Thursday, January 28, 2010

Disaster Relief in Haiti: challenges ahead for KIRF

We are communicating with people who just got back from Haiti and those who are still there. We know where to go on the island now. The challenge now is getting reliable transportation from the border of the Dominican Republic to several orphanages near Port-au-Prince. Next week it will be KIRF's team of three and thousands of other relief workers from international NGO's such as the World Food Programme, CARE, Red Cross, Oxfam,World Vision, etc.--all dealing with the transportation problem. The stories from aid workers at the border have been "interesting".

The earthquake relief effort in Haiti is an almost over-whelming situation with an entrenched generations-in-the-making- foreign aid dependent economy with socio-economic structural barriers to health, education and financial self-sufficiency by the 95% or so of Haitians who are not elite. And, the country had a failed economy and government-- before the earthquake--due to a variety of reasons outside of the average Haitian's control. This trip may be our biggest challenge yet.

However, I expect success. It will just take some creativity and resourcefulness but we will be able to make a difference like so many times before. KIRF C0-founder Mark has been through rough aid situations in primitive conditions before in areas such as in rural Bihar (India), Cambodia, and indigenous villages in crises mode after being leveled by the earthquake in Peru. The key to success is understanding the culture and the people through local contacts. Mark will be accompanied by two KIRF volunteers: both experienced in traveling in primitive conditions in impoverished areas. And, one of the volunteers has worked in Haiti. If we could get aid into Burma after Typhoon Nargis, we can certainly get aid into Haiti.

Donate to KIRF's Stage II disaster relief for Haiti>
(Donations earmarked for Haiti in the next few weeks will go to helping survivors of the earthquake in Haiti.)

KIRF delivers Stage II relief to people who need it the most but due to socio-economic structural barriers may not have access to it through formal channels controlled by elites.

Stage II relief is disaster relief that occurs generally after the elemental needs for immediate survival such as water, medical aid, food and safety are met. Our stage II relief projects are focused on social, economic and environmental sustainability. We help people regain their financial self-sufficiency and quality of life. Our aid endeavors to be also environmentally sustainable. When coordinating disaster relief in an afflicted area we find local community leaders or humanitarian institutions (schools, medical clinics, churches) and work with them to deliver in-kind aid and aid solutions that are culturally appropriate and go to those most in need.

Read about our sustainable Stage II disaster relief projects at KIRFaid.org>

Thank you for your support,

Angela

Co-Founder
Kirwin International Relief Foundation (KIRF)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Earthquake relief in Haiti: Stage I and Stage II (KIRF)

We have been getting a lot of support for our relief efforts in Haiti. We are sincerely grateful for everyone's help. KIRF's Director and co-founder Mark Kirwin is coordinating a Stage II relief effort in Haiti that will distribute relief supplies that are desperately needed and will be distributed directly to those that need them the most.

Donate to KIRF's Stage II disaster relief for Haiti>
(Donations earmarked for Haiti in the next few weeks will go to helping survivors of the earthquake in Haiti.)

Stage II relief is disaster relief that occurs generally after the elemental needs for immediate survival such as water, medical aid, food and safety are met. Our stage II relief projects are focused on social, economic and environmental sustainability. We help people regain their financial self-sufficiency and quality of life. Our aid endeavors to be also environmentally sustainable. When coordinating disaster relief in an afflicted area we find local community leaders or humanitarian institutions (schools, medical clinics, churches) and work with them to deliver in-kind aid and aid solutions that are culturally appropriate and go to those most in need.

Read about our sustainable Stage II disaster relief projects at KIRFaid.org>

If you want your dollar to go to immediate survival supplies and services--Stage I relief--I would recommend the organization Partners In Health. It was begun by Dr. Paul Farmer over 20 years ago in Haiti. The best selling book Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder documents in his years in Haiti and the many issues he and his "outcome orientated" clinical care has faced in order to get the poorest people healthy again. Dr. Farmer has published quite a few books and research papers in peer-reviewed journals on medical care and socio-economic barriers to health in developing countries, also. We have not worked with Partners In Health but their reputation is excellent and Dr. Farmer's story was an inspiration.

Donate to Partner's In Health "Stand with Haiti" Earthquake Relief>

There are many other organizations that truly help others in time of need efficiently, compassionately and with years of expertise doing disaster relief. Those organizations are too many to adequately name here. If you already made a donation to an organization such as Direct Relief International, Red Cross, Oxfam, or CARE, you did a good thing to help others in need. What matters is that we do something to help...

Thank you for your support,

Angela

Co-Founder
Kirwin International Relief Foundation (KIRF)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Earthquake Disaster Relief in Haiti

KIRF expresses its sincere condolences to all of those who were injured and lost, family and friends, because of tragic earthquake in Haiti this week. KIRF will be assisting new relief efforts in Haiti as it did after the Peruvian earthquake, Typhoon Nargis, Hurricane Katrina and the Andaman Sea Tsunami.
Thank you for your support,

Mark

Director, Co-Founder
Kirwin International Relief Foundation (KIRF)