Dear George Clooney and Wyclef Jean,
Raising money for aid to Haiti is only the first step in helping to heal and restore the people of this ravaged nation. You cannot stop with only fundraising.
All of us must do more.
Every man, woman and child in the world deserve the same basic expressions of dignity that most of us take for granted here in America: a home, a family, medical care, an education.
After Hurricane Katrina, the American people opened up their homes to those who were displaced, helping to relocate and provide new beginnings for the men, women and children of New Orleans.
This must happen again, but on a larger scale.
Caring citizens in democratic countries around the world must reach out and “open their hearts, open their homes” to those who so desperately need a home, a family, safety and basic dignity.
Here in the United States, when a child is in unsafe living conditions, we provide them with foster care and adoption. Why can’t we do the same for those in our global community who desperately need the help?
No man, woman or child in any country should be left in unsafe, horrific living conditions, especially when there are so many people who have the means to provide a better life. Just thinking of the 400,000 plus orphans in Haiti right now makes me weep.
I believe that we can and should “foster” and “adopt” one another, beginning with those who need it most—the people of Haiti and Darfur.
We must call upon our individual democratic governments and the United Nations to create an immediate protected refugee status for our brothers and sisters in Haiti and Darfur.
With coordinated efforts between our respective countries’ governments and relief organizations, such as your charities, Not On Our Watch and Yele Haiti, those of us who are able to, from across the globe, can open up our homes to those who need our help.
I call this the Open Heart, Open Home Project (OHOHP) where those of us who have the desire and means to foster, adopt and mentor our brothers and sisters from Haiti and Darfur can do so. For a minimum of one year, we will provide housing, food, clothing, mentorship and to help foster independence. Once stability, new homes, a safe and stable environment is brought back to these ravaged countries, our brothers and sisters can return home or have the option to become fellow citizens in their new adoptive countries.
Individuals and families from America, the United Kingdom, Western Europe and other democratic countries globally can be involved in numerous ways:
• Have an extra room at home? Open your home to a child or family and mentor them for at least a year.
• Have more than one home? Open your additional home(s) for a family to live in rent-free and mentor for at least a year.
• Have an open, available apartment, mobile home or even a trailer? Provide for a family to live there rent-free and mentor for at least a year.
• Don’t have an open home but would like help? Financially sponsor a family or child, helping them find a home to live in and mentor them for at least a year.
Just as the American people took the survivors of Hurricane Katrina into our homes and our lives, we as global citizens must now expand this idea and open our hearts and our homes even wider.
I invite you and my readers from around the world to be a part of the Open Heart, Open Home Project. Please visit the OHOHP website to leave your thoughts, encouragement and ideas on how we can provide new homes and new families for our brothers and sisters in Haiti, Darfur and around the world.
We can make a difference–one person, one family–at a time.
***N. E. Francis is an established news journalist, specializing in arts and entertainment features and is a radio co-host for the weekly LGBTQI radio program, Alternative Perspectives, every Tuesday on WRFG. She also writes Tales from a California Blonde, a weekly column published every Saturday exclusively at aerochug.com.
Ms. Francis is also a published poet, celebrity ghostwriter, film & theater critic and upcoming children’s author. She also owns the first online art gallery featuring women artists around the world, Beauty and the Baby Art. Contact her at Artaerochug.comcast.net.***
(Copyright © 2010 N. E. Francis. All Rights Reserved. Article may not be reproduced, reprinted or shared in any manner, in any medium, without written consent of author.)
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