The day-long workshop opens at 9 a.m. at the Healey Library, is open to the public. You can register here. More details on the event are available here. And this draft agenda lists speakers and time slots.
The conference has been organized by Professor Adenrele Awotona, an architect and urban planner at UMass Boston who has global experience in Third World planning and disaster rcovery. Awotona is the founder and director of the Center for Rebuilding Sustainable Communities after Disasters It's hard to imagine an academic center more suited for focusing on rebuilding Haiti. Previously he was dean of the College of Public and Community Service at UMass Boston.
Several Haitians and Haitian-Americans are among the speakers, along with urban planning and development specialists who have worked in Haiti, including Professor Enrique Silva and Anuradha Mukherji of Boston University, who both traveled to Haiti soon after the earthquake.
Panelists in the afternoon sessions include Manolia Charlotin, co-founder of Haiti 2015, and Carline Desire of the Association of Haitian Women of Boston.
Duane Compton, 28, traveled to Haiti earlier this month to install a wireless network at the Pierre Payen Hospital near St. Marc, about 50 miles northwest of the capital, Port-au-Prince. Compton's detailed account of his trip was published this week in Network World, the online industry newsletter.
Compton, who grew up in Lexington and graduated with bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science from the University of Vermont, volunteered to go to Haiti as part of a North Shore volunteer earthquake relief project.
Compton's employer, Bluesocket, a networking firm based in Burlington, donated one of the firm's wireless local area networks for the hospital, which has treated numerous patients from the January earthquake. The lack of a network was frustrating doctors and other staff who couldn't communicate among themselves internally or access up-to-date medical information needed for treating patients.
Duane Compton, a software engineer from Cambridge, installing the network at Pierre Payen Hospital in Haiti. (Courtesy Network World newsletter).
Compton accompanied a mission to Haiti on March 6 organized by investor and philanthropist Sam Byrne, who lives in Manchester-by-the-Sea. Surgeons and other medical personal from Beverly Hospital and other facilities joined the relief mission. The chartered flight, donated by Dow Chemical, was packed with donated clothes, used cell phones and other goods collected by North Shore residents.
The challenges included dashing across back and forth across a dangerous highway outside the hospital, between locations. But the new network was instantly valued by the doctors and staff.
Compton wrote in Network World:
This was far from a typical implementation -- I, for one, had never before needed to hang an access point in a tree, or work three feet away from a doctor performing an amputation. However, once set up the effect of the Internet was obvious to everyone.
It was gratifying to see the impact the Internet had on the location, and witness doctors enabled with life-saving information. They frequently reminded us of the power of this project and how grateful they were. One morning, while I was eating breakfast, an American plastic surgeon working at the hospital grabbed my laptop to study up on how to perform a hysterectomy he was performing in 20 minutes.
Farmer spoke to an overflow crowd yesterday at Harvard Medical School, where he is chairman of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, and to colleagues from the Brigham and Women's Hospital, where he runs the Global Health Equity division. And of course Farmer's other Boston role is at Partners in Health, which he cofounded in 1987 with the current director, Ophelia Dahl, and other colleagues.
I wrote an account of Farmer's talk in the Globe today. I also checked in with Partners in Health on their extraordinary fund-raising since the quake, when the non-profit global health organization became a principal organizer of emergency medical aid. Partners in Health says it has raised more than $52 million since the quake -- more than twice its budget for its massive, on-going Haiti project for the entire year.
Partners in Health will face some daunting challenges as it weighs so many competing demands and priorities for restoring longer-term health services in Haiti -- and, as Farmer said yesterday, also trying to get at some of the chronic ills in Haiti as well as the acute ailments from the quake.
Farmer's entire Harvard talk is available via webcast here.
One point worth noting. Farmer himself cautioned against over-emphasizing the work of individual doctors and nurses in Haiti.
"How many times must we learn that the image of the heroic doctor working alone is a romantic image from another era, that what we need are teams, and above all, systems to deliver services effectively," he said. There had been much heroism in Haiti in the last month by doctors, nurses and citizens, "but all of them have needed a system within which to work."
Today, the Boston Foundation said that more than 1,000 donors have chipped in and matched the original $1 million from the Ansaras -- passing the $2 million goal. And the organizers say they aren't stopping there.
A gift of $100,000 from Wilmer Ruperti, head of a Venezuelan oil trading and shipping company, put the Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Fund over the $1 million mark in matching funds.
The milestone was announced at an event at the Boston Foundation featuring Haitian music, artwork and cuisine, and attended by Haitian community leaders as well as Boston-area philanthropists.
In the keynote address, author Tracy Kidder described the dramatic first days of emergency relief work by doctors from Boston-based Partners in Health and other organizations. He said Partners Dr. Louise Ivers, who was in Haiti at the time of the quake for a conference, had to use license plates for splints at first.
Kidder is the author of "Mountains Beyond Mountains," the 2003 book about Dr. Paul Farmer, co-founder of Partners in Health and long-time Haiti specialist.
Kidder said a chronic problem in Haiti has been the lack of coordination among foreign aid groups, and that was a factor complicating the initial response to the quake. Going forward, he said, aid groups should follow the lead of the Haitian government and not create a parallel system.
Long before the quake, Jim Ansara, who built the Shawmut Design and Construction Co. into a national force in the industry, had been working for months with Dr. David Walton of Brigham and Women's Hospital to plan a major new Partners in Health hospital in Haiti.
When the quake hit, Walton flew immediately to Haiti to help treat victims. Ansara joined Walton two days later, and they worked shoulder to shoulder to get the main hospital in Port-au-Prince functioning again over the next 12 days.
Walton has produced a powerful video on his experiences in Haiti, with his own heart-rending photos. He helped treat about 800 patients on his first day in Port-au-Prince as part of a Partners in Health team.
Meanwhile, Karen Ansara was also hard at work in Boston, leaning on others to meet the Ansaras' $1 million challenge. The new fund the Ansaras created is administered through the Boston Foundation, as is the 10-year-old Ansara Family Fund, which the Ansaras created with part of the earnings from Shawmut.
