- A community organizer that lives - or lived - in a displacement camp. Last night, in the middle of the night, the landowner sent guys in to light the camp on fire and forcibly evict all of the families living there. There was shooting (though no-one was injured) and violence. They don't know where to go or what to do.
- A young photographer friend who recently published photos of a couple gang murders in his (rough) neighborhood. Since then, the gang has been after him. Last month they tried to grab him and ended up shooting him in the hip. Yesterday, they kidnapped his little brother.
- My friend whose daughter has undiagnosable mental issues and other teenage daughter just had a baby. The friend's blood pressure is so high that she has fainted several times in the past few days and hasn't been able to see a doctor.
- Another friend who has been homeless since the earthquake, and is afraid that she is about to lose the space that that she and her family have been renting for their tarp shelter.
- The man who sells toilet paper, candles and crackers across the street needs to borrow money because his business is floundering and he has to pay his kids' school fees.
In Haiti tragedy after tragedy occurs as a lack of infrastructure, security and the basic services (like: affordable healthcare and education, housing, a functional JUSTice system...) that every single human being deserves.
The longer we live here, the more frequently we are called upon in times of crisis. Each and every time, we feel helpless. We can connect friends to human rights organizations or to journalists. Sometimes we can provide transportation or some money or help to fill out an online form. Sometimes all we can do is care. It never feels like enough.
Today is one of those (many) days that I am angry. Unreasonably angry that I - with my lack of resources and practical skills - am called upon again and again to meet needs that I cannot meet.
This is not just a Haiti problem. It is a poverty problem. It is the problem with an unjust economic system wherein so much wealth is concentrated among so few, while the majority on this planet face a life of grinding poverty and hardship. It is a problem of humanitarian organizations spending thousands of dollars on landscaping when people can't see a doctor or pay school fees. It's a global problem. And, like it or not, we're all a part of it somehow.