Monday, May 31, 2010

United Nations and Satellite Technology in Haiti

The Haiti earthquake was a major test of the UN Spider system, which was established in 2006 to coordinate the use of satellite programs for major events and disasters. Coordinates magazine, published online in India, discusses the program's Lessons from Haiti.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Haiti Shelterbox project at Sharon UU: Sunday afternoon April 11

Visit the First Parish Bridgewater blog to learn about a project to provide rainy-season shelter in Haiti.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

BSC students in South Carolina helping Haiti

Diane Bell, Director of BSC's Community Service Center, just sent this message from South Carolina, about student work that will benefit people in Haiti directly. Again, we can be very proud. --JHB

Today it rained in Myrtle Beach so we were not able to build on our Habitat for Humanity home in Longs, SC.  We were able to build over 80 walls that will be sent and assembled in Haiti.  They will become shelter (small sheds) for families living in tents in Haiti.  One of the Haitian students at Coastal Carolina University said she hopes her family receives one of these "homes".  That truly touched our students.

One of our students was interviewed by the local television station and it's supposed to air tonite on Channel 23 news.  Her name is Nicole Weber.  Sharri Reddish, an RA, said "I can't wait to tell Richardson what we did today!"

I hope I can send a few photos.  I've had some problems doing so down here.  Thanks and I'll see everyone on Tuesday.  We have had an incredible trip!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

More on recent earthquakes from BSC experts

Wicked Local reporter Rebecca Hyman has written an excellent story about recent earthquakes and the possibilities for quakes in New England. She includes two BSC professors among the experts she consulted for the story.

NPR also recently aired an excellent comparative segment by reporter Jason Beaubien (whose name means "good/well" in French/Spanish), who has traveled to both earthquake zones. His story emphasizes the extent to which Chile is in a position to provide much of its own assistance.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Environmental & Health Concerns in Haiti

Though it feels like the earthquake crisis in Haiti happened quite some time ago, it has been only two months since the natural disaster shook the country. Let's not forget about this important topic...

I came across this article about the environmental and health concerns that Haiti and its people are facing, and I thought it was a well-written piece about another aspect of the earthquake aftermath that is often overlooked.

Has anyone else discovered any good pieces about Haiti recently?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Healthy Haiti Coffee results

Dean Cycon just sent the following message to customers:
A big THANK YOU to everyone for participating in our Haiti Earthquake Relief effort.  For the month of February, 100% of the proceeds from the sale of Healthy Haiti coffee was donated to Partners In Health.  The grand total was $15,974.35, YEOW!  Way to rise to Haiti's Aid Dean's Beans Drinkers!

Still want to support the tremendous efforts that will be needed to rebuild Haiti?  Going forward $3.00 from the sale of Healthy Haiti Coffee will be donated to Partners in Health.

Thanks so much for your support!
James H-B adds: Because of the extreme deforestation and other difficulties in Haiti even before the earthquake, Deans Beans has not been able to secure a source of fair-trade, organic coffee from the country. Healthy Haiti is a blend (quite an excellent one) from elsewhere in the Americas, the sale of which has been supporting PIH. In the longer term, the development of fair-trade coffee growing in Haiti could be an excellent model of "trade not aid" in the support of the country's on-going development. Stay tuned!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hope.Help.Haiti. Video

Thank you to Kayo Ichimura for this excellent video describing the Hope.Help.Haiti.event at BSC. As the video makes clear, we are proud of what we have done so far as a campus community, and we are determined to do even more.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Violence against women

Many women and girls in Haiti are in special need of help. They continue to be re-victimized by men who rob them of relief supplies or lurk around distribution centers in order to assault them sexually. Women are trying to band together and aid workers are developing elaborate decoy schemes, but the abuses continue. The collapse of an over-crowded prison during the quake itself has put thousands of dangerous men on the street, compounding a situation in which women were already particularly vulnerable.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Jared Diamond on Haiti

UCLA geographer Jared Diamond -- best known for his book Guns, Germs, and Steel -- explains how the human and physical geography of Haiti have contributed to its impoverishment. He also offers hope for Haiti's rebuilding, because of the hard work, optimism, and ingenuity of the Haitian people. Help can and should come from outside Haiti, but the rebuilding, he rightly says, is theirs to do.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hope. Help. Haiti Coverage

The Hope. Help. Haiti event was a great success! Here are a few links to pictures and articles about the event...

  • Article from The Brockton Enterprise
  • Article from The Comment, the student newspaper at Bridgewater State College

Haiti in the Hemisphere

The images that accompanied Dr. Hayes-Bohanan's presentation Haiti in the Hemisphere are available for others to view and to use in their own educational efforts. Copyright resides with the original publishers of some images; credit is provided on most of the slides.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Snapshot of Haiti from CNN

The article, "Numbers Tell Stories of Horror, Heroism in Haiti" gives recent numbers on victims of, needs in, and aid to Haiti.

Haiti's Children

Article by Craig Kielburger, Founder of Free the Children, on ensuring short- and long-term medical care to Haiti's most vulnerable population, the nation's children.

United Nations in Haiti

Read the background section of the MINUSTAH web site to learn of previous U.N. missions as well as the circumstances that led to the current peace-keeping mission in Haiti. Explore the rest of the MINUSTAH site to learn what countries have contributed to that mission, and what losses they have sustained, both in the course of peace-keeping operations and in the recent earthquake.