Paul Grogan, president of the Boston Foundation, said, "it's a milestone, not a conclusion. We are going to go on from here.... The tremendous result has exceeded our wildest dreams, and given us the courage to continue to grow the fund."
The goal is to support long-term reconstruction and job-creation, and also to support the Haitian-American community in Boston -- the third-largest in the United States -- as it copes with the immense impact of the quake.
The Ansaras have insisted that Haiitian community leaders in Boston are closely involved in deciding how the money is used and in shaping the programs.
Karen Ansara said the Haiti fund had already made grants of $195,000 to a number of Haitian and Boston organizations. She said 25 percent of the funds would go to disaster relief, and 75 percent to long-term rebuilding.
Echoing Kidder, she said that in rebuilding Haiti, "We need a new grassroots model that recognizes Haiti's rural economy, and not one that turns it into a factory to make shirts and baseballs."
Ansara called Boston "a city without borders," noting it has 175 international institutions that give the city a great capacity to become a hub of international giving and support for Haiti, but she added, "we insist that Haitians sit at the table" when decisions are made on their behalf.
After the Jan. 12 earthquake, he traveled back with a team from Boston University that is looking at how to help Haiti rebuild. He wrote a moving personal account of the trip for BU Today.
There's also an evocative slide show of photos taken by Rolbein and Ellen LeBow that shows not only the destruction but also the return to life of some Haitian communities.
Dr. David Walton, a physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital who has worked in Haiti for a dozen years, made it from Boston to Haiti just two days after the earthquake. On his first full day there, he and other doctors from Boston-based Partners in Health treated 800 earthquake victims.
Walton also is a talented amateur photographer, and he took many pictures at the hospital in those initial days. He now has created a powerful video of his photos. The video is narrated in part by Dr. Evan Lyon, a colleague from Partners in Health. Many of the photographs are disturbing. But if they help people remember that the suffering in Haiti hasn't ended, it will have achieved its goal.
I wrote in the Globe last week about Walton's work in Haiti with Jim Ansara, the construction magnate who worked shoulder to shoulder with Walton for 12 days at the wrecked general hospital in Port-au-Prince, helping restoring basic services. Back at home, Ansara's wife Karen was overseeing the Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Fund -- the Ansara family pledged $1 million to match public donations to the fund.
Here's a link to that fund, being administered through the Boston Foundation. As of today, the fund has raised $811,000 toward the $1 million matching goal.
Here's a photo that Jim Ansara took of Walton with a patient at the hospital.
Ansara had already been working with Walton on plans for an ambitious new hospital in the regional center of Mirebalais, northeast of the capital. Walton and Ansara are headed back there next week; that new hospital will be even more important now that the health services in the capital have been devastated.
My Globe colleagues, Stephen Smith, Dina Rudick, Maria Sacchetti and Bill Greene, reported from Haiti right after the quake. For days Steve and Dina they followed the work of doctors from Massachusetts who volunteered their time and skills to save lives in Haiti. Maria and Bill covered life in the streets.
Their work goes behind the public scenes. Maria and Steve convey the anguish of ordinary people trying to stay alive. Steve and Dina capture the hours of frustrating delays that kept doctors from treating patients for many hours and even days after they landed in Haiti.
Dina concludes by expressing her own fears that in three or six months, people will only vaguely remember what happened in Haiti -- even though the needs will be as great as ever.
The field hospital in Fond Parisien, near the border with the Dominican Republic, is part of a broader emergency effort in Haiti by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, building on experience responding to disasters including Hurricane Katrina and the Asian tsunami. HHI is helping to coordinate the entire Harvard humanitarian response to the quake, and has deployed more than 70 surgeons, emergency physicians, anesthesiologists and nurses.
An on-line article in the Harvard Gazette today provides a detailed account of the field hospital in Fond Parisien, Haiti, set up by Hilarie Cranmer and Stephanie Rosborough. They both are researchers for the humanitarian initiative as well as emergency medicine doctors at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and they are also faculty members at Harvard Medical School .
Harvard staff writer Alvin Powell conveys heart-rending details of earthquake survivors being treated at the clinic, including an eight-month-old boy whose mother was killed in the quake and whose father was trying to keep him alive with sugar water. The boy revived quickly once he began receiving treatment at the clinic.
The field hospital has quickly expanded, with the help of other volunteers from Harvard and elsewhere as well as Haitian medical staff. It operates at the orphanage and school run by the Love a Child Inc non-profit.
The director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Dr. Michael VanRooyen, tells Powell that the short-term goal is to formalize the clinic's operations so that it can assist people for several months, and then hand back the patients to the Haitian system when it is restored to a functional level over the next six to 12 months.
I wrote about Sarah and her work in a Globe article in November -- noting that she was not going to spend Thanksgiving in the beloved family home in the Annisquam section of Gloucester that her ancestors built in 1829. Instead, she was up before dawn, and again heading to Haiti for another season of work with the prize-winning non-profit group, Haiti Projects Inc., that she founded in Fond des Blancs, about 75 miles west of Port-au-Prince.
(Sarah Hackett, pictured in her Gloucester home in November. Photo by John Blanding, Globe Staff)
In the same town of Fond des Blancs, Massachusetts residents Nannette and Fred Canniff also have been working for decades to build up an impressive community hospital, St. Boniface Hospital. Nannette Canniff founded and still heads the St. Boniface Haiti Foundation of Randolph. Nannette, Fred and their daughter-in-law Linda were in Fond des Blancs, along with Sarah Hackett, when the quake hit. They were able to leave Haiti a few days ago and head home, via the Dominican Republic.
The St. Boniface Hait Foundation team, headed by Conor Shapiro, who is from Concord, Mass. , presses on helping hundreds of quake victims who fled from Port-au-Prince for Fond des Blanc. The hospital is also preparing to offer post-operative care to victims who underwent surgery on the US Navy hospital ship, the USNS Comfort.
Shapiro, 28, has a master's in public health from Boston University and has been working in Haiti for more than six years. His father, Eric Shapiro, said yesterday that Conor Shapiro went straight back to work in Fond des Blancs after coordinating the evacuation of Hackett and his wife and daughter.
