Conversations with the Living: The Haitian AIDS Crisis

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Archive for the ‘Child Slavery’ Category

CWTL Production Diary: Day 40 + 2 Years

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17:36 PST: LC set up a very informative and useful interview with a journalist named Tim Collie who has spent extensive time in Haiti dealing with everything from politics to HIV orphans. LC did most of the interrogating. There are so many layers to the travails if HIV positive orphans in Haiti, from how they end up as ‘orphans’ in the first place (the Haitian definition is much more flexible than most people would be used to) to some actual advantages they are offered as a result of their situation. The talk drove home how much background work we still have left but also his much we’ve accomplished. In the 2 years we’ve been working on this, we’ve become something of experts ourselves.

Meeting LC tonight and tomorrow. Will be good to touch base in person. Also meeting with BH our sound man. It seems like ages since we did our first interviews at UCLA. Now where’s GC?

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Written by conversationswiththeliving

February 12, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Red Tape Slows Haitian Adoptions

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Again, I have very mixed feelings about the deluge of outsiders attempting to adopt Haitian children in the wake of January 12th. On one hand, it’s obvious that these orphaned kids need families and a chance to rebuild their lives. If foreigners are sincere about wanting to help these children and it’s not because its fashionable, then I’m okay with it. If however, the adoptive parents intentions are fueled by liberal guilt or the need to rescue “savages” from themselves, then I’m emphatically against it.

I may sound like a cynic, but I know what my experiences have been as a Haitian growing up in the US for the past 35+ years. Even through my travels through the corridors of some of this country’s most prestigious institutes of higher learning, I was always met with a sense of derision from my more priviledged (read:White) counterparts. Somehow or someway, they always felt the need to “advise” me of life situations and give me “guidance” on issues that weren’t their concern or simply none of their business. I always felt their actions were due in part to my flag waving Haitian status and inevitably I would be proven right.

I don’t mean to sound like such a sour puss, especially in the face of what can potentially be one of the kindest and most humanitarian acts one can perform for a child, but I know what I’ve seen and what I believe. Anyway, please see this piece on how red tape is slowing the completion of many adoptions in and around Port Au Prince.

With the complicated history of Western powers, Imperialism, and Colonialism in the Caribbean, I think my suspicions are well founded. What do you think?

Red Tape Slows Haitian Adoptions

Gede Greg C.

Suspected Kidnappers Say It Ain’t So

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Please check out this account from one of the 10 Baptist “missionaries” arrested in Haiti for suspected kidnapping of Haitian children. Yup, we’re talking about Laura Silsby and her righteous bunch. It’s interesting to hear what they’re take is on the situation. I, for one, am extremely skeptical of what their intentions were. Whether or not they were legitimate, I get extremely offended when Westerners, in particular, White westerners feel that they have the divine right to make decisions for the black and brown people in “uncivilized” nations.

Either way, here is the account below. Mind you, the source for the story is the Florida Baptist Witness, so I suggest readers ingest a huge block of salt before proceeding.

Suspected Kidnappers Say It Ain’t So

Gede Greg C.

Haitian Adoptions Lengthy and Worthwhile Process

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I ran into this piece about a family that has been adopting kids out of Haiti both pre and post quake. I think adoption is one of the noblest things a human being can do. That said, adopting children from Haiti and countries like it can be tricky as there have been many abuses made by adoptees and crooked adoption agencies working with impoverished countries. There will always be a question of intent on the adoptees’ part, and rightfully so when dealing with human lives. I’m interested in seeing what your opinions on this issue are.

Haitian Adoptions Lengthy and Worthwhile Process

Gede Greg C.

Ridiculous Decision

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In a flightof stupidity that must have been influenced by some outside forces (read scared government officials), Judge Bernard Saint-Vil has dismissed kidnapping and criminal association charges against the 10 American  missionaries who attempted to smuggle a busload of Haitian kids into the Dominican Republic. Ring leader Laura Silsby still faces lesser charges of trying to organize the illegal busride.

Personally I find this decision outrageous and symbolic of the continuous kowtowingto the superpowers that a segment of the Haitianpopulation are notorious for. I wonder if there was some kind of coercion that went on behind this.

Ridiculous Decision

Gede Greg C.

Still No Justice in Port Au Prince

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There is still no decision yet on the fate of 10 US missionaries accused of kidnapping a busload of children in Haiti in the attempt to take them out of the country illegaly. Judge Bernard Saint-Vil is still deliberating over the fate of detained ring leader Laura Silsby and her 9 other freed allies. Let’s keep an eye on this.

Still No Justice In Port Au Prince

Gede Greg C.

With Schools Destroyed Thousands of Haitian Kids Pass Day To Day Life in Limbo

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I ran into this piece in the New York Times this morning examining the plight of the thousands of children in and around Port Au Prince whose schools were destroyed in the quake. These displaced youth now toil in camps set up around the Haitian capital and it’s outlying regions; fending for themselves in the aftermath of a disaster. Many of these kids aren’t savvy or strong enough to survive unscathed in this brutal climate; evidenced in the rise of  reports of young female rape victims, some as young as age 12.

With relief efforts bogged down by a combination of  the inherent infrastructural deficiencies that sit at the core of Haitian life coupled with  the bureaucratic quagmire caused by suspect planning and execution of international relief efforts; thousands of kids are currently sustaining immeasurable psychological, physical, and developmental damage  with no viable solution in sight.

I’m not sure what can be done to bring some immediate relief to these kids, but clearly something must be done before another generation of Haitian kids is lost forever.

With Schools Destroyed Thousands of Haitian Kids Pass Day To Day Life in Limbo

Gede Greg C.