TONI THORNE: Keep Haiti in your prayers
DUE TO THE fact that there was not much media coverage of the earthquake and its effects on Haiti, there is the assumption that regional governments and bodies have failed in their contributions to recovery efforts – both from the earthquake and from Matthew. This is not the truth.
Congratulations to theregion as we continue to do all we can to assist our Haitian brothers and sisters.
What has received much media attention is the bad press of organisations and the mismanagement of funds which should have gone to directly assist those affected in Haiti.
I recently sat in New Yorkwith two global health consultants and discussed the unfortunate situations particularly withThe Red Cross, Haitian-born Wyclef’s Jean’s organisation and a viral video (clearly fuelled by Hillary Clinton’s enemies) of the reaction of some Haitians to the Clinton Foundation.
Salaries are a valid expense for NGOs and a coin has two sides. A large majority of formally educated Haitians seem to have lost all faith in the Red Cross and the Clinton Foundation.
Wyclef Jean holds a special place of disappointment in some Haitians’ heart, although for the most part, many still admire him as a representation of talent and rising to the heights of success within the global entertainment industry. This does not mean that they believe he would have been the best choice for president.
Not everyone can make a good leader or politician. It is not as easy as it looks and there is no set formula. Just because one is a talented global musician does not mean one would make a talented president. For example, I am a fan of Kanye West but I do not believe in his efforts to run for president in the next election. I argued for Jean when he made his intentions known for presidency and believed that with his global connections he would have been able to find a great team to manage Haiti along with the government. Any beliefs I had are now gone with the recent announcements in the press about his management of funds for Haiti.
Enough about the negative! What can we continue to do for Haiti?
Firstly, we cannot dependon organisations outside of our region alone. They have and continue to do their best. I met so many persons who are working on stellar projects. Upon arrival, I met two men who provide free airlift from Miami to Haiti and are working on taking Beyonce to Haiti to build awareness. Upon departure, I met a group of doctors who have given of their time to establish temporary clinics inHaiti. The work and contributions are endless.
Phil Edwards, a Barbadian philanthropist, stated three things we can do: pray, give or go to Haiti.
Everyone can continue to keep Haiti their prayers. This is the easiest thing to do regardless of religion.
With regard to giving, the best thing to do is to give money. The amount of clothing we saw on the roadside was unbelievable. Money to the appropriate organisations which are on the ground and can strategically allocate funds is the best way to give.
Travelling to Haiti andjoining one of the many organisations doing amazing work is the third and most fulfilling option. It is neither a walk in the park nor a vacation at a hotel but I assure you, you` will emerge a stronger more appreciative person.
The point here is not to sit on our laurels. There is something for each person to do.
Toni Thorne is a fashion entrepreneur and World Economic Forum Global shaper who Loves global youth culture, a great debate and living in paradise.