Refugees Rally and Grassroots Organize in Anse à Pitres, Haiti
"This morning the people in the camp was manifesting (sic) in the street cause they are hungry. They blocked the streets next to them so any motor and car could not past, and they were singing," writes Volmar "Eddy" Jonas in a Facebook message this morning.
For the past three months, four refugee camps along the south border of Haiti have been expanding on Haiti's border. These refugees left the Dominican Republic under threat of deportation due to a law implemented in February of this year requiring all Haitian immigrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent to prove their citizenship or be deported.
Conditions in the camps are not able to sustain the population, the people lack clean water, enough food, and aid kits. Earlier this week a 22 year old man, who was sick, died in one of the camps. According to Volmar "Eddy" Jonas, many of those who have come to the camps have not been helpful.
"Lots of people want to exploit the camp. And the people really need everything cause they are really vulnerable. This is the reason me and my friend Luxon are trying to find people who can help us to help these people. I want to make sure the funds goes to these people exactly. "
"When you say people want to exploit the refugees, what do you mean?" I inquire
"I mean lot of people come down here in the camp taking pictures info about the people and pretend they will help.... Some come from Jacmel, Port au Prince too." Eddy responds
"What are you doing to help the refugees?" I ask.
"We have a friend named Kara," Eddy explains. "She sent us funds we bought rice [with] to give them and we distributed tarps to cover they (sic) houses. And we make activity with the kids like drawing images."
Ways You Can Help
• Raise Awareness: Share news articles and updates of the refugee crisis. Challenge world leaders to take action.
• Donate to Reputable Organizations:
The Haiti Initiative is based out of Jacmel, Haiti and Hartsdale, NY, and has been taking action to provide for the refugees in these camps, including a mother in labor.
Gaia Ansapit is a Haitian-led grassroots organization in Anse à Pitres, Haiti for social and environmental restoration. Gaia Ansapit is a collaborative partner with Mutual Aid Film. The founder, Volmar "Eddy" Jonas, is working to provide aid to the refugees with limited funding. He has been assisting refugees by delivering food, tarps for their houses, and facilitating activities with the children. With more funds he can deliver more substantial amounts of food, water, and other necessary supplies to the camps.
Your donation will be sent to Mutual Aid Film who will wire the funds directly to Volmar "Eddy" Jonas.*
*Mr Jonas has been a collaborator and partner with Mutual Aid Film since the winter of 2013. Since 2014 Mutual Aid Film and Mr. Jonas' grassroots organization, Gaia Ansapit, have established a direct aid relationship, in which Mutual Aid Film helps to raise funds to directly support the concrete efforts and needs of Gaia Ansapit. In December of 2014, Mutual Aid Film raised over six hundred dollars for Gaia Ansapit which was used to purchase gardening tools for reforestation and permaculture-designed edible gardens in the Anse à Pitres community.