There’s been much confusion about how to help the aid efforts in Haiti after the January 12th 7.0 earthquake that has destroyed much of Port au Prince. A reliable guide to reputable, responsible charities who are helping in Haiti comes from Charitynavigator.org. I’ve chosen to send my contribution to Partners In Health.
Partners In Health was founded by Dr. Paul Farmer, who was profiled in the incredible book Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. For the past 20 years, they have been working to bring medical care to the people of Haiti, and Dr. Farmer himself has made incredible personal sacrifices to carry out his life’s work. If you want to learn more about Haiti and the work that Dr. Farmer has done, I cannot recommend Mountains Beyond Mountains more highly. It’s an incredibly inspiring book, and when I first read it, made me want to go off and try to save the world. It has even more resonance now.
Reading about Haiti:
Edwidge Danticat is an award-winning author who grew up in Haiti. Her short stories, novels and memoirs will add to the understanding of Haiti’s history and the lives of the people who lived there — those who stayed and those who left to create a better life. You may have seen Edwidge on major news programs speaking about the situation in Haiti. If you are looking for something to read about Haiti in order to get a better understanding of the tough conditions even before the earthquake, I highly recommend any of her work.
KRIK! KRAK! Short stories. A National Book Award finalist, this collection of short stories details daily life in Haiti under dictatorship. “If the news from Haiti is too painful to read, read this book instead and understand the place more deeply than you ever thought possible.” — The Washington Post Book World (review from 1995)