Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti: information about assistance

The earthquake in Haiti is a sudden unimaginable disaster that occurred amidst the chronic humanitarian disaster that is sadly normal for the Haitian people.    The challenges to the people and the organizations that are committed to work with Haiti were already huge and are now unbelievable.  This additional disaster--the type that leaves a person's mind reeling because the Universe seems no longer to follow its normal rules-- is paralyzing and saps resilience and adaptability.

Members of the American Public Health Association (APHA) International Health section have offered to monitor the Congress as they formulate a response program, to create and update a list of deserving operational groups working in Haiti, and to help distribute this information widely.   What follows here is the information I have so far.  If people know of more groups or have additional suggestions, I would be happy to update this and link with APHA and others.

This may be a huge disaster, but we must not believe that it is TOO big.  The worst thing is to believe that problems are insolvable or that we cannot make a difference.  Creativity and compassion matter.

Actions for Haiti

1. Donate to Meds and Food for Kids (MFK).  Meds and Food for Kids produces Medika Mamba or Peanut Butter Medicine, a highly nutritious, fortified peanut paste designed to treat malnutrition. It is a non-profit program.  Ila Irwin, a public health practitioner in Columbia, Missouri, has known this project for many years and spent time on site with them.  It is run by Dr. Pat Wolff from St. Louis. Thankfully, Dr. Wolff, her staff, and the Medika Mamba factory survived the earthquake. Ila wrote: "MFK is an amazing and very reputable organization that is poised, in Haiti and employing Haitian workers, to quickly address this urgent need for non-refrigerated food. The demand for ready-to-use food will be astronomical and will quickly outstrip MFK’s current ability to produce this life saving food.  They must be able to increase production to address this dire need.  Please go to  or donate directly at

2. Partners In Health. They’ve set-up this Facebook group <>  and email alert system. Click here to sign up for earthquake relief efforts:

3. Circle of Health International <>  (COHI) is currently putting together a team of women's health experts (practitioners, public health experts, trauma specialists, etc.) to help with the response in Haiti. Here’s a website and contact info for Executive Director Leilani Johnson:

More information to come.  Please look to news sources beyond the traditional media-- go to websites for reliable agencies and share good sources. This is important. Talk to people who know Haiti.

Light a candle and offer this light.  


Loveleen said...

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
The work begins:
To find the lost, To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry, To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations, To bring peace among others,
To make music in the heart.

~Howard Thurman

Dedicated to our sister HAITI.

Unknown said...

Wow, this one gives me chills. Reminds me of the song "how can I keep from singing" John McCutcheon version.