Tag Archive | "Haiti’s 2010 Earthquake"


CT Schools Raise Funds To Build School In Haiti

HARTFORD — The deadline for the statewide fundraising effort to build a new school in Haiti is Oct. 30.

Gov.M. Jodi Rell and the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) last week reminded Connecticut school officials, students and parents that the deadline for the statewide fundraising effort to build a new school in Haiti launched last January following the devastating earthquake in the Caribbean nation.

In the aftermath of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Jan. 12, the governor’s office worked closely with CAS to set up a special bank account at the Bank of America to raise money to address the critical needs of hundreds of thousands of Haitian children whose schools were destroyed and are forced to get whatever schooling they can in temporary, makeshift schools.

“For the past nine months, schools across the state have showed their strong desire and overwhelming generosity to the rebuilding of Haiti.  I am proud of the way our schools have answered the call but I am appealing to others who can help us raise more money over the next month.  The fact is Haitian children remain in risk,” Rell said.

Rell said new schools will “help protect the children of Haiti, give a level stability and security and provide a new generation of educated, skilled workers that will be critical to Haiti’s long-term recovery”

“It means more than just rebuilding a school – it is rebuilding lives,” she said.

As of last week, Connecticut schools have raised over $158,051 which will be dedicated toward building and equipping a modern, earthquake resistant school in Haiti.  Connecticut schools have pitched in by holding fundraising events, collecting coins and raising awareness of the need to help Haitian schoolchildren.  CAS hopes to secure matching funding from philanthropic organizations they have worked with in the past.  Not one cent of money raised will go toward overhead or administrative costs, officials said.

Parents or their children can bring their donation to their respective school or go directly to any Bank of America branch to make a deposit in the CAS Haitian Relief Fund by Oct. 30.

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Haitian Women Demand Role in Rebuilding Their Country

New America Media, News Report, Anthony Advincula

NEW YORK — Almost three months after the Jan. 12 earthquake that devastated Haiti, women advocates and UN officials are increasingly worried that Haitian women are being sidelined in national relief and reconstruction efforts.

While a majority of Haitian women have shouldered the responsibility of meeting the needs of children, the elderly, orphans, homeless and thousands of newly disabled people, advocates say they often find themselves at the end of the line for needed aid, including access to food, water, supplies and medicine. Some do not even get the aid intended for them.

Winnie ByanyimaWinnie Byanyima

In displacement camps, women have also reportedly become more vulnerable to rape, sexual abuse and gender-based violence. Since the quake, thousands of women and young girls have been living in open-air camps with no electricity, and often share a communal bathroom and sleeping area with men who are not related to them.

“The women are the first responders after the earthquake,” said Kathy Mangones, coordinator of the Haiti Program of the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). “About 48 percent of Haitian households are headed by women. But now they are getting marginalized again.”

Mangones spoke recently at a press conference sponsored by the international women’s support organization MADRE to focus attention on the need for Haitian women’s involvement in rebuilding their country. Citing Haiti’s long history of gender bias, Mangones said that donors and international relief organizations should give women priority in receiving aid. She said that many women do not get their fair share because men are getting the lion’s share.

“We should build proper housing for women, separate bathrooms. If we do not correct the past mistakes, this is going to be a vicious cycle,” Mangones said. “Women in Haiti will always be the victims of social inequalities.”

Marie Saint Cyr, director of the Haitian Coalition on AIDS in New York City, said that while aid is critically important in protecting and helping Haitian women and young girls, it is “just a Band-Aid” and not enough to solve the growing problems. The bigger picture, she added, is that women’s issues should be integrated into state policies.

“We can’t build a country on aid. We can’t run our lives by projects. The women of Haiti suffer disproportionately in the policy environment, and so we must have a policy shift,” she said. “We can’t afford to have a business-as-usual attitude. We must ensure that in all rebuilding and reconstruction efforts, women’s needs, expertise and contributions are recognized.”

As an agricultural country, Cyr added, the nation’s agricultural sector must be strengthened and used to create jobs for women.

Nigel Fisher, president and CEO of UNICEF Canada, echoed her call for deeper policy changes that promote equality.

“The earthquake didn’t kill 250,000 people, but the poverty and weak buildings did,” he said. “We need to help the Haitian government to build its capacity and sustainability through a comprehensive policy.”

Calling for the support of donors, Haitian government and international organizations, Fisher said that the devastation of the earthquake could be “an opportunity to emphasize the country’s policy and governance” and “accentuate gender issues.”

Last week, Haitian government officials and international stakeholder representatives gathered at the UN headquarters to discuss a Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) draft that will serve as a roadmap for Haiti’s reconstruction. The UN has allocated $11.5 billion for Haiti’s recovery plans over the next 10 years.