Thanks to people like Hackett, the Canniffs and Shapiro, Massachusetts has been making a quiet but powerful contribution to one very poor corner of Haiti for a very long time.
Here's Hackett's complete account of the evacuation, forwarded to me by Jim Tew, who is on the Haiti Projects Inc. board:
From the safety of Miami I am sending you a message of appreciation to you who have shown such an outpouring of love and concern for my well being in Haiti.
I hasten to tell you that I am well and have recovered, at least outwardly, from the anguish of leaving Haiti. I thought that, all things considered, it was prudent to grasp the offer to be evacuated quickly when I had the chance. I am glad to be back in the USA where we are privileged beyond measure. However, it is a powerful culture shock filled with sadness.
We left Fond des Blancs early Monday morning driving very fast. I saw the sights of terrible devastation along the road and especially while entering Port au Prince. There were flattened buildings on every side and people huddled in tents. We went past the airport with no incident and turned into the UN headquarters complex where we saw the first of the huge medical tents set up. There must have been at last 200 people laying on cots, many with IVs running. Exhausted doctors and nurses walked among the cots tending to the sick and wounded. It reminded one of Civil War pictures of the acres of wounded lying on the ground suffering with no painkillers.
In an adjacent tent exhausted surgeons were operating- mostly amputations of crushed limbs. We were told that the morphine had just arrived. It was there across from these UN operations that we spent a total of 13 hours under some trees by the side of the road while Conor Shapiro, the new head of St Boniface Hospital, was trying to arrange transport. It was the site of plenty of action; search and rescue teams from all around the world were arriving, trucks from the World Food Program, from the FAO, CRS, Children First and many others passed continuously, hundreds of them. We saw back hoes and earth movers leaving the compound in the daylight to search the rubble.
I was waiting for this guy Hank whom I somehow believed when he said to me, " I have a plane and it is returning from Miami with supplies about 8 pm and you will be my first passenger on the return trip - about 10 o'clock." Some were skeptical but somehow I believed him. After Hank collected three critical children headed for Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami there were a few seats left on his corporate jet. We were driven to the airport which is usually so deserted with only an occasional AA plane on the tarmac. Here we saw several thousand people gathered by the gates all looking for a way out of Port au Prince. We saw huge transport planes bringing supplies and personnel from all over the world. We ran to the small jet, were greeted in elegant fashion, the patients were made comfortable by their attendant doctors. I was offered a double scotch.
On arrival in Miami we went by bus to the hospital where I served as interpreter for the hospital doctors receiving our children. When all was under control I thanked Hank for his kindness, took a taxi to a luxurious hotel in Key Biscayne, an offering from Conor's uncle. I had come from the misery and suffering of Haiti with the clothes on my back and my computer in my shoulder bag to the most luxurious hotel in the US . It was 2:30 in the morning Tuesday when I called my family to say I was safe.
I still struggle with this contrast as I write you. I am infinitely sad to have had to leave my work in the middle of things but at the same time I feel very grateful for the many blessings poured on me.
With many thanks and kind regards to you all,
The services of these medical musicians have never been as badly needed as they are now, and they are standing up smartly for the people of Haiti -- in the field as well as on stage.
At 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 31, the Longwood Symphony and the New England Conservatory are coming together for a concert at Jordan Hall to benefit Partners in Health, another remarkable Boston-based institution that has done non-stop work keeping earthquake victims alive in Haiti.
Tickets are just $25 apiece.
The New England Conservatory web site has a full description of the concert, and an account of its partner's history of service. The goal is to raise $250,000 for Partners in Health's Haiti work, through ticket sales and other donations.
The site notes that Longwood Symphony players are doing more for Haiti than playing music. "Some members of the orchestra are traveling to Haiti to take part in the medical relief effort, including Dr. Mark Gebhardt, Principal Clarinet and Chair of Orthopedic Surgery at Beth Israel Hospital."
The site says Partners HealthCare (not connected to Partners in Health), Tufts Health Plan and Harvard Medical School have each contributed $10,000 sponsorships and Merck and Co. has donated $15,000 to the event. The concert will be broadcast live on the web on Empower Peace, a Boston group that promotes dialogue between students in the United States and abroad.
The musicians will perform works by Bach, Faure, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and Tchaikovsky, "as well as Albert Schweitzer Portrait by American composer Gene Scheer, which was co-commissioned by and given its world premiere last spring by the LSO. Modeled after Copland's A Lincoln Portrait, the Scheer work pays homage to the legacy of Dr. Albert Schweitzer whose work as a physician, musician and humanitarian translated idealism into action, eliminating health care inequalities through direct service."
"Among the performers are two with Haitian backgrounds: baritone Jean Bernard Cerin, a Master's degree candidate at the Conservatory whose family survived the Haiti earthquake but is living outside of the home in fear of aftershocks; and 17-year old Haitian-American violinist Aurelie Theramene, a student in Project STEP whose family in Haiti has also been deeply affected by the disaster. All musicians are donating their time and expertise to this ambitious effort because of their beliefs that music builds human capacity, elevates the soul, and prepares students for lives that enhance the public good."
The austere conference room of the Boston Foundation's 10th-floor office in the Back Bay isn't typically a venue for outpourings of grief, anger and hope.
But that's exactly what happened there today as Boston's civic leaders and Haitian community advocates reflected on two weeks of suffering in Haiti, and debated how to help Haitians start rebuilding their shattered country.
Boston Foundation President Paul S. Grogan announced to applause that Massachusetts donors had contributed $294,000 to the group's Haiti relief and reconstruction fund, and that thanks to matching funds from the Ansara Family Fund the amount available for projects was double that amount. At the close of the two-hour forum, Grogan reported that another $50,000 had come in. That makes nearly $700,000 available for Haitian needs.
Karen Keating Ansara, whose husband, former construction company owner Jim Ansara, has been in Haiti assisting relief efforts since three days after the Jan. 12 quake, said the aim is "to support the people of Haiti in reconstructing their own country, in their own way, long after the world has grown weary of this disaster."
She said it would take "smart mercy" to let real healing happen in Haiti -- and cited as examples the work of several Boston-linked relief and development organizations, including Partners in Health, Oxfam America, Mercy Corps, and the Association of Haitian American Women in Boston.
