I haven’t written much lately because every time I sit down at my keyboard, I want to write about Haiti. I want to write about terrible injustice. And I want to write about the appalling difference I see between main stream media depictions and fresher, more local sources.
I haven’t written about Haiti because, let’s face it. I’ve never been there. I’m not going anytime soon. I don’t even know much about Haiti today (although I’m reading everything I can get my hands on). In fact, many many others have already done a better job writing about recent events than I ever could. They’re experts in Haiti, relief, aid, and a million other things.
That said, there are a few stories that have touched me. Ushahidi and their unflagging efforts to connect people with the help they need. The outpouring of sympathy and relief from Africa. Plug-and-play hospitals from Doctors without Borders (okay, less touching and more “oohhhh shiny”).
This tragedy touches Benin uniquely, as the majority of slaves leaving the country went directly to Haiti and Brazil. The Beninese consider Haitians to be close cousins, practically Africans. Visiting Haitians have told me they feel at home here, and Beninese who’ve traveled to Haiti feel the same way. The whole country is praying for Haiti, and although our financial capacity for giving is small, I do not doubt that Benin will do everything it can.
Bertrand and are thinking about what we can do to help, and at this time, I think the best thing we can do is encourage everyone we know to donate. Several of our clients have asked for extensions on their bills so that they can do just that. Normally, I’d be skeptical (and was at first). Today, we’ve chosen to give them the benefit of the doubt because, strangely enough, we really do think they’ll give.