But the advocates and UN officials at the MADRE event unanimously agreed that the draft appeared to be incomplete. Of the eight sectors that PDNA focuses on only one peripherally addresses gender.

To have an effective post-earthquake recovery plan, Fisher mapped out five priorities that include gender at all sectors: Ensure active participation of women; rebuilding process in accordance with gender issues; ensure safe housing for women and young girls; ensure participation of women in the job market; and security for women and young girls against violence and sexual abuse, especially in displacement camps.

“Women’s issues and an action plan for recovery should be built together,” said Winnie Byanyima, director of the UNDP Gender Team. “The recovery efforts should be drafted with women’s role in mind — and not just include women’s issues when the plan is already made.”

Related Articles:

UN Seeks New Model of Cooperation to Rebuild Haiti

Haitian-American Media Become the Eyes and Ears of Haiti

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Hartford Students Raise Money For Haiti

Employing a variety of inventive fund-raising techniques, students throughout the Hartford Public School system have so far donated about $9,000 and large amounts of food, clothing, household goods and medical supplies to assist the victims of the earthquake that devastated Haiti last month, school officials said.

The money totals are likely to increase over the coming weeks because additional fund-raising activities have yet to take place and others are ongoing, officials said.

“It is encouraging that our students are learning responsibility to others at an early age and that they are able to see themselves as part of a global community,” said Superintendent Steven J. Adamowski. “Their caring, as demonstrated through a variety of
unique projects to contribute to the Haitian relief effort, are deserving of recognition and commendation.”

In some cases, the donations were linked to a particular educational objective.  Students at the Montessori Magnet School at Annie Fisher, for example, organized a Haiti Read-a-thon, in which they collect contributions from friends and family at a per hour rate for simply reading. The Read-a-thon continues through the month of February.

Proceeds go to the Hope Is Life Foundation, established by 11-year-old Natascha Yogachandra, which is raising funds to restore schools in Haiti.

Among the students participating in the activity is third-grader Patricia Weaver, 8, of Hartford, who said she has obtained donation pledges from all the members of her family for reading an hour and a half every day. Her book selection includes “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, “The Sugarplum Ballerina” and “Georgia’s Secret Key.”

“I’ll probably collect about $100,” Patricia said.

Her classmate, Evelyn McNamee of Wallingford, said she is hoping to raise about $50 for reading during her three-hour daily commute to and from school.

The Kinsella Magnet School of Performing Arts, meanwhile, hosted a benefit music and drama performance at which guests were asked to donate a $10 admission fee that went directly to Helping Hands, an organization that aids an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti.

Many schools held “Dress-Down Days”, in which students were permitted to come to class without their uniforms so long as they paid a fee for doing so. Dress down Day at Kennelly Elementary School alone raised more than $1,700.

District schools in which students held fund-raising drives include: Maria Sanchez, Noah Webster Micro-Society Magnet, Simpson-Waverly, Breakthrough Magnet, the Adult Education Center, Ramon E. Betances, Alfred E. Burr, Hartford
Magnet Middle School, the Nursing Academy, the Law and Government Academy, Annie Fisher, Dwight, Bellizzi Middle School, Weaver High School and Moylan.

Other Haitian relief charities that received donations from Hartford students were the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, AmeriCares of Stamford, Doctors Without Borders and the Connecticut Haitian Earthquake Relief Fund.

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Hartford Community Rallies Help For Haiti

HARTFORD — Hartford community civic leaders and others will gather today at 6 p.m. at Uptown Vibz night club to help with the Haiti Earthquake Relief Effort.

The meeting will be held at Uptown Vibz banquet hall at 3115 Main St.

Under the leadership of Vibz owner Yvon Alexander, the community is gathering to discuss relief effort for the massive earthquake that took numerous lives in Haiti yesterday.

Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez in a press release today urged residents to give the gift of hope and opportunity and help support relief efforts in Haiti after a devastating earthquake.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Haiti.  There are strong ties between our families here and there.  I ask folks to support the relief efforts of the American Red Cross so that emergency assistance can reach more people and reach them faster,” Perez said.

A severe earthquake hitting near Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince has likely caused economic damages in the “hundreds of millions of dollars,” catastrophe-modelling firm EQECAT says in a press release.

Nevertheless, because of Haiti’s weak economic conditions, private insurers will likely only be exposed to insured damages in the “millions,” a representative of the Insurance Information Institute, Robert P. Hartwig, told the Wall Street Journal.

The earthquake measured 7.0 on the Richter Scale. EQECAT estimates 2 million Haitians would have been affected by “very strong” or “severe” categories of ground shaking.

The magnitude 7 earthquake that struck Haiti yesterday is the strongest earthquake to hit the region in more than two centuries, according to a National Geographic report report.

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