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7309: ANONYMOUS, PLEASE! (fwd)


Can of Worms:

I understand the need to send certain posts anonymously, as we've seen so
much of lately on this forum.  I personally have had my life threatened
(which I took seriously) for speaking openly about things that happen in
Haiti.  The amazing thing is that the corruption and exploitation I had
spoken out on was not in government or any other group you might typically
think of as harboring danger for anyone who happens upon the truth of what
is going on there.  No, this was a humanitarian group... a sort of 'mission'
set up to provide help for Haitian families and homeless children.  At first
glance (read this "short term missions") this group of projects seemed to be
the most wonderful example of the beauty of the human spirit that most
people have seen in their lives, and almost everyone who stayed there went
home feeling really good about themselves and what they thought was going on
in this mission.  Unfortunately, especially for the Haitian families and
exploited children supposedly being served by the mission, none of it could
be further from the truth.  The problem is that very very few people stay
longer than 2 weeks and consequently never see the corruption and
exploitation going on there.  So the money just keeps rolling in, the
good-hearted people keep flying home with lofty visions of the mission and
their involvement in it, and the funds keep getting misappropriated (we're
talking about LOTS of money here), the Haitian families keep getting lied to
and the children --
well I can't even begin to address what happens to the children... suffice
it to say that the restavek articles you've been reading are not very
shocking if you've seen some of the things certain "missionaries" do to the
children whose faces appear on their fund-raising brochures.

Can I mention once more that my life has been threatened (not a joke) on
this issue?  That's right, a humanitarian organization... a non profit
mission...  protecting their interests with violence and death threats.  But
do you think the visiting missionaries know anything about this?  Of course
not.  That secret is very well kept and more than one Haitian has ended up
rotting in a Haitian jail for attempting to expose it (it just takes a
little money and/or a false accusation to accomplish this in Haiti).  

Before anyone responds, let me first say that I realize this might sound a
little paranoid, but I assure you that you would take these threats as
seriously as I do if you saw and knew the work of the thugs who are
protecting the interests of the mission's owners.

There is a real problem with lack of accountability in Haiti.  But it is a
mistake to assume the only place it shows up is in the government.  

Sad but true.