Today I checked in with three of the organizations I photographed in Haiti to get an update. Two of the three had some good news, but all three have stressed the overall landscape of Port-au-Prince remains the same. I will be back on Tuesday and check things out for myself. Here is a link to images shot at the orphanages http://www.flickr.com/photos/juliedermansky/sets/72157623478226039/
Michael Brewer of Reach Haiti Ministries told me he still hasn't been able to secure land to build a new orphanage and is still hunting for new possibilities. He has been able to get help from the World Food Organization and has been helping other orphanages get food as well. He has noticed many aid organizations leaving and stresses the need for continued assistance in Haiti. He updated me on Marylyn, a sick child I photogrraphed during my first visit. It turns out not only was she malnourished, she has TB as well. She will be in a hospital for an additional six months.
Ben Constant, who runs two orphanages along with the tent city in the National Stadium, told me he hasn't received any aid for the orphanages; however his sister Mary Jo Poux will be in Haiti to help the orphanages next week. She will be meeting a container of goods she had shipped over from New Orleans filled with items for the orphanages and the tent city that have been donated for the most part by people in New Orleans. Food aid has started to arrive at the Stadium and tents have been promised to the people by March 28th.
Rev. Jean Frank Antoine told me he has received no aid for his orphanage. His colleague Yves Alain Belotte from the Ridel Foundation told me discontent is growing among the people living in Ti Casou, a tent city of over 5,000 in Carre Foure. They believe the foundation must be keeping everything for themselves since they receive no aid. Yves Alain Belotte assured me this isn't the case and hopes that I can accelerate the process of getting aid to the people he is looking after. I explained the best I can do is make sure his story gets out there.
Ronnie Hepperly, who has worked in many places in crisis, told me that what he found in Haiti was even worse than the problems in southern Sudan. He says it is the largest humanitarian disaster the western hemisphere has faced in hundreds of years (see Utube video here http://www.youtube.com/user/jsdart?feature=mhw4#p/a/u/1/lBpJ6V8tyF4 )
It is certainly the largest one I have seen. I am returning on my own, with the conviction that the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake is a story the must be told.
If you like getting truly independent news updates from me and want to support me in telling the story of what is going on in Haiti now, please send a check to Julie Dermansky at 300 Katherine Street, Englewood NJ, 07631 or contribute via Paypal to my acount firstname.lastname@example.org. Funds will go to cover my expenses for travel, health care and gear. Your donations to me will also indirectly help organizations I support by donating images for fundraising purposes whose beinficaries include Doctors Without Borders, Concearn World wide and World Haiti Relif Fund. To see more articles (including and update on all thing milliary) and images click here http://web.mac.com/jsdart/Site/Haiti.html
Visit the sites of these small hands on non-profits and see how you can help-
Michael and Andrea Brewer www.ReachHaiti.com
Ben Constatn and Mary Jo Poux www.hopeforhaitianchildrenfoundation.org
Rev. Jean Frank Antoine and Yves Alain Belotte www.ridelhaiti.org.