August 25, 2010

Wyclef Jean on Two Tragedies

Posted: 03:55 PM ET

By Wyclef Jean

This weekend is the fifth anniversary of the devastation that Katrina wrought in New Orleans. As a member of the Creole community, I feel a deep connection to New Orleans and the Gulf region, and want to send out my prayers to those who are still working to rebuild there. The destruction that Katrina caused really struck home for me–so many brothers and sisters lost, and so many lives shattered.

I see a corollary to the vast destruction of the earthquake that Port-au-Prince suffered just seven months ago: Like the people of the Gulf Coast, my countrymen in Haiti have been forced to witness more despair than anyone should have to bear. And in New Orleans, as it is in Haiti, so much of the loss was suffered by those who had little to begin with.

New Orleans is still in the process of reviving its communities, and this fifth anniversary has been planned to focus on people coming together to rebuild where it’s still needed. I’m so inspired by the scores of people–and companies–who have stepped in, and are still stepping in, to show their support for those who continue to struggle to get their lives back to “normal.”

I recently read of a Washington, D.C.-based publishing company, United Communications Group, that had led a relief effort five years ago for Katrina victims; at a cost of just $80,000, this corporation and its employees were able to assist hundreds of people. Many more companies are timing rebuilding campaigns to the anniversary this week: Among them, Marriott will work with Habitat for Humanity to build a home and a playground. Barnes & Noble’s founder, Leonard Riggio, funded a nonprofit, Project Home Again, that will be putting up houses in still damaged neighborhoods in New Orleans. And Sears has partnered with Rebuilding Together on its Fifty for Five event, which will aim to put 50 families back into homes in one week (an effort I had planned to join until it became clear that the current challenges of my campaign for Haiti’s president will not allow it.).

There is probably more rebuilding in this one week in New Orleans than there has been in Haiti in the seven months since the earthquake struck. The corporate sponsors helping to redevelop New Orleans reinforces my thought that Haiti must be re-opened for business–and soon.

God bless the New Orleans natives who are still fighting to rebuild their neighborhoods, and their lives, and I ask all of them to say a prayer, in turn, for the Haitians who are still fighting to survive in my homeland.

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake • Hurricane Katrina • Wyclef Jean

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Joe G. (Illinois)   August 25th, 2010 5:22 pm ET

Just like every baby needs to fall on his hands and knees before he or she can learn to walk, we shouldn’t be raising our fist up high cursing the devil when they fall and praising the Lord only when they walk.

Wyclef Jean prays for others.. Like for what?
The end of all problems..? Equality for all?!!!

IKHAN   August 25th, 2010 6:36 pm ET

Hi Larry,
Hi folks,
That intellectually challenged propagandist GLENN BECK is spear heading a rally on Saturday in Washington D.C right on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

And guess who would be joining him there? His equal in every respect & then some – the symbol of everything un American- SARAH PALIN.
Their beef is with the person of color sitting in the White House. This is America they would chant, we have to take it back from that person.How dare a person not looking & thinking like us occupy that sanctified place.

Now as an American who bows to the First Amendment & the right of everyone to petition, hold rallies & speak out, I sure would hope that people who listen to them also recall what Martin Luther King Jr spoke about at the very same spot in the 60's.

Mac Adon   August 27th, 2010 7:39 am ET

Hi Larry. The whole world need our prayer. I understand that every country in the world is facing one problem or the other but we must sympathize with those who are facing a physical tragedy like Haiti. GOD help us.

God Bless America   August 29th, 2010 9:51 pm ET

Wyclef Jean....This man is a leader, he does not see himself in the picture but is devoted to help others. He may have had a few missed steps but, his heart is in the right place, let us play for him and the work that his doing. May god bless New Orland.

Carl Hamer   September 1st, 2010 5:27 pm ET

My name is Carl Hamer CEO President of Potad International Consultants and I belive its important that as an American we should all help others when we can.We reach out for Mr Wyclef Jean over 6 months ago and Potad International Consultants offerd to help and provide our expertise when it related to providing shelter for the displaced Haitian people.We where refused by his staff but it didnt stop me are my team from going to Haiti on a fact finding mission which has lead us to providing shelters for men woman and children and we created relationships with missions and groups who care and they know the importants of working together.for a common goal to help those who are in need.

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