Over the past 42 hours we have watched the worst kind of devastation happen to the Haitian people. I can not help but feel an overwhelming sense of pain, fear, heartbreak and frustration as story after story talks about the present need for water, medical help, electricity, heavy equipment to move rubble and a coordinated effort to field questions and receive and distribute aid to everyone.
All day long, I have been getting emails and calls asking what we can do. Many of us on the Gulf Coast of America remember what it was like in those immediate hours and days following the vicious slams of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Life, at this moment, is critical and medical help is paramount.
Dr. Evan Lyon and Jill Petty, who have a long relationship to Haiti, have offered us an opportunity to send some direct help. Evan used to work fulltime for an international health services organization called Partners In Health (PIH), and spent most of his medical career going back and forth between managing a health clinic in a rural section of Haiti and teaching at a hospital affiliated with Harvard Medical School. The director of Partners in Health is Paul Farmer; I don’t know if Farmer has received a Nobel prize, but he has probably got just about all the other awards similar to that. I think he is an ambassador now; works closely with Bill Clinton.
Evan still works with PIH a lot, and still goes to Haiti on a frequent basis. His soul is rooted with the people there. While here in Alabama he is working part time with Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) and full time with the Montgomery Aids Outreach, setting up an HIV/AIDS clinic in Selma. Googling Evan Lyon, Partners in Health, and Paul Farmer will pull up all kinds of stuff about them.
Evan and his wife Jill have asked that we donate to Partners In Health (PIH). This organization has very low overhead, has a trusted history and will know where to get the resources. PIH has set up small hospitals and clinics in the rural parts of Haiti. Since the main hospital in the capital city there is now destroyed, people are being transported to the PIH health facilities now. The tricky part is, Haiti does not really have roads as we know them; the infrastructure there was already pretty barren. Add to that, all the rubble and we have a logistical catastrophe. But people are going to do what they can to get people to those PIH facilities. Those facilities will surely do what they can to get their resources to the people. Please visit this link below and give, today.
With all of our thanks and love,
Demetrius L. Bass
and the Emerging ChangeMakers Network