Haiti Mapping

Haiti is rapidly shifting from being among the most poorly-mapped populated places in the world to being mapped at high resolution in near-real time. This is a result of a remarkable confluence of several international, open-source mapping projects, all of which are focused on the development of maps that can help those who are helping Haiti. Clark Boyd describes the efforts on Public Radio International.

Explore Port-au-Prince on the Dutch Open Street Map. Spend some time exploring this map in detail; it shows collapsed buildings, hospitals, obstacles, and temporary encampments -- on the viewer's choice of street maps satellite imagery. These maps can literally save lives, by helping aid workers understand where the needs are, where the resources are, and connections are most easily made between the two.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Haiti's elite

This Boston Globe article describes the isolation and relative ease of elites in Haiti. It goes a bit further in its analysis, however, explaining some of the interdependence between the poor and elites, and discussing factors that will influence whether basic services such as grocery stores will be rebuilt.

BBC Article On US/Haiti Relations

BBC Article On History of US/Haiti Relations This a very good article, The Long History of Troubled Ties Between Haiti and the U.S. for the BBC outlining some of the US complicity in Haiti's deep poverty.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hope.Help.Haiti Feb 3 Revised Schedule

The schedule for February 3 has been revised slightly to accommodate class schedules. Students, staff, and visitors are invited to drop in whenever they can throughout the 1-8 pm event, but the schedule is available to help you plan your participation.

Paul Farmer testifies at the U.S. Senate

Along with Red Cross, Partners in Health has been chosen as the beneficiary of BSC fundraising efforts in Haiti. Co-founder Dr. Paul Farmer recently provided this update to the U.S. Senate.

“Haiti: From Rescue to Reconstruction” hearing of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday.

"I am at my core optimistic about the possibilities before us and the potential of our support to help rescue and transform our poorest neighbor," stated Paul in his submitted testimony. "The response from citizens of the United States to the recent events in Haiti has been overwhelming and encouraging. There is the promise of solidarity by our leadership to make long-term commitments to the kinds of investments needed in Haiti—and to fulfilling them."

"For two centuries, the Haitian people have struggled for basic human and economic rights, the right to health care, the right to education, the right to work, the right to dignity and independence,"he continued. "These goals, which Haitians share with people all over the world, should direct our policies of aid and rebuilding."

Read the rest of his testimony at the PIH web site.

MINUSTAH -- The U.N. in Haiti

United Nations is just that -- a joint effort of almost all the world's countries. The dedicated soldiers, police, and civilians of the U.N. were among the victims of the earthquake -- even the head of the U.N. mission there was killed. Those who survived have pushed down their personal grief to be among the first to help with rescue, relief, and recovery. Learn more at the MINUSTAH web page or the U.N. news service.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Funds to be collected by Student Athlete Advisory Committee

On Saturday, January 30, for the 1pm Women's game and the 3pm Men's game in the Tinsley Center, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee is collecting funds to support Hope. Help. Haiti. Go out to enjoy two great basketball games against Westfield State College, and show your support for Haiti!

Hope.Help.Haiti PROGRAM

As of Friday afternoon, this is the agenda for the February 3 program, perhaps subject to minor changes. Please come to as much of it as you can, to learn, share, and reflect. We will honor the lost, celebrate what remains, and help those in need.

The program will run from 1-8 pm, with speakers until 5, a buffet at 5, and music after 6. Please see the program for more details.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bracelets for Haiti

Hello everyone,

In an effort to support to goals of the Help Hope Haiti event on February 3rd, the Geographic Enthusiast Organization will be holding a bracelet-making session on Monday, February 1st. These bracelets were originally made in the fall of 2008 for the Haiti Hurricane Relief event with the colors of the Haitian flag. The bracelets will help create awareness and support, and will be sold at the major event to fund earthquake relief efforts. If you are interested in helping out, please meet GEO in the Science building 5pm Monday!

-Frankie H

Paul Farmer's Book on Haiti

In his critically acclaimed book The Uses of Haiti, Dr. Paul Farmer provides an indictment of US policy toward Haiti through the Aristide regime and calls for a people-based approached to providing health, basic needs, and hope for the future. Dr. Farmer is co-founder of Partners in Health, one of the organizations for which the Help. Hope. Haiti. event is raising funds.

Help. Hope. Haiti. Events Website

Check this link frequently to learn of events taking place at BSC to raise awareness about and funds for Haiti, as well as program updates for the Help. Hope. Haiti. on Wednesday 2/2 from 1-9PM in RCC Ballroom.

Help. Hope. Haiti. Article on BSC Website

Excellent Resources On Haiti (Click on Resources)
Human Rights Watch (HRW)- Haiti Country Page
Amnesty International- Haiti Country Page
Partners in Health- Haiti Page
Free the Children- Haiti Page
American Red Cross
BBC- Haiti Country Page

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Haiti's radio lifeline

NPR's John Burnett reports on the remarkable story of Signal FM 90.5, which miraculously never went off the air in Haiti. It has been transformed from a "hot" entertainment medium to a vital lifeline in Port-au-Prince.

Haiti Map

To understand Haiti's history, it is important to notice its strategic location in the Caribbean, overlooking a key strait that links the Panama Canal to the Atlantic world.

It is also useful to examine the satelite imagery along the border with the Dominican Republic, where the environmental damage that is both the cause and the result of poverty is most evident.

View Larger Map

Paul Farmer on Aristide

Writing for the London Review of Books in 2004, Paul Farmer provides historical context and his analysis of President Aristide's removal from office.