As you may know, I spent several weeks in my native Haiti this summer, mainly before the four hurricanes did their deadly deeds. I also spent one week in Port-au-Prince at the end of September, following the passage of Ike.
The purpose of this message is not to paint yet another tragic picture of how tough life is for "Joziyis-can-afford-no-six-pack" in the land of the "Wretched of the Earth". I am sure you have had plenty of details already on the devastation the storms caused in Haiti, especially from a hundred voyeurs who make a living off of Haiti's dramatic nakedness.
The purpose of this e-mail is to inform you of one initiative, among several, being undertaken by a resilient people who have sworn to overcome the challenges of this season of tribulation which is already over 5 centuries old.
Haitians did not wait for William Wilberforce or the "Société des Amis des Noirs" to break the chains of racial slavery. Neither will they wait today for orders from Washington to transform the deadly tanks of the foreign occupation troops (MINUSTAH) into tractors - in order to build the infrastructure the nation so urgently needs.
My take-back lesson from the weeks spent among my brothers and sisters this Summer is the following:
HAITIAN CAPACITY BUILDING BY, WITH and FOR HAITIANS - IS THE WAY OUT OF THE ABYSS!
Thus, today, I come to tell you about www.akasan.org This website is that of an organization of Haitians helping Haitians the world over to invest their resources in konbit activities by and for Haitians.
AKASAN operates with the clear understanding that the poverty and naked vulnerability Haiti wrestles against today have deep roots that go back 5 centuries. Victory against such formidable foes requires genuine solidarity not charity! This is why the AKASAN Store has been established. It is a showcase of Haitian-made items (mostly arts and crafts) placed for auction sale on the web. The profits from the AKASAN Store sales will help the organization sustain its core activities which are currently provided solely by the contributions of volunteers (Haitians of course!).
Indeed Haitians must assume the primary roles in their modern-day liberation struggle. Non-Haitians also have a role to play, albeit a secondary one which must be guided by Haitian leadership in order for the results to be beneficial to the Nation of Haiti.
There are many ways, Haitians as well as non-Haitians can contribute positively to the efforts of AKASAN or of other progressive Haitian Konbit initiatives. These (ways to help) are specifically detailed under the page of the akasan.org web site titled FOR YOU:
Whether you are Haitian or not, I encourage you to visit the site and let the spirit of great humanists like His Majesty Jean-Jacques Dessalines, founder of Haiti, and true abolitionist John Brown, guide you.
I have attached the powerpoint presentation which presents arts and crafts items currently being auctioned by AKASAN. These are 100% Haitian made. Enjoy the show and do not forget to make your bid immediately...
«Depi nan Ginen bon nèg ap ede nèg!»
(Brotherhood is as ancient as Mother Africa)(L'entraide fraternelle date du temps où, tous, nous fûmes encore dans les entrailles de l'Afrique-mère)