In the photo: Left to right, Linda Mason, Dr. Joia Mukherjee, John Ambler of Oxfam America, Carline Desire, and Rep. Marie St. Fleur
Dr. Joia Mukherjee, the medical director for Partners in Health, briefed the packed room on her 10 days in Haiti treating quake victims.
Her voice breaking at times, Mukherjee said she treated 800 patients on her first day in Haiti, 80 percent of whom had suffered orthopedic trauma. She said she then focused on organizing teams of orthopedic and trauma surgeons to treat crush injuries.
Mukherjee said one of the most powerful moments was making her way to the Neg Mawon statue of a runaway slave near the collapsed National Palace, and finding that "he stands defiant and unafraid; he blows a conch to call others to freedom."
As she stood there crying, a Haitian woman, also in tears, tapped her on the shoulder. "She told me the free man will never be broken, the runaway slave, the marooned man, will always stand in the face of such catastrophe," Mukherjee said.Mukherjee said she was counting on the resilience and competence of the Haitian people -- "Haiti is not a poor country, it is an impoverished country."
Marie St. Fleur, the Haitian-born state representative, said the initial response from the world had been enormously generous, but in a tone tinged at times with anger, she added, "there has not been enough engagement with our community. That is a mistake."
She also said many children in the Haitian community in Boston are traumatized, and "many of them don't understand why their parents will not be coming back."
Grogan said several of the nine organizations that will receive initial grants from the Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Fund work in Boston, including the Haitian Multi-Service Center, the Black Ministerial Alliance and Catholic Charities of Boston. Others are on the ground in Haiti, among them Partners in Health, St. Boniface Haiti Foundation, Fonkoze, and St. Damien Hospital of Haiti.
Carline Desire, executive director of the Association of Haitian Women in Boston, said her group had already registered two new domestic-violence cases since the quake hit, and one woman who came in had lost 10 relatives. Community-based organizations in Boston, Desire said, would need resources to deal with post-traumatic stress and increased pressure on housing as homeless refugees make their way here.
Linda Mason, the national chair of the Mercy Corps disaster relief group, said an immediate need is to get cash into Haitian businesses to let them get back to work. She said Boston companies should look for ways to work with small businesses there.
Jeffrey Swartz, the Timberland chief executive, had just returned from days of relief work with Jim Ansara in Port-au-Prince. "The smell of despair, you can let it clog your nose," Swartz said, or you can dig in and help.
At the Haitian capital's main hospital, he said, one of the volunteer doctors had scrawled on the wall, "300 Longwood Avenue" -- the address of Children's Hospital in Boston.
"I was really proud to be from Boston," Swartz said.
Swartz said he met one surgeon who had used farm tools to perform operations for two days until supplies arrived.
"I saw the human response that says there is God in this place," Swartz said.
Last week I worked with Boston Globe medical writer Stephen Smith, who has been in Haiti since just after the quake hit, on a story in the Sunday Globe about Partners in Health's quarter-century of work in Haiti. In addition, Globe photographer Dina Rudick, who has documented the disaster with powerful images, produced a remarkable video. It conveys Partners in Health's work in the capital as well as in the central plateau, including its impressive hospital at Cange. That facility is now treating hundreds of victims of the quake who fled the capital.
Here's Steve's account of the return to the US today of one of the first Massachusetts medical teams to have reached Haiti. Steve traveled with and reported on the team's extraordinary work.
In the first days after the Haiti quake, Boston-based Partners in Health focused on setting up functioning operating rooms in the main National University Hospital. Now it is branching out, and helping set up medical and other essential services into the neighbhoods around Port-au-Prince.
Partners in Health says it brought in a planeload of much needed equipment yesterday provided by GE, including four anesthesia machines, five-x-ray machines, 10 patient monitors, 10 ultra-sound machines, and technicians to run it all. Today, more planes are coming in with supplies including nine more anesthesia machines donated from Partners Health Care (no relation to Partners in Health) and the University of Miami.
In its updates over the weekend, Partners in Health said it has gotten 20 operating rooms going, staffed by Haitian doctors and nurses as well as foreign volunteers. The global health non-profit said it had organized 22 charter flights into Haiti, crammed with equipment and more than 140 surgeons and nurses.
PIH Executive Director Ophelia Dahl, who traveled to Haiti on Friday after directing the health group's initial response to the quake from Boston, reported:
The scene [at University Hospital in Port-au-Prince] is truly impressive in so many ways. Medical tents are lined up in a row, and, inside, beds and stretchers lie close together, most patients are post surgery, bandaged or in casts. They are now receiving narcotics. Operating rooms up and running now 24 hours a day.... [Co-founder Dr. Paul Farmer] and I headed to Cange following our meeting. We went first to visit the church, which has probably 70 patients lying on mattresses in rows on the floor. All of them have casts on limbs or white bandages over their stumps. Dressings are changed every day by Haitian staff and volunteers and need to be changed for weeks to come. In the corner of the church is an overflow pharmacy; the piano has become a worktop and medicines cover the altar. Docs round on the patients. And, as always, relatives help their loved ones with simple tasks. There is mostly quiet, no one is talking much, but there is a sense of community.With the operating rooms functioning relatively smoothly in hospitals in the capital, PIH and other aid groups are planning to expand into 10 communities around the capital. "Local youths will be trained and employed to do community outreach and organize mobile clinics at which Zanmi Lasante (Partners in Health) medical staff will treat patients."
The mobile teams will also provide truckloads of clean water.
Dr. Joia Mukherjee, the PIH medical director who spent the last two weeks in Haiti coordinating the emergency response, met with PIH staff at the Boston headquarters. The news update quotes her as saying:
"You guys have saved thousands of lives. We have supplied and staffed 20 operating rooms able to do emergency surgery. From zero to 20 within days is an amazing accomplishment."
But many other less well-known development groups with roots in the Boston area -- some of them very big and some just starting out -- also are finding innovative ways to help.
