Re Post from http://samanthamgross.blogspot.com/2012/07/communication.html

Blog post written by Sammantha Gross

I’m Samantha! I’m a 23 year old nursing student at LMU. May 2010 I took my first trip to Haiti and completely fell in love with everything about the country.

SUNDAY, JULY 15, 2012

Communication

I don’t know much about trying to run a non-profit organization, but from what i do know, communication is key. And that means communication between all parties involved. From the president, to the board, the donors, the partners, the workers, and the volunteers. I think this is especially key when you are in a third world country, like Haiti.

The lack of communication that World Wide Village has between every person involved is lacking.

I realize that working in Haiti you must expect the unexpected and have patience because everything isn’t going to go according to plans. However, when it comes to promising things to others, whether in the states or in Haiti, you HAVE to follow through.

You can’t promise to provide food to an orphanage and not make sure they have coal or propane to cook that food.

You can’t run a mobile medical clinic without sending enough money to provide basic medications for the patients.

You can’t leave the volunteers working on the ground out of the loop of basic information and decisions.

You can’t run an adequate organization if you’re the only one allowed to make the final decisions and you aren’t living the daily Haitian life. You’re not working alongside the Haitians and talking with them daily, and figuring out how to properly serve them, but you say you’re the one who gets the final say. That’s not right.

You run your organization horribly. You need to wake up and smell the make-up mister. When you’ve had a 100% turnover rate in your American staff (both in the states and Haiti) then something isn’t working. If your Haitian staff is worried to step up and say how they feel because they’re worried you’ll send them out the front gate, something isn’t right. When you try to stretch 8 interns way to far and they all question your motives, you’re doing something wrong. And when 6 out of the 8 interns spend the extra money to change their flight to go home early because of varies frustrations, something isn’t working. When you are running a 2.5 million dollar organization but you lose your warehouse with everything in it because you didn’t pay the rent, something is wrong. When the landlord of one of your houses is furious with you because you’re not paying him rent either, something is wrong. When you claim to be helping an orphanage yet one of the kids is suffering from double pneumonia without being noticed or treated, something is wrong.

This summer internship has been less than ideal. It has made me so furious at times that I turned into a version of myself that I hate. I’m honestly sick to my stomach when I think about what this organization is doing, or actually not doing. I feel as though I’m not helping find a solution, but causing a bigger problem. I worry about the well-being of the kids in the orphanages I’ve come into contact with. After the interns are gone, who’s going to be there to fight and make sure they get adequate nutrition? Who’s going to be doing well check-ups on the kids to make sure everything is going good and that the kids are healthy? The answer is NO ONE which has caused me to be numb and I have guarded my heart from fully investing into the kids lives.

The thing that bothers me the most personally is I’m questioning where God is in all of this. This is my third time in Haiti and I’ve always left in a better spiritual place than when I arrived; however, this summer has put me into a darker hole then I’ve ever been before.

World Wide Village is a corrupt organization ran more like a dictatorship than anything else. They have been on the ground in Haiti since 2001 and from what I’ve witnessed, very little has been done to help the Haitians. WWV tries to get involved with numerous projects but pushes the volunteers and the finances way to thin where nothing gets adequately done. It’s like WWV wants the attention for ‘ALL’ they’re doing so they can increase their donors, but they sensor what they allow the public to know. Don’t let their website or the special on Bill and Giuliana Rancic fool you … World Wide Village is causing more problems than solving the solutions.

A piece of my heart will always be in Haiti and I’ll be back, probably to live long term once I get my RN, but NEVER again with World Wide Village.

 

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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. 

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