OLPC Foundation and IDB Team Up to Bring Computers to Haiti

  • Posted on: 21 February 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Foundation and the Inter American Development Bank recently announced a plan to ensure access to computers for over 13,000 Haitian students.  Under the plan, the OLPC Foundation will provide 2 million dollars, the IDB will provide 3 million, and UNESCO will carry out an external evaluation.  If the program is successful, and we hope it is, then it could be expanded further in Haiti and other countries.

 

Haitian Government Expands Agreement with Royal Carribean

  • Posted on: 18 February 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

For Peace Corps Volunteers living on the Central Plateau, Cap Haitian was a nice city to spend a long weekend in.  Sure, the road was unbelievably rough, but there are nice hotels, restaurants, and beaches. Of those beaches, Labadee is one of the nicest and is basically set aside for Royal Carribean.   According to the Miami Herald, Royal Carribean and the Haitian Government recently inked a deal to expand the cruise line's operations in Haiti significantly.

 

Deforestation in Haiti: Weaning a Country off of Wood Fuels

  • Posted on: 16 February 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Attached is an assessment carried out by the World Bank's Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (EMAP) on Haiti's reliance on wood based charcoal for its energy needs - estimated to be about 70% of total energy usage.   Having read the assessment, I feel it raises some sensible interventions even if they do not go far enough.  However, the strategy could provide a foundation upon which to build.

WFP and The Hungry Times Ahead

  • Posted on: 15 February 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Though we are all different, we have this in common - we must eat to survive.  In an ideal world, individuals, families, communities, and countries would be able to feed themselves.  Needless to say, the world is less than ideal.  For the poorest of the poor, climate change, population growth, environmental degradation and soaring food prices make feeding oneself increasingly difficult. The World Food Programme (WFP) plays a vital role in ensuring that vulnerable populations, including those affected by disaster and conflict, receive the food they need, in Haiti and worldwide.  

A Secondhand Blog: Used Clothes and Haiti

  • Posted on: 13 February 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf
We call them secondhand clothes, hand-me downs, or more likely donations.  Doesn't matter what you call them, all will be processed in the same way and wind up in ports throughout the developing world where entrepeneurial women will buy bales and take them back to their villages and cities to sell on streets or in markets.  Once in the Haitian markets, they become kennedys, dead men's clothes, or more generically, pepe (used merchandise).   In much of the developing world, second hand clothes have become the national dress.   Shell and Bertozzi explores the pepe phenomena in a documentary called "Secondhand."

Can You Hear us Now? Cellular Phones Give Haitians a Voice

  • Posted on: 10 February 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

For too long, Haiti has been in a communication stranglehold.  Making a telephone call through the local Teleco station, when it worked, was a long and expensive ordeal.  Sending a letter was like buying a lottery ticket - better to send it on the "Diaspora Express" by handing it to someone you know going to the U.S.A.  But Haitians now have more communication options than ever before - the impact of cellular technology has been particularly dramatic. 

Haiti Networking Event- Miami, FL (March 15)

  • Posted on: 9 February 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Rotary Club of Miami hosted the first Haiti Networking Event last October in order to bring together organizations that provide assistance to the people of Haiti. The forum allowed for a greater understanding of the extent of aid being provided in various geographic areas of Haiti. More than 40 attendees, representing over 20 organizations, exchanged information in hope of developing partnerships. Several organizations had similar needs and concerns although many had different resources. This meeting became the perfect opportunity to promote discussion and collaboration to further expand projects in Haiti. The next networking event will be hosted by the Rotary Club of Miami and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines on March 15 in Miami, FL.

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