Haiti Relief and Recovery

If the energy generated by the earthquake in Haiti was larger than that of an atomic bomb, as earthquake expert Anne Kiremidjian wrote on CNN.com, then the country will need at least three-times as much human energy to rebuild the country.

It’s been two weeks since the devastating earthquake in Haiti, and just now news reports show that things are starting to change for the better. Stores and markets are rising from the rubble; Haitian people are helping their neighbors. The spirit of the Haitian people coupled with the work of aid groups has helped return some sense of normalcy to everyday life. But that’s just a start; there’s so much to do.

Giving for their future
I am in awe of the outpouring of support to stem the crisis in Haiti. JustGive donors alone gave more than $3.1 million in the first week and a half after the earthquake. Those funds helped send much needed emergency supplies and aid to the country. But to ensure rebuilding efforts for the long haul, Haiti recovery organizations need funding for many years. That’s what motivated the Board and Staff of JustGive to do something big.

We have pledged $25,000 of our own money in a matching campaign to help spur long-term giving to nonprofits working to empower the Haitian people and restore the country. For every monthly recurring gift you make through JustGive to a charity working to rebuild Haiti, we will match 50 cents of every dollar donated until we use the $25,000 fund. The match applies for up to $500 per donor each month (so we can make the money go farther and gifts matter more). For details and qualifying charities, visit our Haiti Relief and Recovery page.

The country’s recovery will come through groups like Partners In Health (PIH).

PIH has provided vital health care services in Haiti for more than 20 years and is one of the largest health care providers in the country, working with the Haitian Ministry of Health to deliver comprehensive health care services. Along with their ongoing work to tend to the overwhelming health needs of the people of Haiti, they are already working to rebuild the healthcare infrastructure in the country, as this PBS NewsHour reports.

Building a New Haiti
As you watch the devastation and the personal toll the earthquake caused, it’s difficult to think of opportunity. Yet, that’s exactly why we’re taking the bold step of our $25,000 matching campaign at this point. We want to ensure there is money available when coordinated rebuilding efforts can make the needed impact on the ground.

Organizations like Build Change – which designs earthquake-resistant houses for developing countries and trains locals to build them –will be the second wave of changemakers in Haiti. As Build Change’s founder Elizabeth Hausler described on the Ashoka Tech Podcast: “It’s a huge opportunity to move forward with…a reconstruction that leaves the population in better condition than before the earthquake.”

According to Build Change, after a major earthquake in a developing country, agencies typically build masses of houses that are not always culturally appropriate and sustainable in the local construction sector. Build Change creates a local skills base by training and empowering the victims of tragedy to rebuild themselves, all while stimulating local demand.

In my mind that’s just what Haiti needs. Organizations ready to tap into the indomitable drive of the Haitian people. With your long-term help, we may have found a spark for all the human energy Haiti requires to rebuild.

For more than 60 charities working to help Haiti rebuild that could use your help, see our Haiti Relief and Recovery Page. And pass the word along to your friends and family—together, we can power hope and change for Haiti’s future.

-Grant La Rouche, Director of Marketing

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