32 more in collection In The Name of Haiti - Humanitarian Religious Tourism

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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.