Plattsburgh State student and Haitian native Kira Paulemon approached the Student Association Senate Wednesday night to discuss possible philanthropic methods to provide relief to the disenfranchised populations of Haiti.
Senator Zyaijah Nadler lead the conversation within the Senate on how the SA can maximize their ability to expand awareness and generate relief funds within the PSUC community. The discussion lead to the conclusion to follow the methods utilized by the SA in wake of Japan’s 2011 earthquake and tsunami, to create marketable t-shirts that students can buy.
“The SA is going to work hard to buy t-shirts, we have a graphic designer who will create a shirt we can sell in the hopes of getting funds,” Nadler said. “We are going to utilize a few options, because come may not be able to afford tshirts, we are going to enable people to donate clothing instead.”
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has recently declared the appeal for $120 million in relief for the Haitian population.
“Hundreds have died. At least 1.4 million people need assistance at this time. Some towns and villages have been almost wiped off the map. Crops and food reserves have been destroyed. At least 300 schools have been damaged,” he said.
Hurricane Matthew’s devastating consequences require the mobilization of massive relief efforts. Six years after the catastrophic magnitude 7.0 earthquake that claimed the lives of approximately 160,000 Haitians, Hurricane Matthew’s devastating consequences requireD the mobilization of massive relief efforts.
Paulemon explained how the hurricane was able to inflict extensive damage upon the population’s housing infrastructure.
“The homes that were most affected were traditional houses, made of wood, and close to the water. People were not evacuating, people didn’t have the training and didn’t have the knowledge,” she said.
Ayiti Se Nou, translating to “Haiti is Us”, is the primary charity through which Paulemon wishes to operate.
“The charity I want to work with (Ayiti Se Nou) has a dropbox in Florida because Florida has many Haitian shipping companies who are shipping to Haiti for free,” Paulemon said.
Ayiti Se Nou’s website, ayitisenou.com, contains the following mission statement, “Our country has been plagued by so many issues. We are all aware of the chaos that reigns within our walls; we all know where our biggest flaws lay, we all want change.”
The “biggest flaw” that is referred to is a condemnation of the the rampant corruption that infects the Haitian government, which is enabled by non-governmental organizations, and multinational corporations.
Both Nadler and Paulemon expressed specific charities that they wish to avoid, mainly the Red Cross and the Clinton Foundation.
“If you keep the momentum up and you actually get out there, and if you really want something accomplished you need people to hear you,” Nadler said. “Who can we help right now, who needs our help right now?”
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