haitians use professional connections
From nurses teaming up with a health system to send PPE, to teachers raising money for the purchase of tents, Haitian-Americans have leveraged their workplace relationships to help Haiti.

For Carlo Damus, the Aug. 14 earthquake in southern Haiti was a frustrating reminder of the country’s failure to plan for disaster. 

“At this stage, I’m tired of what’s going on in Haiti,” said Damus, a Brooklyn-based teacher. “They’re always reacting, there wasn’t any plan. They know Haiti’s built on faults.” 

Yet Damus, 65, stepped in to fill gaps in relief, left by those same government officials who failed to plan, after the last earthquake in January 2010. A math teacher at Isaac Bildersee Middle School in Brooklyn’s Canarsie neighborhood, he has received financial support from his labor union, the United Federation of Teachers (UFT), which represents nearly 200,000 New York City public school employees. 

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Sam is a reporter for The Haitian Times and a 2020 Report for America corps member. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Haiti Liberte. Sam can be reached at sam@haitiantimes.com or on Twitter @sambojarski.