Uncategorized

Pitching tents for Haiti

Out on the Green, near the path to Richter Library, stands a rather large tent.
Scattered a few feet away are some glow sticks, a deck of cards, shoes and stuffed animals. On a cold Miami night, wearing a blue bathrobe over his clothes, recent graduate Kemy Joseph tried selling these items to pay for his meals.
“The hardest thing for me to do is set prices for this stuff,” Joseph said.
Joseph planned to spend a maximum of $10 per day on meals. A percentage of the money he earns from selling personal items will go towards buying flipcams for citizen journalists to record the devastation in Haiti.
Joseph, the founder of UR Awesome Inc., and former president of Random Acts of Kindness (RAK), pitched the tent to bring awareness and insight to the UM community on what is really going on in Haiti. When RAK led the Haiti donation drive, Joseph predicted people would begin forgetting about the tragedy by March.
During spring break, Joseph took the initiative to spend eight days in Port-au-Prince. When he came back he decided to pitch a tent and live like many of the now homeless Haitians.
Gustavo Lang Jr., president of RAK, was inspired by Kemy’s initiative and sense of action.
“If you set your mind to it, you’ll find a way to make it happen,” he said.
Joseph saved up money and went on his own.
“The first two days I went to the provinces and those days affected me the most,” Joseph said.  “It was hard to sleep.”
He witnessed the tent cities, in which mounds of trash surrounded rows and rows of tents.
Though many people think all of Port-au-Prince must have been destroyed, a significant amount of structures still stand. Many homes are still intact with running water and electricity like Joseph’s family home, where he stayed during his trip. Some pharmacies, restaurants, banks and even radio stations are open.
“Port-a-Prince is a very poor Miami,” he said. “It just sucks that the beauty is overlooked and blocked by the amount of sadness.”
He found that the best aid to give the Haitians was not donations, but rather, the chance for work. Ninety percent have no jobs. Many times mobs would form where officials gave job contracts.
Throughout the trip, Joseph filmed his experiences. Tod Landess, a School of Communication staff member who leads a group of student media organizations and volunteers trying to keep the idea of Haiti relief alive, will post the footage on the group’s Web site, kozeayiti.org. Koze means conversation in Creole and Ayiti is the Creole spelling of Haiti.
“It’s so easy when you’re in this environment to forget the innocent living in hell on Earth,” Landess said.

Andrea Concepcion may be contacted at aconcepcion@themiamihurricane.com.
July 22, 2010

Reporters

Andrea Concepcion

Contributing News Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

He’s all grown up. Yet University of Miami defensive end Scott Patchan is only 20. Two reconstructiv ...

Michael Rumph, former Cane cornerback and current cornerbacks coach, has mentioned, along with every ...

N’Kosi Perry, definitely on the quiet side, met the media for the first time on Monday. He’s the Mia ...

On a day in which University of Miami football coach Mark Richt said veteran quarterbacks Malik Rosi ...

Week three of fall camp began today, and the first practice after Saturday’s first scrimmage of camp ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

Former University of Miami Dean of Students William W. ‘Bill’ Sandler, Jr. passed away on August 6 a ...

Researchers use a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar to show an in ...

UM’s First Star Academy supports foster care youth. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.