Wycleff Jean – Yele Haiti
I read yesterday that Yele Haiti have been accused of financial mismanagement and it is now being reported in the media. Wrong, so wrong! The man and his family are in Haiti which I can only think, from news reports, is currently hell on earth, and spent at least one day moving corpses. What better time to disparage him and Yele Haiti? Donate to Yele Haiti here.
Below please find Wyclef’s video and written statements.
For Immediate Release
January 16, 2010
Ken Sunshine, Briele Douglass
Sunshine, Sachs & Associates
(212) 691-2800; (917) 548-6236
Statement by Wyclef Jean in response to the accusations against Yéle Haiti
“My commitment to Haiti is a unique and everlasting bond.
“I formalized that commitment when I formed my first foundation, in 1994. From that day forward, I have spent tireless hours working on behalf of my homeland on development issues as well as human and immigrant rights.
“I have been committed to helping the people of Haiti throughout my life, and that commitment will continue until the day I die.
“It is impossible for me to even comprehend the recent attacks on my character and the integrity of my foundation, Yéle Haiti. The fact that these attacks come as we are mobilized to meet the greatest human tragedy in the history of Haiti only serves to perplex me even further.
“I first learned of these baseless attacks when I left Haiti late Friday, where I had been since 12 hours after the earthquake.
“Let me be clear: I denounce any allegation that I have ever profited personally through my work with Yele Haiti. These baseless attacks are simply not true.
“In fact, I have, time and again, committed significant amounts of my own money to support the work of Yéle Haiti and other organizations in support of our efforts over the years.
“More than that, I have spent countless hours, days, months and years of my life committed to the country of Haiti, the people of Haiti and the success of Haiti.
“These baseless allegations were first put forward by a fringe website with a history of pursuing sensationalist story lines. The mainstream media’s pursuit of them has required Yéle to divert precious resources during this critical time in order to answer various inquiries. That must end.
“I will continue to commit my focus to what is most important right now: Haiti. Right now, Yéle is working with its valuable NGO partners, the U.S. Government, the United Nations and so many others to save lives, honor those who have perished and get aid to the millions of Haitians suffering through the worst human catastrophe of our times.
“I will never give up on my commitment.”
Background information from Hugh Locke, President, Yéle Haiti:
Wyclef Jean and Yéle Haiti have been trusted and sought out by most of the major organizations and leaders in the development community involved in Haiti.
Following the hurricanes and storms that hit Haiti in 2008, the United Nations called on Wyclef to help raise international support for the UN Flash Appeal that supported rebuilding efforts. He has been invited to testify before a congressional subcommittee about the needs of Haiti. He was asked by the government of Haiti to help lobby the US congress to pass the HOPE act that gave preferential trade terms to Haiti for clothing imports to the US. And when Bill Clinton visited Haiti with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on March 9, 2009, Wyclef was invited to join them.
Yéle Haiti is a regular participant in the Clinton Global Initiative, works closely with the Office of the UN Special Envoy to Haiti lead by Bill Clinton, and has had a range of partnership agreements for program implementation in Haiti with the World Food Programme, Pan American Development Foundation and the United Nations Development Programme. Yéle President Hugh Locke currently serves as Chair of the Clinton Global Initiative’s Haiti Working Group on Education.
One particular situation may serve to illustrate the high regard with which Wyclef Jean is held by the international development community. In the weeks following the hurricanes and storms that caused the flooding of the Haitian city of Gonaives, the World Food Programme (WFP) was responsible for providing emergency food to those stranded in makeshift shelters because their homes were under water. The security situation was very tense and WFP was delivering food only under cover of darkness and with full-armed escorts. The country director of WFP in Haiti personally appealed to Wyclef for assistance, and Wyclef, working with the Yéle team from Port-au-Prince, reached out to community leaders in Gonaives and Yéle organized the first daylight, community organized food distribution. Not only was it conducted without the presence of armed soldiers; some 6,000 people received food rations from WFP without a single incident.