nutrition centres (cafeterias) in the disfavoured areas to fight against hunger and malnutrition.
d) oversee the spiritual development of our youth by giving them proper logistical and material support.
e) support Haitian families from all points of view, according to their needs and their situations.