When we were talking about Paul Farmer’s work in Haiti, I mentioned a band I like, Arcade Fire, has a connection with him. I think it is interesting how sometimes people who have clout can use it to help organizations like Partners in Health. For example, Arcade Fire takes $1 from every ticket bought for their shows and donates it to Partners in Health.
The research Dr. Farmer has done regarding the correlation between social status and health is so important, as these two things are intertwined. Haiti has been especially susceptible to poverty because of the dictators that have controlled the country, and more recently, natural disasters. This is why Arcade Fire became involved with the issues Haiti had. One member of the band, Regine Chassagne, has a personal connection with Haiti because her family was forced to flee the country during the dictatorship of ‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier.
Chassagne went on the co-found the organization Kanpe, which helps very poor families in Haiti become autonomous through 1.5 year programs. In the program, each family will be given ways to feed themselves including seeds for produce and chickens or goats for meat, eggs, and milk. Kanpe also helps the families send their children to school.
It is so important not to just give these families a limited supply of food and resources that they will run out of, but to give them the tools and supplies necessary for them to be primarily self-sustaining in regards to food, education, and health (ability to get themselves to medical help and to be able to care for themselves and prevent illness as much as possible).