Occupy Sandy Haitian Relief is a community relief effort organized by Occupiers working with existing Haitian organizations, community groups and NGO's to help residents in the hardest hit areas of Haiti recover from Hurricane Sandy. The group has partnered with givelove.org, an organization that works on community-led sanitation projects that improve public health and create jobs in Haiti.
Wherever it hit, the hurricane has highlighted and worsened already existing problems. In a place like Red Hook, it's the struggle for reasonable public housing conditions. In Haiti, among a host of other problems, it's the exacerbation of the cholera epidemic, from which 7,600 Haitians have died in in the past two years. According to FastCoexist, "Cholera had been unknown for decades in Haiti; fingers are pointing at a Nepalese UN peacekeeping base that was found to be discharging untreated sewage." Since "sewage isn’t anyone’s favorite topic...toilets, clean water, and sanitation get less than their fair share of international aid dollars." Thus resources are being prioritized for portable water filters that remove the cholera pathogen from water, as well as composting toilets. They will be deployed by partners on the ground to communities hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy.
The desire is to bring in relief to areas that are not experiencing government aid, but also to work with existing organizations to build strong community centers for lasting dialogue and relief efforts. The group says they are cognizant of the dangers of adopting a colonialist, 'savior' approach to relief which can be detrimental to all parties involved, and are consequently taking great care not to 'reinvent the wheel' nor repeat the mistakes of existing bureaucratic organizations. They are thus working slowly to figure out how best to route the necessary aid to the hardest hit areas, always being guided by the local community and their needs.
Occupy Sandy Haitian Relief rejects the Charity Industrial Complex and any attempt to gain personal profit from tragedy and relief.