In The Name of Haiti - Humanitarian Religious Tourism

Collection with 33 media items created by Corentin Fohlen

08 Apr 2014 04:00

Since the 2010 earthquake, hundreds of religious American NGOs like "Healing Haiti", "Food for the Poor" and "Hope Alive!" have flocked to Haiti. In addition to their humanitarian activities, they organize volunteering tours for anyone who wants to help Haiti.
Every week, new teams of American volunteers land in the little country. They help distribute water in the slum of Cité Soleil - one of the most dangerous areas of the country. They visit orphanages and schools where they distribute chewing gum, and go to the beach with orphans. But in the end, most of their days will be consumed by taking photos with orphans and locals.
Jeff Gacek and Alyn Shannon founded Healing Haiti, a Christian NGO that organizes tours for volunteers. They have decided to dedicate themselves to the country in the name of God. "We didn’t choose Haiti ... God chose Haiti for us", they say.
According to the American Embassy in Haiti, approximately 200,000 American citizens land in Haiti each year. They feel invested with a divine mission where charity and religious proselytism mix. There is no State control and it is very easy for foreign organizations to create their own NGO and open churches, a schools or orphanages.
However, their legitimacy is questioned by bigger international NGOs such as MSF (Médecins sans Frontières - Doctors Without Borders), Acted and ACF (Action contre la Faim). According to them, these American NGOs are doing the contrary of humanitarian work by only doing charity. A French humanitarian working for an international NGO says: "at best, what they are doing is useless. At best ... ".

By doing the State’s jobs in healthcare, education, economy, housing and food, those NGOs disempower local authorities. They also take away jobs such as water distribution that could be given to local people. As a result, the Haitian State relies more and more on those organizations and disengages from its responsibilities.
Unfortunately, people trained by foreign NGOs tend to leave the country before the State is prepared to take over.
These American NGO’s are all evangelists. During the weekly trips on the island, they practice a non-official proselytism through masses, shared prayers and distributions of cartoons related to Jesus's life for the children. According to Haitian director Raoul Peck who made a documentary about this topic, this type of humanitarian work resembles a type of colonialism where white people are providers while Haitian people are receivers, which creates dependence between the two sides.
Trips are also a very important source of incomes for NGOs. Each aspiring humanitarian worker has to pay for his or her plane ticket and fees to the organization which vary between $700 to $1000 per week.

Haiti Ngo Humanitarian... Tourism Usa

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By Corentin Fohlen
16 Jul 2013

Volunteers from the NGO Food for the Poor visiting a school in Cité-Soleil slum.

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By Corentin Fohlen
16 Jul 2013

Volunteers from the NGO Food for the Poor visiting a school in Cité-Soleil slum.

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By Corentin Fohlen
16 Jul 2013

These organized trips are a very important source of income for the NGOs such as Healing Haiti or Food for the Poor. Volunteers have to pay for their plane ticket and fees to the organization that vary between 700$ to 1000$ for a week.

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By Corentin Fohlen
16 Jul 2013

Main international NGOs such as Doctors Without Borders criticize the work of these American Christian NGOs, saying they are doing the contrary of humanitarian work: charity. Critics such as the Haitian director Raoul Peck says it maintains a colonialist relationship between Haitian people who only receive and white people who only give.

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By Corentin Fohlen
03 May 2013

A volunteer taking pictures during a visit in a school. They spend time with children and orphans taking pictures.
According to the American Embassy, approximately 200,000 American citizens land in Haiti each year. They feel invested with a divine mission where charity and religious proselytism mix.

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By Corentin Fohlen
16 Jul 2013

Volunteers from "Food for the Poor" arriving in Cité-Soleil slum for a week. This NGO is an important American christian organization which settled in Haiti 27 years ago. They distribute food to the poor and also intervene in education, health and aquaculture.

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By Corentin Fohlen
20 Jan 2013

Souvenirs sold on the Champs-de-Mars square, Port-au-Prince.
When Americans occupied Haiti between 1914 and 1934, they brought Evangelical Christian and Baptists churches. Despite the strong Voodoo beliefs among Haitians, which was the unifying symbol of the slaves during the French occupation, many Haitians have converted to these churches.

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By Corentin Fohlen
25 May 2013

The Samaritan's Purse organization has built a new school called the Greta Home with the help of its American volunteers. The school is also a boarding school.

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By Corentin Fohlen
16 Jul 2013

Volunteers from Healing Haiti on their going to Cité-Soleil slum sing religious song like "Amazing Grace" or "God is so good" in a private "tap-tap", a traditional Haitian public transportation. This one is grills fitted, unlike the ones usually used by Haitians in Port-au-Prince.
At the end of the week, volunteers will sing it in Creole.

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By Corentin Fohlen
18 Jan 2013

Volunteers help carrying buckets of water in Cité-Soleil slum in Port-au-Prince.

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By Corentin Fohlen
16 Jul 2013

This is the most miserable place of Cité-Soleil slum : it is used as wild toilets, and an Haitian guide says corpses are burnt here

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By Corentin Fohlen
06 Feb 2013

A team of volunteers just landed in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The two guides, both named Jenn, work with Healing Haiti, one of the hundreds of religious NGOs that organize weekly trips for volunteers looking to play the humanitarian worker.