I wrote in the Globe on Thursday and again today on two of those initiatives:
Management Sciences for Health, the global development group based in Cambridge, has partnered for years with the non-profit arm of John Snow Inc., another major health-care development and training group based in South Boston, to create Haiti's AIDS drugs distribution network. In the days after the quake, they transformed that AIDS drug supply chain into an emergency channel for getting available tons of medical supplies from their warehouse out to Port-au-Prince hospitals and clinics.
And I wrote today about Peter Haas, who grew up in Weston. Based in the northern city of Cap Haitien since 2007, he is helping organize logistical support for the many thousands who have fled the ruins of the capital, Port-au-Prince.
Haas, founder of the group Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group, runs business-plan competitions to help Haitians launch environmentally sound businesses using simple technology. Haas says he already is considering ways to think beyond the immediate disaster toward creative ways to rebuild Haiti in healthier, safer ways.
A first priority, Haas says, is to encourage safer, greener housing. He is revising his next business-plan competition to help address this need.
Haas' wife, Catherine Laine, who is deputy director of the group and a Haitian-American, has been assisting with disaster relief in the capital.
Here's a photo of Haas, center, and Laine with a colleague, Sakis Decossard, borrowed from the AIDG web site.
The forum, entitled "Rebuilding Haiti: the Boston Connection," will run from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the foundation's office at 75 Arlington St., 10th floor. To rsvp email firstname.lastname@example.org by Jan. 22.
Speakers will include John Ambler, a senior official at Boston-based Oxfam America; Linda Mason, the chair of Mercy Corps (as well as founder of Bright Horizons child care); State Rep. Marie St. Fleur; and Carline Desire, executive director of the Association of Haitian Women of Boston.
Alex Cantave, the associate director of the William Monroe Trotter Institute for the Study of Black Culture at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, will give a presentation on Boston's Haiti connections, and the nation's third-largest Haitian-American community.
The Boston Foundation has created a Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Fund, with donations being matched by the Ansara Family Fund. Co-founder Karen Ansara will give opening remarks, along with Paul Grogan, the president and CEO of the Boston Foundation.
Karen's husband Jim Ansara, who founded Shawmut Design and Construction, is in Haiti now with a team from Partners in Health, the Boston-based health group. Ansara is blogging on his experiences. He appears to be putting to good use the engineering and logistics skills that helped him build Shawmut into a mult-million dollar business.
The center is moving on Thursday from the location it has occupied since it opened last week, at the SEIU offices in South Boston, to new premises at the Mattapan Branch Library at 1350 Blue Hill Avenue. That will be more convenient for many members of the Haitian community. The phone number is (617) 284-1199. Those who want to volunteer can contact the Boston Public Health Commission at email@example.com.
The center has translators, computers, and phone lines available.
The mayor also set up a a relief fund through Bank of America, named “The Fund for Boston Neighborhoods, Inc. – Haitian Family Relief.” Donations are being accepted at all local Bank of America branches, and checks can be mailed to: The Fund for Boston Neighborhoods, Inc. – Haitian Family Relief, P.O. Box 961555, Boston, MA 02196.
The center will be open at least through next week. For more information see the mayor's announcement. The hours are:
Thursday, January 21 – Friday, January 22: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday, January 23: 12 noon – 5 p.m.
Sunday, January 24: Closed
Monday, January 25 – Friday, January 29: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday, January 30: 12 noon -5 p.m.
Songster James Taylor has added a second benefit concert for Haiti on Saturday, after the Friday night show sold out in 90 minutes -- at ticket prices from $100 to $1,000. The two shows will be at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. The center's web site says Taylor and his wife Kim will match the $150,000 in ticket proceeds from each show -- raising a potential $600,000. The benefit's take will go to support Partners in Health's emergency relief work in Haiti.
Tickets for the second show went on sale this morning. But you'd better hurry: it looks like only three seats are left for the second concert -- in the front row, at $1,000 per ticket.
Also, chef Jacky Robert and manager Loic Le Garrec, owners of Petit Robert Bistros in Boston and Needham, are transforming their monthly La Table Francaise on Monday evening, Feb. 1, into a fund-raising event. The $50 per person cost for the three-course meal at the Kenmore Square location will also go to Boston-based Partners in Health. And donations above that amount will be welcome.
Robert will be joined by Anna Fils-Ainne, who has just been named chef of the Needham bistro. Her husband is from Haiti. Petit Robert Bistro is at 468 Commonwealth Ave, Kenmore Square, Boston. 617-375-0699.
Partners in Health, the global health and development group, says it raised $25 million in the five days after the Jan. 12 earthquake, my Globe colleague Megan Woolhouse reports today. Partners in Health, co-founded by Dr. Paul Farmer, has worked in Haiti since the mid-1980s and has vaulted to national prominence this week given its expertise there and its fast response to the earthquake. The group reported today that it has opened its 13th operating room in Haiti to provide emergency medical treatment.
Another Boston-based organization, Oxfam America, says it raised $7.1 by Sunday. Oxfam America also has taken a leading role in expediting medical and nutritional aid, not least in the form of clean water.
The Boston Foundation has set up a Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Fund to begin looking at longer-term rebuilding. Donations to that fund are being matched dollar for dollar by Jim and Karen Ansara of Boston, who also contributed $1 million to Partners in Health for a hospital in Haiti.
There are many other players, too, of course. See this previous list of Boston-area institutions and what they are doing. But there's no doubt that Partners in Health and Oxfam America have been particularly responsive, building on their track records going back many years in Haiti.
Here is a list of Boston-area resources involved with the Haiti earthquake, and community actions in support of victims:
The city of Boston is staffing an emergency response center at the headquarters of SEIU Local 1999 on for 150 Mount Vernon St. in Dorchester for those who are trying to contact relatives in Haiti. The center has phone lines, computers with Internet access, translators, and grief counselors. The hotline is 617-284-1199.
Haitian Consulate in Boston: Marie Andrine, Consul Général
Tel: 617-266-3660, Fax: 617-266-4060
Relief and Development Organizations
Partners in Health, Boston-based non-profit that has worked in Haiti for 23 years and is treating the wounded at several facilities. PIH is seeking donations and other support.
