Wednesday, January 20, 2010
James Jordan and Chuck Kaufman returned from a delegation trip to Haiti only five days before the earthquake. The Tucsonans are national co-coordinators of the Alliance for Global Justice. The purpose of their trip was to investigate the human rights situation in Haiti, as well as to learn more about development programs, schools, and conditions for peasants and industrial workers.
Kaufman and Jordan spent most their time in Port Au Prince and Jacmel, the cities hit hardest by the disaster; and when they returned home they began reaching out to friends to help organize a benefit concert at Club Congress on Sunday, Jan. 31, from 3 to 11 p.m.
The cover charge is $5, but material contributions will also be collected, such as first aid and personal hygiene supplies, over-the-counter meds, blankets in good shape and dry goods, such as beans and rice. Materials supplies will be sent to World Care and 25 percent of the money raised will go to the organization to cover shipping costs. The remaining funds raised will go to Doctors Without Borders and Konpay through Haiti Reborn.
There will also be a silent auction for artwork and other items donated by local galleries, such as De Grazia and La Sirena galleries. Bands involved: Spirit Familia, Amy Rude, Salvador Duran, Jimmy Carr, The Jits, Maggie Golston, Dirk Wednesday, Hank Topless, Caliche con Carne, Naim Amor, The Sleeky Chaps, and Green Light.
According to the benefit press release:
For many years, the AFGJ has had a close relationship with the Quixote Center's Haiti Reborn and has a high opinion of the work it does there. Haiti Reborn receives a 100% wise giving rating from the Better Business Bureau, and all of the contributions it receives for disaster relief go toward efforts to provide goods and services to those in need. Specifically, Haiti Reborn is working closely with Doctors Without Borders and Konpay (a Haitian organization focusing on community development and projects including reforestation, sustainable agriculture and horticulture, and water purification).
In fact, two of the places visited by Kaufman and Jordan were quickly turned into makeshift clinics and aid centers, even before international aid had begun to arrive. For instance, Matthew 25 House, where Kaufman and Jordan stayed in Port Au Prince, has been turned into a medical clinic with the aid of Doctors Without Borders, and since the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, has been treating over 400 persons a day under dire circumstances. Likewise, the SOPUDEP school visited by the delegation has become an important center for aid distribution.
When they first found out about the earthquake, Kaufman and Jordon contacted Dave Slutes at Club Congress, and then local activists Jacqueline Mills and Gerard M. Dalencourt to organize the benefit. Dalencourt is from Haiti, where he taught school. He is now living in Tucson and is a member of Spirit Familia. Jordan is a member of Caliche con Carne.