Grammy Award–winning musician Wyclef Jean and Seton Hall University students marched down South Orange Avenue to drop off donations to the Yéle Haiti Foundation headquarters at noon on Saturday, May 8, 2010.
“Hands On for Haiti” launched on Saturday with a presentation by Yéle Haiti members and Jean in the University Center Main Lounge. Afterward, students gathered with their donated goods on the Green to begin the walk to Yéle’s headquarters, at 6 West South Orange Ave. in South Orange, N.J.
Watch a video of the march with Seton Hall students here.
Wyclef also blogged on the CNN website about the crisis in Haiti earlier this week.
“The headlines are less frequent, but Haiti is still pumping through the bloodstream in our house,” he wrote. "Haiti, where I was born, is my heart and soul and the heart and soul of my family, and we’ve been working really hard to get food, clean water and medical attention to the millions of people affected by the January 12 earthquake in Port-au-Prince.
“Now that it’s the rainy season, we have another serious problem: About a million Haitians are living in massive tent cities, struggling to keep dry.
“My wife, Claudinette, a fashion designer and someone who cares passionately about our homeland, is leading a project to relocate families from the tents to temporary houses all across Haiti. She’s part mom, part wife, and part warrior when it comes to Yéle and our mission.
“We’re going to build temporary wood-frame houses with cement foundations that will last for several years. The units are 12-by-12 feet, with windows, front doors and well-constructed metal roofs, and they’ll house up to six people. The houses will stay dry even if it rains day and night, which sometimes happens. Yéle will build 100 homes in five sites in the Port-au-Prince area to start and 400 additional houses in the second phase.
“Yéle Haiti has plans to build a permanent agricultural community. It’s going to be a farming community for about 5,000 people near Croix-des-Bouquets. The idea is to introduce simple and sustainable techniques for improved farming, education, health and other services that begin to spark changes at the community level in other parts of the country.
“We are also working on plans for a large kitchen, based at Yéle headquarters in La Plaine, that will be modeled on a program we have run for several years in Cité Soleil called Yéle Cuisine. The concept in both cases is hiring local women who traditionally sell meals at the side of the road and train them to improve the quality of the food they prepare, learn business skills and learn to read. The scale in this new kitchen is much larger and the output will be up to 15,000 meals a day for schools, orphanages and for sale by market women as micro-entrepreneurs. We hope to start construction by June.
“Now is the time to be focused on helping Haitians find shelter from the storm.”
Read Wyclef’s full blog here.