Drip Drop… part 1

photo (1)

When the above picture showed up on Facebook a few days ago it hit me hard! This picture truly does say a thousand words… For those of you who see it as just a cartoon with no merit I ask you to look at it again after you read this series of posts.

I have had the unfortunate experience of working for an NGO/nonprofit/501c3, in Haiti as well as spending plenty of time around others and better still I have had conversations with many Haitians as to the effects of NGOs. I am going to share with you what I have witnessed and been told over the years.

There is an NGO out of Massachusetts that I have been very aware of since 2008… COTY Church Outreach to Youth Project. In 2008 they had been in Haiti for 25 years. The Haitians that were part of one of the NGOs programs were the first Haitians I ever meet… They were working here in the US. These six young men get the credit for my falling in love with Haiti. I was able to watch how this NGO was working in their lives and see it through their eyes. I was shocked and appalled by how the director treated them… yelling, talking down to them, and in general treating them with complete disrespect! On the first occasion I meet her she actually put them and all Haitians down to me… I ended up walking away hating her! She kept a lot of their pay. Keeping some of the pay was part of the deal for the NGO arranging for them to come work in the States. She kept whatever she wanted there was no set fee. The guys not knowing what the amount was going to be… she kept a higher amount from some than she did from others. The first year met them I found out that she had kept their passports… I had driven these guys all over New England and they hadn’t had their passports the entire time! She kept their social security cards, to this day most of the guys are not in possession of them. I meet many of the Haitians in her program though I only know 8 of them really well… in fact three of them are like brothers to me. During my most recent stay in Haiti I had the opportunity to travel to Dasab the Village that COTY has worked in for 30 years now. My friend Edens (one of the workers I meet five years ago) took me high into the mountains on his motorcycle. Fenal who was also in the same program, meet us there. Fenal continues to work with the COTY… because he loves the village that he was born in and wants to help the people there. After 30 years of teams coming and going and millions of dollars raised there is little to show for it. A school building that also houses a clinic, a bakery that the project rents out, and of course a guest house for the teams that come to stay. The foundation was started for a sewing school but the promised money never came from the COTY, so the ground sits un-worked. I was shocked, thirty years in one location and this is all they had to show for the organization? This and the dislike of a vast majority of the villagers have for them. The dislike seems directed mainly at the same woman I took such a disliking for. A woman who feels she is God and that everything must be done her way and it doesn’t matter what the Haitians want or how they feel. I woman who can’t even sit down and have a conversation with the Haitians about needs, direction or anything else for that matter. She refuses to learn Creole… but insists that the Haitians learn English. She refuses to pay the villages anything for the work they do for COTY or for her… She won’t even give food and water when they are doing manual labor. I could go on and on in regards to COTY and the woman who runs Haiti Plunge… But I won’t today.

Stay tuned for post two on this topic.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Where the sewing school was suppossed to go.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

School/clinic/storage/sleeping

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The view on the way to Dasaab

Okra, No More

What would you think if someone came to your home and offered to help you start a business, but told you they needed space to put up a building?  If you’re hopeful the offer is a good offer, you rip out your garden of okra and watermelon. These are plants that were going to feed your family. But… It is worth it to start this business! You are excited because you were interviewed and chosen out of many others. Your life has been so difficult since the earthquake and you can’t always put food on the table… These people are offering hope!

This is the process a family in Williamson, Haiti went through in July of 2012. World Wide Village, a Minnesota based “non-profit” asked me to interview families and find two that would be good for the two businesses we were going to help start. One business an egg laying operation, and the other raising chickens to sell at the meat market. The family I refer to above is the family that was chosen to raise meat chickens.

This family did indeed take out their garden to have a building put up for their new business that WWV promised them. A building that was never built, a business that was never started, and hopes that were never realized! This “project” began in the beginning of July. When I left Haiti in January 2013 nothing had been done for this family! The other family that was chosen for the egg laying business has a structure that is incomplete, supplies not purchased, and no chickens! I repeatedly requested $500.00 USD to complete that project and the money never came from the headquarters in Minnesota.

About a month before leaving Haiti I was at the Guest House rented by World Wide Village. Monthly rent on that guesthouse that often sits empty is twice the cost of the $500 I was requesting for the start up of the businesses for the families in Williamson. Two of the WWV “team” members were still there. When I asked if the chicken project in Williamson (meaning the egg laying one, because they didn’t know about the other) was complete, they said the were told by Randy Mortenson (the head of World Wide Village) that the person they hired from the United States lied when they said they knew all about chickens, they really knew nothing. I look at the team member and said “He was talking about me and I didn’t lie.” I said my goodbyes and walked away.

Unfortunately the computer that contained the information on the two families and the pictures was stolen the end of July.

10/3/12  A portion of an email sent to Pat Mortenson. This was in regards to the egg laying business.

Pat,

I am assuming Randy is on a fund raising tour right now, as he has not responded to my email regarding what he wants me doing. I have sent in the same req. 2 or 3 times requesting the money to finish poultry project #1 in Williamson and have heard no reply. I would love to get that project completed. It has been about seven weeks since it was last worked on.

Enough is enough! World Wide Village and many other NGOs in Haiti lie not only to the Haitians they are “helping”, but they also lie to their givers.

Please visit http://www.ngoconfidential.wordpress.com and http://samanthamgross.blogspot.com/2012/07/communication.html      http://mcthewriter.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/confession-of-a-haitian-working-for-an-american-non-profit-organization-in-haiti/

These pictures are of the building of the above mentioned project. 

poultry1i-1_zpsc8450ab6

poultry1e-1_zps6bace567

Poultry1-1_zpsd68c3c6a

Haiti19005_zps76ade1d9