Oxfam America, which is based in Boston, has created an emergency relief fund. Oxfam has a staff of more than 200 people in Haiti, the Boston headquarters notes, and 15 disaster specialists who are already at work organizing relief. You can make a $10 donation to Oxfam's Haiti Earthquake Response Fund by texting OXFAM to 25383.
Grassroots International is a Boston-based development group that has worked in Haiti for 20 years, and has set up a Haiti emergency relief fund.
United Way of Massachusetts has committed $40,000 for aid to Haiti and for helping local Haitians in Boston. The United Way also has set up a tool on its web site to make donations easily. The aid will also support the Haitian Multi-Service Center in Dorchester, which assists Haitian newcomers and immigrants.
The Boston Foundation has created a Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Fund that will look toward longer-term relief and rebuilding. Donations are being matched dollar for dollar by Jim and Karen Ansara.
Church World Services is the national umbrella relief organization for 17 Protestant and Orthodox denominations, and its New England director, the Rev. Bert Marshall, has been active in Haiti for many years.CWS is coordinating donations and relief work on behalf of many churches. Donation link here.
The United Nations Children's Fund,
or UNICEF, is responding to the disaster with an initial $500,000
donation and support in the field. UNICEF has worked in Haiti since the
Information about donations is available at the US Fund for UNICEF and the Boston office is reachable at 617.266.7534.
A group called Partners in Development, based in Ipswich, Mass., has a medical clinic in Port-au-Prince and is organizing to send a medical team there. Phone: 978-471-9922.
Catholic Charities is also at work organizing relief, raising funds, and accepting donations.
Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley has authorized a second collection in the parishes of the Archdiocese of Boston. Parishes may choose either this coming weekend, Jan. 16 and 17, or the weekend of Jan. 30 and 31 to take the collection. Funds collected will be sent to Catholic Relief Services to assist in relief efforts in Haiti.
Combined Jewish Philanthropies, the umbrella group for Boston-area Jewish philanthropy founded in 1895, has set up a Haiti quake relief fund to support Boston-based Partners in Health as well as the broader national Jewish effort through The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.
The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, a human rights group based in Cambridge, has launched an earthquake relief fund.
AmeriCares, a disaster response organization based in Stamford, Ct., has high ratings for its efficient use of donor resources. It has set up an emergency earthquake fund, pledging $5 million for victims.
Doctors Without Borders is a highly regarded humanitarian service that responds quickly to disasters around the Globe. MSF, as it it known by its French acronym, already had medical teams on the ground in Haiti and they are treating hundreds of victims.
The Wayland-based organization, Bread of Compassion, says it had long ago planned a medical mission to Haiti on March 1, and now is stepping up preparations and seeking contributions for the trip by 20 medical professionals to bring more medical supplies on the journey.
Local Haitian organizations
The Haitian Multi-Service Center in Dorchester is part of Catholic Charities and has been serving Haitian immigrants in Boston since 1984.
The Center for Community Health, Education and Research has compiled a useful list of Haitian organizations in Greater Boston.
The Association of Haitian Women in Boston works to empower low-income women in Haiti.
The St. Boniface Foundation, based in Randolph, runs a hospital in Fond des Blancs, about 70 miles west of Port au Prince.
Also in Fond des Blancs, Haiti Projects Inc, run by Sarah Hackett, a nurse from Gloucester, offers family planning and other services in these remote mountains.
The Boston Haitian Reporter has an impressive live blog on developments in Haiti and updates on available resources.
Jean Filias hosts a Haitian radio program on Radio Energy (1620AM) in Dorchester.
The Boston Haitian Reporter also has a list of Haitian community resources and organizations.
Haitian Embassy in Washington, hotline: 202-332-4090.
Sen. Paul G. Kirk's Boston office says it will try to connect people with relatives in Haiti. Call 617-565-3170.
The Center for International Disaster Information has created a website with links to organizations that are accepting donations and other resources related to the earthquake.
The CIDI, funded by the US Agency for International Development, has guidelines on how to contribute appropriately to disaster relief. The key point is that the best contribution is money, not clothes and food, because money can be directed more quickly and efficiently to meet the needs of victims.
The United Nations World Food Program is quickly mobilizing aid resources for victims, and is accepting donations.
Action Against Hunger has hundreds of staff members in Haiti and has deployed emergency teams to assist victims.
The Episcopal Church is collecting donations and organizing relief, through its relief agency Episcopal Relief and Development.
The Salvation Army has worked in Haiti since 1950 and is organizing immediate assistance. The Salvation Army is accepting monetary donations to assist in the effort via, www.salvationarmyusa.org, 1-800-SAL-ARMY and postal mail at: The Salvation Army World Service Office, International Disaster Relief Fund, PO Box 630728, Baltimore, MD 21263-0728. Donors can also text the word “HAITI” to 52000 to automatically give $10 to The Salvation Army’s relief efforts.
The State Department Operations Center has set up the following number for Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti: 1-888-407-4747.
Red Cross: Simply text "HAITI" to "90999" and a donation of $10 will be given automatically to the Red Cross to help with relief efforts, charged to your cell phone bill.
Reuters Haiti help page
Haitian Education & Leadership Program
International Committee of the Red Cross
Direct Relief International is a non-profit based in California that has a range of health partners in Haiti and has pledged a $1 million emergency donation.
A number of organizations are accepting donations through mobile phone text messaging. Here's an update from the Mobile Giving Foundation, which works with a number of non-profits.
The quickest way to provide monetary relief to those affected by the recent earthquake in Haiti is mobile giving. By texting a keyword to a designated short code via a mobile phone, a micro-donation of $5 or $10 can be made to aid the millions of people affected by this tragedy. 100 percent of your donation goes to the recipient charity, and the donation appears as a charge on your carrier bill. Standard rates may apply.
Text the word “Yele” to 501501 to donate $5
On behalf of the Yéle Foundation, the leading contributor to rebuilding Haiti founded by Wyclef Jean
Text the word “Haiti” to 85944 to donate $5
On behalf of the Rescue Union Mission and MedCorp International
Text the word “Haiti” to 25383 to donate $5
On behalf of the Internal Rescue Committee
Text the word “Haiti” to 90999 to donate $10
On behalf of the Red Cross in the US
Text the word “Haiti” to 45678 (In Canada Only)
On behalf of the Salvation Army in Canada
The overwhelming view from most credible organizations is that you should give money, not goods. Collecting cans of groceries and old clothes may seem like a more tangible way to give. But it poses huge logistical problems for those who need to ship it to victims. Give money, and let the experts decide how to translate it into the best help.
