Wednesday, 12 December 2012


Certainly we all understand that if we’re “not part of the solution, that we may be a part of the problem.”  Of course we all do what we can, where we can, to elevate the status of human suffering and dignity.  But do you really think that you can change the world?  Or do you believe the system is just too big, and the entities just too entrenched to be changed?  How much impact can you really have?   A lot more then you probably think.

On Tuesday, 12 January 2010, an earthquake more powerful then an atomic bomb hit Haiti.  (For a look at the state of Haiti post-earthquake click here.) The following months brought charities, NPO’s, and United Nation’s soldiers, staff, and supplies from around the world to assist in rebuilding the country.  

The UN soldiers however also unwittingly brought Cholera; an infection of the small intestine caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The bacterium releases a toxin that causes increased release of water from cells in the intestines, which produces severe diarrhea and left untreated causes death from dehydration via severe diarrhea.  Cholera occurs and spreads most readily in places with poor sanitation, crowding, war, and famine. Cholera has killed at least 7,759 people to date in Haiti since the outbreak started in October 2010.

Certainly there are many, many entities and interests involved in rebuilding Haiti and also in helping the Haitian people hold the United Nations (UN) responsible for what they had done.  In this specific effort however I want to congratulate two people - Bryn Mooser and David Darg.  They launched and produced a documentary film called “Baseball In The Time of Cholera,” that told the UN/Cholera story (via Ryot Films) through the eyes of Haitian teenager Joseph Alvyns and his engagement with the Tabare Tigers (Haiti's first little league team started by Bryn Mooser and David Darg in Port-au-Prince.) 

After a significant amount of work, exhaustive Film Festival screenings, interviews, and meetings in Washington (and around the world,) the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon finally announced today that a US$2.27 billion initiative would be established to help eradicate cholera in Haiti.  Note that the UN explicitly refused to do this only a year ago.  

Today (12/12/12) it was announced that bilateral and multilateral donors have additionally committed US $215 million (and the UN has committed another US$23.5 million for the initiative,) which will mostly focus on improving clean water and sanitation infrastructure in Haiti.
Ultimately the resolve and indignant spirit of two people (Bryn Mooser and David Darg) that were committed to justice and dignity for the Haitian people won the day.  

So, for all those of you who think the system is simply too big to be changed.  For all of you who think that you’re only one tiny voice in a vast universe. For those of you naysayers who said it could never be done - today ‘David’ beat ‘Goliath’. My sincere congratulations and respect to both Bryn Mooser and David Darg, you have elevated the human condition.   

I am very, very proud to know you both.