Haiti is a nation that exists on two levels. Five percent of the country’s population owns the vast bulk of the nation’s wealth. The capital has a number of expensive hotels for the country’s elite, westerners and rich tourists. Attending the closing night of the Port au Prince International Jazz Festival, I saw a sea of expats, diplomats and wealthy Haitians partying in style. It felt like I was a million miles from the sea of shanty towns a few kilometres away, where hundreds of thousands of people live in tents. It’s hard to blindly celebrate knowing this stark fact.
Sexual assault and rape are key problems in Haiti’s slums. NGO KOFAVIV is a leading female-run organisation aiming to tackle it. The founders, Eramithe and Malya, lost their homes in the 2010 earthquake and lived for a time in a tent city. Today, they have countless men and women working in the camps to raise awareness of a rape hotline, counseling and women’s empowerment. Support from international donors is waning, with many looking for fresher disasters to assist. The lack of long-term funding and infrastructure is a constant complaint amongst a range of local charities and organisations. “The world remembers us only when we’re desperate, then moves on” is a refrain I heard a number of times. via | theguardian.com