Healing Haiti is an American christian organization created in 2006 by a couple, Jeff Gacek and Alyn Shannon. They decided to dedicate themselves to the country, in the name of God : "We didn’t choose Haiti ... God chose Haiti for us."

Hundreds of similar religious organizations have proliferated in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. Every week, a team of ten volunteers land in Haiti. During a week, they participate in water distribution in the slum of Cité Soleil, they visit schools and orphanages where they distribute chewing-gum, and spend a day at the beach with some orphans. But they mainly hug children and take hundred of photos souvenir. Big international NGOs doing real humanitarian and development work criticize their approach, calling it "at best useless".

According to the US embassy in Port au Prince, 200 000 American citizens come to Haiti through similar trips each year.

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By Corentin Fohlen
15 Jan 2013

NGO Healing Haiti doing water distribution in Cité-Soleil slum. That day, a private company arrived before the NGO to distribute water. The volunteers left Cité-Soleil with their truck full of water and went to another slum.

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By Corentin Fohlen
16 Jul 2013

Before leaving a place, volunteers sing and pray with the children of the neighborhood who spontaneously come to see the "white people". Here Dickinson is leading the prayer.

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By Corentin Fohlen
16 Jul 2013

Volunteers of Healing Haiti visit the orphanage "La vigne d'or" in Titanyen, a village north of Port-au-Prince. They give toys, candies, cookies, balloons and coloring pictures about Jesus's life. They also lead prayers and songs.
Diann and Jessica are trying to help with the laundry using the local technic, but after five minutes they prefer to go back and play with the children.

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By Corentin Fohlen
18 Jan 2013

Water distribution in Cité-Soleil slum. That day, a private company came before Healing Haiti. The volunteers left the slum with their truck full of water and went to another slum.
Jenny, one of the guides, is taking pictures for the rest of the team.

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By Corentin Fohlen
17 Jan 2013

Dickinson, a American volunteer with Healing Haiti, is looking after a little girl while the rest of the group is helping an old man to eat during the "Help Elders" day.

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By Corentin Fohlen
17 Jan 2013

Dickinson and the rest of the group went by car to collect water at the wheel to help the family of an elder during "Help Elders" day.

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By Corentin Fohlen
16 Jul 2013

Volunteers leading a prayer around an old man.

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By Corentin Fohlen
16 Jul 2013

Volunteers visit the orphanage "La Vigne d'Or" in Titanyen, a village north of Port-au-Prince. They give toys, candies, cookies, balloons and coloring pictures referring to Jesus's life. They also lead prayers and songs.

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By Corentin Fohlen
17 Jan 2013

Volunteers visit the orphanage "La Vigne d'Or" in Titanyen, a village north of Port-au-Prince. They give toys, candies, cookies, balloons and coloring pictures referring to Jesus's life. They also lead prayers and songs.

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By Corentin Fohlen
16 Jul 2013

Volunteers visit Cité-Soleil slum and distribute two trucks of water. This day, a truck from a private company already came before them.
Diann is singing around children "when they become to oppressing".

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By Corentin Fohlen
17 Jan 2013

Volunteers distribute chewing-gum to children during their visit at the "Rédempteur" school.

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By Corentin Fohlen
16 Jul 2013

After the breakfast, volunteers sing and pray together at the guest house.

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By Corentin Fohlen
25 Jan 2013

Volunteers take a photograph with a local woman. Hundreds of religious NGOs have flocked to Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. 200 000 American volunteers come to the country each year to "help" local populations. However, many international organizations like Doctors Without Borders say their work is useless and disempower local authorities.

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By Corentin Fohlen
16 Jul 2013

A team of dentist treating a patient in a center built by by Healing Haiti, in Titanyen. They brought new portable equipment made in China, but two upon six devices broke down.

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By Corentin Fohlen
09 Dec 2012

Volunteers sometimes take orphans to the beach.

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By Corentin Fohlen
18 Jan 2013

Water distribution at Cité-Soleil slum in Port-au-Prince. That day, a water truck had already came. Therefore, volunteers went to another slum.

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By Corentin Fohlen
20 Jan 2013

Volunteers are blessing an elder after bringing him a mattress. Before, the man had to sleep on the floor.

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By Corentin Fohlen
20 Jan 2013

Selina, a volunteer who came with Healing Haiti, is posing with the painting she just bought at a souvenirs shop in the posh neighborhood of Boutillier, Port-au-Prince.

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By Corentin Fohlen
19 Apr 2013

Organization Samaritan's Purse: the Greta Home. Stanis Emane et Louis Jean Mackenzy. The Greta Home and Academy is providing a Christian environment for orphans and vulnerable children in the Leogane community in Haiti. It also trains young men and women to become Christian leaders.

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By Corentin Fohlen
16 Jul 2013

Volunteers from Minnesota having fun with girls from the orphanage of Grace Village. The bottle hanging from theirs tee-shirts is an antiseptic lotion for hands.

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By Corentin Fohlen
16 Jul 2013

Volunteers from the NGO "Food for the Poor" visiting a school in Cité-Soleil slum.