Tag Archive: Digicel


Haiti’s Plight

The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti suffered a mighty 7.0 magnitude earthquake ripping Port-Au-Prince sending shockwaves as far as the United States and Jamaica in the Caribbean. I did not feel the quake but I do feel the pain and the agony that the Haitian people must be feeling. Imagine a country with poor infrastructure, poor people, ¾ of the population unemployed, most government agencies destroyed, mass graves etc etc. That is how impoverished the Haitian people are today. Forget about the US dollars you hear they live on, when it rains in Haiti it pours causing major flooding. I am grateful that it isn’t raining there because it would have been a worse position to be in for rescue efforts. To say their lives were better would be an understatement but in 30 seconds everything changed. As one survivor puts it “it happened so fast”.

President's Palace

Before Tuesday none of us were thinking of Haiti, we may have known the grim realities there. We were busy trying to ride through our own mountains – unemployment, recession. For now, others are suffering and they need our attention. Today and for many more months and years Haiti will be seeking all the help they can get to rebuild the country they once had.

In the past days, many charity organizations and corporate entities have been furiously soliciting funds and clothing for the millions of people who have been dislocated from their homes. Jamaicans, Americans, Canadians, Russians and others around the world are playing their role in assisting the Haitians. Because of Jamaica’s proximity to Haiti it will be the last check point before all the donations arrive in Haiti from the Caribbean region.

I must say I have been addicted to the coverage of the Haitian Earthquake on CNN and online (Twitter and the various online news agencies) and I am now taking a break to pen this post. It has been a wonderful coverage from CNN. They may be low in ratings on politics in the US but they are performing excellently in bringing the latest news over there in Haiti. It was reported earlier today that the Haitian people are becoming more frustrated with relief efforts. This and many other things like looting, breakout of diseases, more of the injured dying etc can be expected as the country still without basic amenities like electricity and water supply heal from the tragic event.

We may never go to Haiti or see the place with our own eyes. I am sure you have seen the images and videos from the area as they tell a grim tale of what happened on Tuesday. As the days go by we will be bombarded with advertisements pleading to donate funds to help with the relief efforts there. You can HELP!

Tips on Helping Haiti

  1. Donate only to established agencies.
  2. Do not provide confidential information when donating funds.
  3. Be wary of scammers who are on the loose because more people are giving.
  4. Give with love and a grateful heart.

You may be wondering how you can help. I would suggest sending money. There are many text lines open to donate to the Haitian people in their darkest moment.

I texted to my local line here in Jamaica and it felt good. I received a text later saying that “To date Jamaica has raised J$2.3 million for the Haiti Relief Fund.” That is equivalent to US $25, 813.69. Oh damn. I seriously thought it would have translated higher. Oh well, there you go. Goes to show how weak my Jamaican dollar is.

I texted 'HELP'

To the Number 162

Confirmation

Further Confirmation

Go donate. You can HELP! Watch your money feed those hungry people.

I believe in community service. Volunteering is an activity that should be promoted more as social ills exist in our societies and this can reduce the harmful effects of these. Companies invest heavily in community service because they understand the relationship with giving back and the prospects for profitability. In business they practice what is called social responsibility and develop foundations to serve this purpose. Partnerships with other groups (community service oriented) are made to have a larger impact on a particular cause. Some companies however, will find unique ways to make a profit helping a cause. This is called cause-related advertising. For example Apple will say purchase this I-Phone and 5% of sales will go towards cancer research. On the other hand we have advocacy advertising and this is where a company will dedicate advertising to a particular cause with no profit making intentions. Not that you needed to know but now you know.

Beenie Man with LIME Execs

Beenie Man with LIME Execs

Just today in a local Jamaican newspaper LIME (an international telecommunications company) and Beenie Man (an international reggae artist) donated two computers to a city police station here in Kingston, Jamaica. This is wonderful and all these things to have two entities like these give back to society. We may not see the computers at work but surely they will assist the police in crime fighting. Congratulations and kudos to them.

DSC02362

Back in March a group under my leadership and others participated in a community service activity at the Jamaica National Children’s Home. As students we participated in painting a section of the male dorm, manicured their lawn and surroundings, took personal care of the children at the home, assisted with homework and reading, played games, partnered with the National Commercial Bank Foundation and one of the top meal providers to donated food items, provided lunch, gifts etc. We worked hard to get the sponsorships we acquired to make the day a success. We also had the reigning Miss Jamaica Universe giving a talk on the importance of giving back.

April Jackson - Miss Jamaica Universe 2008

April Jackson - Miss Jamaica Universe 2008

There is no way I am comparing what we did months ago to what LIME and Beenie Man has done, clearly they are different. There is a point though. These two institutions command millions of monies annually and although we are happy that they donated the two computers it leaves a bad taste to see them only donating two based on the market they command. LIME is a company that offers computers with their product line certainly donating only two just proves where their priority is. If they wanted public relations they got it. I am not sure people are going to look on and say wow let me take my business to LIME. They could have maximized on this opportunity by donating to a few more police stations (at least two) with the same two computers; that would have been a bigger statement and a more news worthy item.

I hope my readers will get the point. I am in no way ungrateful for the effort. From a business point of view the business I am not sure they communicated their core values in this PR. Beenie Man on his own could have donated the two computers, even more so LIME who is in this area of business. Companies want to show they care, they can do things big and they are socially responsible. Although we are in a recession we cannot donate ‘recessionously’- cheaply – do things the proper way.