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Mirebalais
By E.S. Ro
17 Apr 2016

Contave Webner, plantation owner, in his home in Mirebalais, Haiti.

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Mirebalais
By E.S. Ro
17 Apr 2016

Adher Marcelin, mayor of Mirebalais, drives to his plantation.

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Mirebalais
By E.S. Ro
16 Apr 2016

Plowing a field to plant peanuts in Mirebalais, Haiti.

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Mirebalais
By E.S. Ro
16 Apr 2016

Convenience store owner and son in Mirebalais, Haiti.

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Mirebalais
By E.S. Ro
16 Apr 2016

Adher Marcelin runs up a hill alongside a pipe that pumps water from the Artibonite River to the fields.

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In The Name of Haiti - Humanitarian R...
Port-au-Prince, Haiti
By Corentin Fohlen
08 Apr 2014

Since the 2010 earthquake, hundreds of religious American NGOs like "Healing Haiti", "Food for the Poor" and "Hope Alive!" have flocked to Haiti. In addition to their humanitarian activities, they organize volunteering tours for anyone who wants to help Haiti.
Every week, new teams of American volunteers land in the little country. They help distribute water in the slum of Cité Soleil - one of the most dangerous areas of the country. They visit orphanages and schools where they distribute chewing gum, and go to the beach with orphans. But in the end, most of their days will be consumed by taking photos with orphans and locals.
Jeff Gacek and Alyn Shannon founded Healing Haiti, a Christian NGO that organizes tours for volunteers. They have decided to dedicate themselves to the country in the name of God. "We didn’t choose Haiti ... God chose Haiti for us", they say.
According to the American Embassy in Haiti, approximately 200,000 American citizens land in Haiti each year. They feel invested with a divine mission where charity and religious proselytism mix. There is no State control and it is very easy for foreign organizations to create their own NGO and open churches, a schools or orphanages.
However, their legitimacy is questioned by bigger international NGOs such as MSF (Médecins sans Frontières - Doctors Without Borders), Acted and ACF (Action contre la Faim). According to them, these American NGOs are doing the contrary of humanitarian work by only doing charity. A French humanitarian working for an international NGO says: "at best, what they are doing is useless. At best ... ".

By doing the State’s jobs in healthcare, education, economy, housing and food, those NGOs disempower local authorities. They also take away jobs such as water distribution that could be given to local people. As a result, the Haitian State relies more and more on those organizations and disengages from its responsibilities.
Unfortunately, people trained by foreign NGOs tend to leave the country before the State is prepared to take over.
These American NGO’s are all evangelists. During the weekly trips on the island, they practice a non-official proselytism through masses, shared prayers and distributions of cartoons related to Jesus's life for the children. According to Haitian director Raoul Peck who made a documentary about this topic, this type of humanitarian work resembles a type of colonialism where white people are providers while Haitian people are receivers, which creates dependence between the two sides.
Trips are also a very important source of incomes for NGOs. Each aspiring humanitarian worker has to pay for his or her plane ticket and fees to the organization which vary between $700 to $1000 per week.

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Education tries to get out of the dar...
By Flavio Forner
20 Feb 2014

A student erasing a board in a school on the outskirts of Cité Soleil, Port au Prince - Haiti

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By Corentin Fohlen
16 Jul 2013

These organized trips are a very important source of income for the NGOs such as Healing Haiti or Food for the Poor. Volunteers have to pay for their plane ticket and fees to the organization that vary between 700$ to 1000$ for a week.

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By Corentin Fohlen
16 Jul 2013

After the breakfast, volunteers sing and pray together at the guest house.

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By Corentin Fohlen
16 Jul 2013

Before leaving a place, volunteers sing and pray with the children of the neighborhood who spontaneously come to see the "white people". Here Dickinson is leading the prayer.

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By Corentin Fohlen
16 Jul 2013

Volunteers from Healing Haiti on their going to Cité-Soleil slum sing religious song like "Amazing Grace" or "God is so good" in a private "tap-tap", a traditional Haitian public transportation. This one is grills fitted, unlike the ones usually used by Haitians in Port-au-Prince.
At the end of the week, volunteers will sing it in Creole.

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By Corentin Fohlen
16 Jul 2013

Main international NGOs such as Doctors Without Borders criticize the work of these American Christian NGOs, saying they are doing the contrary of humanitarian work: charity. Critics such as the Haitian director Raoul Peck says it maintains a colonialist relationship between Haitian people who only receive and white people who only give.

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By Corentin Fohlen
16 Jul 2013

This is the most miserable place of Cité-Soleil slum : it is used as wild toilets, and an Haitian guide says corpses are burnt here