Yardies for Haiti

Words by Eddie STATS Houghton. Photo by Jeff Antebi

In case you’ve been off the grid, Port au Prince experienced a 7.0 quake on the richter scale yesterday (January 12th), devastating the most populated area of a country that is possibly the least equipped to deal with a humanitarian crisis of these proportions. While famous Haitian faces like Wyclef and author Edwige Danticat are all over CNN raising awareness about the dire situation, artists from across the west indian diaspora have been pitching in and spreading the word in their sectors.

Notable Jamaican film and video producer Carleene Samuels of Game Over films (see the previous “Fresh’ post and every other well-made dancehall video in the last 5 years or so for examples of their work) is collecting relief supplies in Kingston and says “everything is needed: non-perishable food, toiletries, clothes, bed linens etc.” If you are in Jamaica and want to donate, email haitiaidja@gmail.com or drop items at the Kingston supermarkets Sovereign, Loshusan or John R. Wong.

Meanwhile, Miami-based clashmasters Black Chiney Soundsystem and others across the reggae industry are using their considerable promotional networks to spread information quickly and in New York numerous DJs and dancehall kings are dedicating their MLK-weekend events–such as Unity Sounds, taking place this Sunday, Jan. 17 at Deity (368 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn)–to fundraising.

One of the simplest and most popular ways to give is through Wyclef’s Yele organization–just text “YELE” to 501501 and $5 will be donated to the Haitian Disaster Relief. However there are numerous other reputable, internationally-recognized organizations with a presence already on the ground in Haiti, including:

AMURT

Oxfam

Doctors Without Borders

Unicef

Get in where you fit in. (And to see more of Jeff Antebi’s recent photos celebrating the amazing spirit of Haiti in the face of adversity click his name above or follow him on Twitter: @jeffantebi)