Posts Tagged ‘haiti’

Wyclef Jean calls for evacuating Haiti capital

By SAMANTHA GROSS, Associated Press Writer Mon Jan 18, 6:29 pm ET

NEW YORK – Haitian-born musician Wyclef Jean defended his charity on Monday in the wake of questions about its practices while calling on the international community to enable the evacuation of his homeland’s earthquake-ravaged capital.

“Port-au-Prince is a morgue,” Jean said at a Manhattan press conference, recounting how he collected the corpses of small children and adults from the festering streets on his recent trip. Tears streamed down his face as he looked into the camera, speaking to his countrymen.

Residents should be evacuated to tent cities outside Port-au-Prince to allow for aid to reach them and so cleanup can begin in earnest, Jean said, asking for help from around the world in building encampments.

“We need to migrate at least 2 million people,” Jean said, promising to draw on his status as one of Haiti’s favorite sons to aid in such an effort. “I give you my word, if I tell them to go, they will go. But they need somewhere to go to,” Jean said.

The musician made the plea for an evacuation at the behest of Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive and President Rene Preval, said Hugh Locke, the president of The Wyclef Jean Foundation Inc.

The organization, also known as the Yele Haiti Foundation, has drawn fire in recent days as groups that vet charities raised doubts about its accounting practices and ability to function in a nation devastated by last week’s earthquake.

Jean gave an impassioned defense of the organization, which has received more than $2 million in donations in just a few days.

“My dad always told me, if you’re a man with a clear conscience, speak with a clear conscience and the world will know,” he said. “Have we made mistakes before? Yes. Did I ever use Yele money for personal benefit? Absolutely not.”

An Associated Press review of tax returns and independent audits provided by Jean’s foundation showed that it was closely intertwined with Jean’s businesses.

Among the mistakes by the young organization, Locke said, was the decision to buy $250,000 of airtime from Telemax S.A., a for-profit TV station in Haiti that is majority-owned by Jean and another foundation board member.

Locke said that Yele believed it was getting a good price for airtime in a nation where many are illiterate and rely on the TV for information. The decision would be handled differently now, he said.

The foundation plans to send donated supplies to Haiti on a plane provided by FedEx on Saturday. It is still deciding how donated funds will be spent, considering such options as mobile schools for refugee camps and security forces to escort supplies, Locke said.

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Pierre Garcon pleads for Haitian help as the Colts advance

By  Kyle Walke

Source: Pierre Garcon via Facebook

Indianapolis Colts receiver Pierre Garcon was a virtual unknown four months ago.  Now, he’s catching touchdowns from four-time NFL MVP Peyton Manning.  However within one week, Garcon’s extraordinary life has taken a major turn. On January 12th his family’s homeland of Haiti was devastated by a level 7.0 quake.  With an estimated hundreds of thousands dead, and countless more unaccounted for, Garcon’s focus has been drawn away from the playoffs and more on the safety of his relatives.

Garcon, who was born of Haitian descent, was raised in the United States, but still has family living in Haiti.  Typically upbeat with a glowing smile, Garcon seemed physically exhausted as he met the press with updates after the game.   Last Wednesday Garcon said, “I’ve heard from some family, got some good information, but were still looking for the rest of them.”  Contacting relatives has been extremely difficult due to power outages and mass displacement of people.

In a request Garcon posted this on his Twitter account, “We need the US military as soon as possible n haiti We need the four million Haitian that live out side of haiti to Act now, we need da world!”  A powerful plea from a man desperate for help, Garcon is offering autographed memorabilia for donations to the Haiti relief fund at his website: http://garconauthentic.com/.

Garcon rarely played his rookie season, but is having a standout year with 47 receptions and four touchdowns.  Coming into the playoffs the Colts were the number one seed, but they seemed to stumble to the finish line losing their last two games of the year.  In the biggest game of the Colt’s season they faced a stingy Baltimore Ravens team in the AFC Divisional game.  Up to the challenge Garcon made his presence felt with 5 catches and a potential game saving forced fumble after safety Ed Reed made an interception.

After the game Garcon celebrated the Indianapolis victory draped in the Haitian flag. Upon the national emblem in fine print reads: “L’Union Fait La Force.” ” In Union There is Strength.”  A motto fitting for both a team fighting to win it all and a country struggling to survive.

If you’d like to help, please visit Pierre’s website at http://garconauthentic.com/

Sources:

http://www.bostonherald.com/

http://flagspot.net/flags/ht.html

http://www.nfl.com/

http://twitter.com/ShowTimeP85