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Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Travesty in Haiti: The Truth

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Timothy Ferris recently wrote a book titled “Travesty in Haiti: A true account of Christian missions, orphanages, fraud, food aid and drug trafficking”. If Ferris’ book was the only account of Haiti that you read, you would leave feeling as if Haiti was doomed. Fortunately, there are many of us that have not had similar experiences to Ferris’ and have had much more positive experiences than he. This is not to say that there aren’t corrupt orphanages, corrupt organizations, destructive food aid, million dollars of fraud, and drug trafficking, because there are. The reality is that most of the above is found in the United States as well, and it is a portrayal of only one side of a country. It is too bad that Ferris did not decide to reveal the true side of Haiti, the side where many Haitians and foreigners are working together to help the country in a manner that is efficient, effective, and of high quality.

It is hard to imagine that efficient and effective can be found in Haiti. Especially when there is breaking news this week exposing the Clinton Foundation as having provided sub-quality trailers for thousands of Haiti school children. The trailers have been found to have mold, emit high levels of formaldehyde, and reach inside temperatures of 100 degrees. Additionally, the Clinton Foundation refused to put in adequate toilets for the students, a rather poor idea considering the cholera epidemic that is sweeping the nation. (Read more here.)

Which brings me to my point. If you are going to make a donation to help the country of Haiti, it is better to know the organization personally, and know exactly the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of the organization. I have tried to do my best to make Haiti real for the readers of this blog, to help you understand the needs of the country, the needs of H.E.R.O., and my daily life on the ground here. But, what I have found is that our work in Haiti becomes truly real for the people that decide to come visit our work. In fact, 3 of our full sponsorships for our children have come from individuals that visited the H.E.R.O. residence for orphans personally, appreciated the work that we are doing in Haiti, and see the quality of our programming. We are truly blessed that currently all of the children in our education program and all of the children in our residence for orphans are fully sponsored. This truly helps H.E.R.O. to provide housing, education, and rehabilitation for the children we serve.

But for those of you that cannot make it down here, I hope that through this blog and this website you have come to realize that we are not like the Clinton Foundation, we don’t provide sub-quality anything for our children. Perhaps, however, you might wonder where your donation to H.E.R.O. will go? Well, let me provide a little insight for you. I personally pay the monthly rental costs for the house in Delmas. The car that we use to transport our children to school, to the beach, to the playground is a car that I bought with my money. Yes, we do use donations to pay for gas for the generator (power is sporadic here), but it goes into a generator that I bought with my own money. Your donation goes directly to items that impact the children. The food they eat, the clothes they wear, the water they drink, the education they receive, is all provided through our donors.

I write this blog to help us understand the reality of aid in Haiti. There are local and international organizations that do great work, and there are local and international organizations that do horrible work. When you decide to make a donation to help the children, people, and country of Haiti all I ask is that you investigate thoroughly the organization that you will donate to, so that the money reaches the people it is intended to serve. In the end, we hope that you will choose H.E.R.O. as the organization you trust to make a true difference in the lives of children in Haiti.


Steven Kirby

Help H.E.R.O. Raise $25,000.00 in July!  Donate Now at!

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