Wyclef Jean Defends the Charity He Founded

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Wyclef Jean Defends the Charity He Founded

Wyclef Jean founder of Yéle Haiti, the long established leader in "on the ground" recovery efforts in earthquake ravaged Haiti, responded to recent NY Post criticisms that his charity misappropriated funds. “I started Yéle Haiti in 2005 because I wanted to help people that were helpless in my home country of Haiti. People who didn't have a voice, people who didn't have resources, people who had mostly been forgotten. Since Yéle Haiti launched six years ago we have helped close to half a million people. I will always love and serve the Haitian people until the day I die,” stated Jean, who left the charity last year to pursue a political career.

Jean also noted, “The NY Post conveniently failed in the article to acknowledge that the decisions that Yéle Haiti made days after the Earthquake were a response to one of the world's most catastrophic natural disasters in modern history and required an immediate humanitarian response. There were no roads, no clean water, no sanitation, no banks, no electricity and no infrastructure. Immediate decisions were made to save lives and alleviate suffering. We made decisions that enabled us to provide emergency assistance in the midst of chaos and we stand by those decisions. We did the best we could with the available resources. I am proud of the way that Yéle Haiti handled the crisis on the ground in 2010.”

In addition to providing food, clothing, basic necessities and medical assistance to 250,000 Haitians, in the two years after the Earthquake, Yéle Haiti has also purchased the first publicly available full-body CT Scanner in Haiti, available to all regardless of their ability to pay; hired 14,000 workers from August 2010 to July 2011 in a cash-for-work program, aiding the clean-up effort and bolstering job creation; launched vocational training programs in construction, hospitality and communications, helping rebuild paths to self-sufficiency for Haitians; planted one million trees for reforestation purposes; and provided a new dormitory and school facility for 64 children at Jean et Marie orphanage.

“The NY Post never mentioned that Amisphere Farm Labor, named in the article, was responsible for preparing and delivering close to 100,000 meals, and that The Samosa SA property, also named in the article, was located in the vicinity of the largest tent camps in Port-au-Prince, and so was the ideal location for Yéle to set-up their headquarters, two important points that should have been noted,” added Jean.

“All of these facts, as well as photos and testimonials of all the ongoing and past projects of Yéle Haiti were readily available to The NY Post for their story. Unfortunately, they chose not to include these facts and instead chose to imply that Yéle "squandered" donor money. Nothing could be further from the truth,” stated Jean.

“Finally, the percentage of funds used in our relief efforts is consistent with NGOs and Not For Profits operating in Haiti at the time. I have acknowledged that Yéle has made mistakes in the past; including being late in IRS filings, but that is old news. The new and worthy news, is that Yéle Haiti under new leadership, despite efforts to undermine its credibility and effectiveness, continues its mission to serve people in the greatest need,” Jean concluded.

About Yéle Haiti Foundation
Founded in 2005 by Grammy-award winning musicians Wyclef Jean and Jerry Duplessis, Yéle Haiti is a grassroots, non-political, charitable organization focusing on emergency relief, employment, youth development and education, and tree planting and agriculture. Yéle Haiti is a U.S.–based with tax-exempt 501(c)3 status.


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Cindy Tanenbaum
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