Many people are hesitate to donate to us because they doubt their contributions will make an impact in Haiti. Let’s address this head on and frankly. It is no secret that most organizations fail in Haiti. The Red Cross scandal was monumental and highly publicized. There are hundreds of organizations operating in Haiti, yet very few really know how the local system works.
Friends of Humanity is different. We are tied to a local orphanage and medical center that have been serving the people of northwest Haiti for more than four decades. Our board members include Haitians who have direct ties to the community. So, for example, when we ship a container of food to Haiti, we go with the shipment and make sure it is picked up by someone associated with the orphanage. When people are hungry, it is very easy for a bag of rice to go missing. We maintain tight controls to prevent this.
We know how to get things done cheaply or for free. In order to ship plumbing supplies to built a septic and water project for the hospital, we included donated used bicycles and shoes. The plumbing supplies were shipped free because the ship’s crew wanted the bicycles and shoes for their friends and families in their own communities in Haiti. So, a few items that cost us nothing meant we could save thousands in shipping costs
People have tried to build big projects in Haiti and failed because they did not think like the local workers and people. We work side-by-side with local builders to oversee their work and teach them better construction methods. We don’t simply hand a check over because without a doubt, the check would be spent and nothing would be built. This is not due to deliberate dishonesty. Rather, the check would be spent on necessities for the moment… a goat for a cousin, medical care for another family member. Haiti is not a place where long-term planning is part of the mindset. Many people do not know if they will eat another meal or survive another day.
People think Haiti is a lost cause and so raising donations can be an extraordinary challenge. Yet, we are succeeding everyday in Haiti. We have already put in a well and bathroom facilities for the orphanage. We have supplied power. Now we are embarking on a more ambitious project for the adjacent hospital. Doctors come in from the U.S. and Canada and are frustrated because the lack of sanitary facilities creates infections that kill people that have had the right medical treatment. We are beginning to build the solution. We operate with no salaries and no office. Our main expense is this website. So almost 100% of the donations we receive make life better in northwest Haiti. We can’t change centuries of politics and poverty overnight. We can’t save all of Haiti. But if you want to save a few lives absolutely… well, you can do so by donating to Friends of Humanity.