Conversations with the Living: The Haitian AIDS Crisis

The official blog of Conversations with the Living

Archive for October 2010

The source of the Greatest Good in Haiti?

with one comment

The text from the original photograph reads: A source of the Greatest Good; The Roman Catholic Sisters at one of the many convents on the island…



Written by conversationswiththeliving

October 30, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Another conspiracy theory?

leave a comment »

A reporter from France24 reported last night that amid all the confusion about the cholera outbreak in Haiti, many Haitians believe the disease was imported by Lebanese UN soldiers on purpose. Apparently, the lebanese troops are deployed in the north and very unpopular there. Thoughts?

One unrelated/related fact: up until now cholera had never made the leap to Hispanola, despite it being present everywhere else.

One thing’s for certain, someone brought it in, inadvertently or not.

Written by conversationswiththeliving

October 27, 2010 at 12:28 pm

New York Times: Report Assails Haiti Officers in Prison Killings

leave a comment »

It’s the age old question: Who polices the police? Apparently, nobody. Same old story, same old outcome. Also, same old response: file a report then forget about it.

Written by conversationswiththeliving

October 21, 2010 at 10:58 pm

BBC reports possible cholera outbreak with fatalities

leave a comment »

After the earthquake, there were fears of a cholera outbreak. Nothing happened. Now, it appears as if the predicted outbreak has finally become a reality. However, it appears that the main areas affected are in the northern areas of Haiti.

Written by conversationswiththeliving

October 21, 2010 at 10:52 pm

Edwidge Danticat on the News Hour

leave a comment »

Jeffrey Brown talks to Haitian-American Author Edwidge Danticat about her new book ‘Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work’, written after the earthquake in her homeland. Danticat who lives in Miami, FL came to the U.S. from Haiti when she was 12.

Written by conversationswiththeliving

October 21, 2010 at 10:47 pm

IDPs, NGOs and Human Rights

leave a comment »

Mark Schuller, a professor of African American Studies and Anthropology at York College, the City University of New York, and tireless advocate for Haitian human rights recently published the report Unstable Foundations: Impact of NGOs on Human Rights for Port-au-Prince’s Internally Displaced People, which discusses the consequences of NGO involvement in the displacement camps in Haiti.

Schuller’s research on the ground in Haiti along with eight Haitian University students and a colleague at the Faculté d’Ethnologie, Université d’État d’Haïti was conducted over a six-week period. “Quantitative and qualitative surveys were taken in three inter-related areas: conditions and services within the camps, residents’ level of understanding and involvement in the camp committees, and interviews with committee representatives.”

Results show once again that the exclusion of Haiti’s people in decisions made regarding their livelihoods and rights as citizens does very little to change the urgent situation in Haiti, and that NGO relationships with Haitians have numerous unintended negative impacts.

“Despite the fact that many NGOs empower camp committees to select recipients and distribute aid — most notably food, until the government stopped general distribution in April — most official committees do not involve the population. Less than a third of people living in camps are aware of the strategy or even the name of the committees. Two-thirds of members are men, despite well-documented concerns about gender-based violence. While to most NGOs managing camps or offering services these camps represent their “local participation,” it is clear that the present structure leaves much to be desired”.

Schuller outlines specific policy recommendations, noting that “It is not too late to rebuild on solid foundations”, but the foundations are still unstable and recovery is being hindered by the slow delivery of promised aid.

Below is a link to the report summary published in the Huffington Post and a PDF download of the full report.

Rubble be gone… well, sorta

with one comment

Some promising news regarding the rubble still plagueing the streets of Port-au-Prince. It’s starting to be cleared away. That’s good and welcome news. However, as the article points out, it’s taken so long because the usual suspects, i.e. the government, NGOs, foreign governments, investors, have been dawdling over planning details without regard for the reality on the street. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Written by conversationswiththeliving

October 18, 2010 at 10:28 am