Conversations with the Living: The Haitian AIDS Crisis

The official blog of Conversations with the Living

Archive for the ‘IDP’ Category

We Need an On-Line Rally…

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…which means that we need you. We have launched our on-line campaign on Indie Go Go to raise the funds to complete Conversations With the Living, but let’s call it an on-line demonstration; a place where people, activists, advocates, artists and filmmakers gather / assemble and give what they can, whether time, energy or money for a common purpose. This project’s team is made up of individuals focused on what is good in Haiti, and this film highlights those making a difference, an impact that has saved lives and will save millions more. Let’s get together for this common purpose. Why? Because these messages, these films that spark these conversations have a real qualitative and quantitative impact, and these conversations need to begin and need to continue.

Although the issue of HIV/AIDS is complex, people are working together to help sustain and expand a network dedicated to HIV prevention, care and support that is working in Haiti and their story MUST be told.

If you are following our project and this campaign then you know that for nearly three years we have managed to continue through donated time, efforts and services, as well as small monetary donations. Your contribution is critical to the completion of this project and we will continue to make sure that the critical work that health care workers, volunteers and patients are doing in Haiti receives the long overdue attention it deserves. It is this work by Haitians for Haitians that is saving lives and must continue.

Become a part of the CONVERSATION today!

– LC


IDPs, NGOs and Human Rights

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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.