Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Most Direct Way to Help Haïti

I'm just posting this letter, with the additional comment that Fonkoze is an incredible organization, run with just a handful of people Stateside, and hundreds of staff in Haïti, so that any dollar you donate for their efforts goes where it's needed most. They are far more effective than most other aid organizations, who spend up to 85% on overhead.

January 19, 2010

Dear Friend,

All of us at Fonkoze USA appreciate all the prayers, phone calls, emails, and especially donations that we have received in response to the major and tragic earthquake that ravaged Haiti just a week ago today. We have been in touch on a daily basis with Fonkoze's leadership in Haiti which is now working feverishly to design a strategy to respond to this unprecedented natural disaster. 

We update our website at least daily. So, please continue to visit the website at for the latest information about the situation on the ground with Fonkoze and to contribute to the "Relief and Rehabilitation Fund."

Donations are urgently needed. The courageous staff of Fonkoze are ready to move forward with a major relief effort followed by an aggressive rehabilitation program.  The staff themselves have, however, been significantly impacted.  Fonkoze leadership met with some 50 staff members on Sunday, and half of them lost virtually everything they own. (At least three staff were killed in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake.) We are planning to give these impacted staff some immediate resources to stabilize their lives so they can focus on the clients.  Another major funding need is for Fonkoze to establish an Emergency Operations Center and re-build branch structures in order to serve the branches and our clients throughout Haiti.  The costs related to doing so are being calculated as we write this update and appeal. 

The ultimate priority is to serve our borrowers and clients by helping them re-establish their homes and families and their businesses. This will take time and will build on the successful client rehabilitation efforts following natural disasters earlier this decade. 

To date, we have received a little over $80,000. While we don't have a good grasp of our overall financial needs as yet, we anticipate that we will need more than $1 million dollars in the next few weeks in order to meet the needs of Fonkoze's clients and staff.

Please make a donation now to our "Earthquake Relief and Rehabilitation Fund". Please do it today by mailing a check to Fonkoze USA, 50 F St., NW, Suite 810, Washington, DC 20001, or make a donation online at:

We also encourage you to continue keeping up with Fonkoze's progress on the web site. There is new updated information on sending money to Haiti, the status of some of our personnel, the status of branches, and other information.

Please continue to PRAY, PHONE, PARTNER, and PITCH-IN FOR HAITI.


Alex Counts, Chair, Fonkoze USA                                   

John Mercier, President, Fonkoze USA

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