The Center for International Disaster Information has posted guidelines on how to give appropriately. The center is funded by the US Agency for International Development. The site also refers readers to lists of credible organizations with experience in Haiti and at previous disaster sites.
A number of monitoring organizations assess the effectiveness of different non-profit relief groups -- and offer counsel on how to avoid getting taken advantage of by shysters who would exploit the sympathies of those who want to help victims.
One of the best-known tools is Charity Navigator, which looks at factors such as what percentage of funds go to administrative costs rather than the end recipients.
Charity Navigator has a page listing some of the principal charities aiding Haiti quake victims. And the organization offers tips on how to give:
-- Avoid new charities created just to help Haiti. It's much more likely that an established charity will know how to act fast and do what's needed.
--Don't give to the Haitian government. Too much chance for corruption.
--Run from unsolicited emails from "victims." Too easy to fake them.
--Go to authorized charity websites, not those purporting to raise funds for them.
Do consider texting donations to legitimate organizations -- such as donating $10 to the American Red Cross by texting “Haiti” to 90999. All the money goes right to the organization in most cases. For more information and giving options, go to Mobile Giving Foundation.
Here's a detailed explanation from Charity Navigator on text donations.
If you want to get into the details of a non-profit organization's performance, GuideStar has great tools for looking closely.
Another good on-line tool is Charity Guide.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley's office has issued guidelines to avoid fraudsters. The guidelines offer a useful first point: make sure the charity is registered, and submitting the required reports.
Several Boston-area people who have spent dozens of years helping the poorest Haitians high in the western mountain town of Fond des Blancs are safe but shaken after yesterday's devastating earthquake. And they are already finding ways to help others.
Among them are Sarah Hackett, the 83-year-old Gloucester native who runs a clinic and sewing cooperative in Fond des Blancs, and Nannette and Fred Canniff and their daughter-in-law Linda. Nannette Canniff founded and still heads the St. Boniface Haiti Foundation of Randolph. Her husband and daughter also help out with the hospital run by the foundation in Fond des Blancs.
Hackett, who runs a non-profit called Haiti Projects Inc., said in her initial email last night that the walls shook and pots were knocked off the stove, but the damage was nothing like that in Port au Prince, the capital, about 70 miles to the east of Fond des Blancs.
In an email this evening, Hackett was clear about what should be done now:
"When people keep asking what they can do, tell them to call their congressperson and tell them to get aid here right away. All they have to do is imagine if their house fell down in Boston and they just got out with the clothes on their back, what would such people need??? Everything and right away!!!!
We are quite cut off here as the phones don't work but two people on motorcycles got through today so tomorrow a car is going to try.In the afternoon tomorrow there is a funeral for our driver's 3 year old who was crushed in the rubble when the house collapsed in Port au Prince. And as I write, the 8 students that St Boniface houses in a student house in Port au Prince have just arrived just with the clothes on their backs, having escaped as the house was collapsing.
We here in the back country have not suffered except for the continuous news of the losses and for the feelings of helplessness. Mostly we have the jitters still even after 24 hours and that is because the aftershocks have been frightening - strong and continuous.They say there have been as many as 40. Still a few."
Here's a Google map showing Fond des Blancs in relation to Port au Prince.
View Larger Map
I wrote a profile about Sarah Hackett and her work in Haiti in the Globe in November. Here's a link.
The story also noted the impressive work of the St. Boniface Foundation, and its hospital in Fond des Blancs. Both Hackett's Haiti Projects Inc. and the St. Boniface Foundation were awarded the prestigious Isabel Allende Foundation Award last year for their years of work for the people of Haiti.
Nannette Canniff's grandson, Derek Forrest, said by telephone that the Canniffs reported by instant message last night that they were fine but shaken, and that walls and buildings had suffered some damage. They kept having to run out of the house every time there was an aftershock, Forrest said.
Here's a photo of Sarah Hackett, taken in November by the Globe's John Blanding:
Partners in Health, the Boston-based group that has worked for decades on health and development in Haiti, has helped set up an emergency field hospital to treat the wounded.
This evening, Partners in Health spokesman Andrew Marx said victims are starting to make their way to Partners in Health hospitals in Haiti. Globe reporter Stephen Smith has a full account here.
On its web site, Partners in Health explains its initial response and appeals for contributions to support relief efforts. It quotes from field staff at the PIH facilities in the Central Highlands as saying they felt the quake but suffered no major damage or injuries. "We are still attempting to establish contact with other PIH facilities and to locate several staff members who were traveling in and around Port-au-Prince."
The Partners in Health report adds:
In an urgent email from Port-au-Prince, Louise Ivers, our clinical director in Haiti, appealed for assistance from her colleagues in the Central Plateau: "Port-au-Prince is devastated, lot of deaths. SOS. SOS... Temporary field hospital by us at UNDP needs supplies, pain meds, bandages. Please help us."
Partners in Health co-founder Dr. Paul Farmer first began working in Haiti in 1983, in Cange in the Central Highlands, and founded PIH in 1987 with a focus on improving health in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
With our hospitals and our highly trained medical staff in place in Haiti, Partners In Health is already mobilizing resources and preparing plans to bring medical assistance and supplies to areas that have been hardest hit. In Boston, our procurement and development teams are already fielding numerous offers of support and making arrangements to deliver resources as quickly as possible to the places where they are needed most."
McHoul says he and his wife and children were unhurt in the horrific quake on Tuesday. But he provides a frightening impression of what they went through.
The wall on all four sides of the boys' house has collapsed. There is significant damage to the wall on two sides of the girls' house and at the women's center and at my house. We of course, have no city power and no water due to broken pipes. The inside of all the houses are littered with broken glass, and whatever was on the shelves now is on the floor.Even so, they were already already out collecting diesel fuel and food today for neighbors in need, says Debbie Perates, John McHoul's cousin, who lives in Peabody and received email updates from the McHouls today. The McHouls were also helping their daughter's friend hunt for a missing parent.
