Thursday, February 18, 2010

Not again!

A friend of Peter's sent him the link to an article in TIME Magazine entitled 
UNICEF seeks to keep kids out of Haiti orphanages
The journalists who penned this article did a poor job of doing research.  Maybe they had a deadline to meet?  They generalized from stories of some orphanages to make it sound like anyone who desires to help the children is a borderline child trafficker.  I am aware of many shelters for children who do fantastic work with very little means.  We do everything in our power to care for children and to give them a safe and loving home.  Yes, there are places that are nothing more than businesses for the owner or worse. But to lump us all together?
The writers were unfair to parents who are so desperately poor that they will consider giving up their child so that s/he can eat, maybe go to school, have a chance at a better life.  These people are not callous nor are they loveless.  They are POOR.  What a disservice to the people of Haiti!
The director of UNICEF Haiti is quoted as saying "No to the orphanages in Haiti!".  Wow, what a sound bite.  Remember the post I wrote a couple of days ago when I was ranting about the fancy offices, the cold air-conditioning, the shiny cars of the big NGOs and their strategy to "make systemic change" rather than waste their time actually helping children by feeding them, clothing them, providing medical care...?  Well, the one big NGO that had converted an old mansion into a gleaming office space with beautiful furniture and striking art work, that had lots of very busy people working on their computers, that had security guards protecting them from the riff-raff, that had paved over a large courtyard so that they could park their new SUVs...was UNICEF Haiti.  They made a conscious choice not to practice direct intervention to assist a child.  They have not helped any orphanage that I'm aware of in providing the basics like food, clothing, medicine, education.  How very noble to stand there now and say "No to the Haitian orphanages!".  I was told "No" years ago by them and have cringed every time I see the slick fundraising UNICEF puts out every holiday season.
Phew,  thanks for listening.  I feel better now.


  1. My ear is available any time. We need to find some good journalists to come and see what you are doing, so they can bring the truth to their readers.

  2. I already wrote to CNN a few weeks ago and asked Anderson Cooper to visit ESPWA.
    I think I might need to write TIME magazine a "nice" letter, too : )

  3. Last night at PBS NEWSHOUR, Ray Suarez interviewed the Under-Sec. of UNICEF, I think it was, John Holmes, who said that relief has been done, EXCEPT FOR SOME AREAS, in Haiti. He did not say that it was only in PAP. go see the full details at and click PBS NEWSHOUR. I will email Ray and correct the wrong picture, and suggest that he go down to your area. I'm also going to google how the funds of the Asian Tsunami of Dec. 26, 2004 were distributed.

  4. I will also email your blog to my sister and family members so she knows how her favorite charity is performing.

  5. It's the UN Undersec-General John Holmes that was interviewed 2 days ago by Ray Suarez., scroll down to left and click PBSNEWSHOUR. I can't remember how I found the interview, but to email them, scroll all the way down to Feedback. I sent Ray Suarez an email to check this blog so that he will be enlightened. Maybe if enough people email them, they might send someone to Hope Village.

  6. Of course it would be better if no children were in orphanages. Of course it would be better if all children were at home with loving and supportive parents who could easily afford to feed, educate and care for their children. And if all those gently raised children had free access to excellent schools, health care, good nutrition, and a bright future with good paying jobs.
    But until that becomes a reality, places like yours provide an important service.

    It seems that old fashioned charity is unpopular with both the right and the left at the moment. My Leftist friends want a revolution and my Rightist friends claim poverty to be the result of personal bad choices and say that we should not offer charity and enable irresponsibility and dependency.

    Barb in New Mexico

  7. Such a utopian picture is unrealistic. God did not promise paradise on earth...the poor will always be here, so will the evil people. We are to strive on doing good and resist evil, and somehow not allow evil to corrupt us. Simone Weil said: Purity is the capacity to stare at evil without being soiled oneself. Remember Job: he was tested and passed the test!