She says the McHouls went to Haiti in 1989 and set up Heartline Ministries just outside the capital, Port au Prince. The ministry runs the Maranatha Orphanage, where 250 children are awaiting families, and a women's program serving more than 100 women each week.
The blog entry says:
This morning at 1:30 I accompanied Troy Livesay to bring two of our medical people and some medical supplies to a friends place who had set up a clinic in the street to help the many, many who were injured due to falling cement blocks and debris. Along the route so much seemed normal and then we would hit stretches of severe damage and of houses and businesses completely destroyed. We saw car on the side of road crushed by falling debris. The three story police station which is about three miles from our house is completely destroyed. People were told not to sleep inside so the strrets were packed with people sleeping and sitting. It at times was difficult to get by them.
As soon as I send this blog, I will be hopping on the motorcycle and checking on the parents of our daughter Morgans best friend here in Haiti. It has been said that the mom is in the hospital and that the father is buried in rubble. I have no news about the dozens of women in the women's program as we have no cell phone communication.Here's one of the photos from John McHoul's blog:
The catastrophic, 7.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated Haiti Tuesday afternoon occurred in a region long known to be seismically active, according to geologists, but it's been more than a century since the earth shook there with such ferocity.
The quake occurred close to the surface along the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault, which runs along an east-west line, extending from Jamaica to the southern part of Haiti.
"Even though large earthquakes of this size aren’t common there, the fact that there’s a fault system that runs through there makes it not surprising," said John Bellini, a geophysicist with the US Geological Survey's National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo.
Another large earthquake of about the same magnitude occurred in the area in December 1897, Bellini said.
Like the San Andreas fault in California, the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault is a strike-slip fault in which tectonic plates move horizontally in opposite directions, scraping against each other.
"This was a larger earthquake than we had observed on this fault for over 100 years, and the problem we always have as sesimologists when we go look at an area and try and convince people you have to take a seismic hazard seriously is they always look at what happened in the past," said John Ebel, director of the Weston Observatory and a professor of geophysics at Boston College.
The earthquake occurred near the surface, making it very destructive. Such shallow strike-slip earthquakes trigger Love waves, which cause strong horizontal shaking that can bring down buildings, Ebel said.
The region has also been rocked by aftershocks, with at least 35 measured so far, with 14 over 5.0 magnitude, according to Bellini. Ebel said that large aftershocks will continue in the coming days.
There is no way to predict when an earthquake will occur, and the tectonic plates in the Caribbean are largely beneath the sea -- meaning they are monitored far less than the San Andreas fault. That means geologists know less about the ways in which the tectonic plates normally slip against each other, and have less insight into when stresses may be building up that could cause an earthquake.
"Earthquakes aren’t random events -- they occur when stresses build up," said Michele Cooke, a geoscientist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Information about normal slippage "let’s you know a little more, so you can make educated guesses about recurrence intervals for that particular fault" -- such as whether it's likely an earthquake will occur in the next decade, or half-century.
From a scientific point of view, the quake was not atypical. What made it more tragic was the fact that it occurred in a region known to be seismically active, but in one of the places in the world that might be least-prepared.
"It’s in a place that’s probably one of the least likely to be able to handle such a catastrophic event -- it’s pretty saddening to see what’s going on there," Bellini said.
Carolyn Y. Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Paul Farmer, a pioneer in improving health services in the Third World, has been named chairman of Harvard Medical School's Department of Global Health and Social Medicine but remains in the running for a senior role in the Obama Administration, the dean of the medical school said today.
Dr. Jeffrey S. Flier told a meeting of global health specialists from Boston-area institutions that Farmer would succeed Dr. Jim Kim as chairman of the department as of July 1. Kim has been named president of Dartmouth College.
Andrew Marx, director of communications at Partners in Health, the Boston-based global health non-profit that Farmer founded with Kim in 1983, said Flier told the Harvard meeting that Farmer was still in discussions with Obama administration officials about an unspecified position.
Marx quoted Flier as saying that if Farmer did get a Washington position, he would take a leave of absence from the medical school, and that Flier hoped he would later return to the chairmanship. The associate dean for communications at the medical school, Gina Vild, said Flier had confirmed Marx's account of Flier's remarks to the meeting.
The Globe reported on May 15 that Farmer told faculty members at the medical school that he is in discussions with the State Department about a position overseeing all foreign health aid. Farmer has declined comment.
Jack Lew, the deputy secretary of state overseeing health matters, said in a telephone interview on Tuesday that the government is considering ways to dramatically improve coordination among the various agencies involved with global health assistance. He said the current review would be completed soon, but he would not discuss timing or possible structures, or who might lead a revamped global health initiative.
"We're actively open to creative ideas about how to bring appropriate resources to bear," he said. "When we look at public-private partnerships and recruiting, we're looking at how to cast the broadest net to bring in the right talent and commitment to address the challenge."
Foreign Policy magazine's website on Tuesday quoted an unidentified health specialist as saying Farmer might be named to the vacant top position of administrator of the US Agency for International Development on an interim basis, and then move to a broader policy role when the strategic overhaul of the foreign assistance process was sorted out.
Peter Brown, spokesman for Brigham and Women's Hospital, said Farmer also had been named to succeed Kim as head of the Division of Global Equity at the hospital, a Harvard teaching facility.
In a statement e-mailed to medical school faculty today and obtained by the Globe, Flier wrote: "Paul is uniquely suited to lead this department. There are few who have done more to improve health in developing countries than Paul. His scholarship and international work have made him one of the most respected experts in the world on issues of global health."
About this blog
About James F. SmithJim Smith came home to his native Boston in 2002 to become the Boston Globe's foreign editor after spending 22 years abroad. He was previously based in Buenos Aires and Mexico City for the LA Times, and in Johannesburg, Tokyo and The Hague for the AP. In 2007 he became the Globe's national political editor, coordinating presidential campaign coverage. He is a Yale graduate, and has an MBA. He is married to Maxine Hart and has two sons, Matthew and Daniel.
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