LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA--(Marketwire - Jan. 19, 2010) -
Editors Note: There is a video included with this Press Release.
Founded in 2009 by award winning writer/director Paul Haggis, Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ) was created to support the work of doctor and community organizer Father Rick Frechette in Haiti.
Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, APJ has focused its efforts on raising funds to assist in relief efforts. One hundred percent of all donations made to Artists for Peace and Justice will be sent directly to emergency relief on the ground in Haiti.
Haggis will travel to Haiti this week to survey the aftermath of the quake and to deliver much needed supplies. "The people of Haiti have inspired me for their resilience and courage in the face of disaster," said Haggis, who has been receiving updates from colleagues on the ground in Haiti including his BRANDAID Foundation co-founder, producer/director David Belle. "The sky has been described as filled with dust from the thousands of collapsed homes," said Haggis.
Message from Producer/Director David Belle (Co-founder of the BRANDAID Foundation) on the ground in Haiti
I have been told that much media coverage paints Haiti as a tinderbox ready to explode. I'm told that lead stories in major media are of looting, violence and chaos. There could be nothing further from the truth.
I have traveled the entire city daily since my arrival. The extent of damages is absolutely staggering. At every step, at every bend is one horrific tragedy after another; homes, businesses, schools and churches leveled to nothing. Inside every mountain of rubble there are people, most dead at this point. The smell is overwhelming. On every street are people -- survivors -- who have lost everything they have: homes, parents, children, friends.
Not once have we witnessed a single act of aggression or violence. To the contrary, we have witnessed neighbors helping neighbors and friends helping friends and strangers. We've seen neighbors digging in rubble with their bare hands to find survivors. We've seen traditional healers treating the injured; we've seen dignified ceremonies for mass burials and residents patiently waiting under boiling sun with nothing but their few remaining belongings. A crippled city of two million awaits help, medicine, food and water; most haven't received any.
Haiti can be proud of its survivors. Their dignity and decency in the face of this tragedy is itself staggering.
Please click the following link to view a video shot by David Belle in Haiti featuring an update from Father Rick Frechette at St. Damien's Pediatric Hospital: www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIE2coFUV5M
Please donate directly at WWW.ARTISTSFORPEACEANDJUSTICE.COM. As a volunteer-based organization, donors can be rest assured that every penny will be sent directly to Haiti. The website will provide updates from those on the ground assisting in relief efforts as they come in.
Follow APJ updates online
Statements from Paul Haggis and his colleague Clint Eastwood in support of Artists for Peace and Justice
Statement from Paul Haggis, Founder, Artists for Peace and Justice
My heart goes out to the beautiful people of Haiti. I fear that the street schools sponsored by Artists for Peace and Justice lay in ruin and its students, so full of life when we last met, have passed away. The fact that these schools, the instruments of hope that the children loved so much, were the very things that crushed them is almost too much to bear. I fear that the injured are not getting the medicines they need and the already delicate infrastructure of Haiti is damaged beyond belief.
As I receive updates from colleagues in Haiti I am moved by the stories of the people coming together to help dig out survivors and care for the wounded. I will travel to Haiti this week to deliver supplies to emergency relief workers on the ground including desperately needed medicine. APJ will continue to send 100% of all donations directly to relief efforts on the ground. Please visit www.artistsforpeaceandjustice.com and donate today. Together we can truly make a difference in the rebuild of this inspiring country. –Paul Haggis
Statement from Clint Eastwood, Artists for Peace and Justice Supporter
Like the rest of the world, Dina and I are shocked and saddened by the devastation caused by the recent earthquake in Haiti. It's difficult to comprehend the loss of life and the destruction in a country so close to our shores. Our thoughts and prayers are extended to those who have lost loved ones and to the emergency workers who are working around the clock to locate survivors. They are truly heroes.
We are pleased to offer our support to my colleague and our friend Paul Haggis and his organization Artists for Peace and Justice. Through APJ, Paul and his advisory board have worked diligently to improve the lives of the children of the slums of Port au Prince. Every penny you give them goes to support the work of doctors and community organizers that Paul and his team personally know and trust. The relief workers desperately need your help. If you can do so, we would urge you to go to ArtistsForPeaceAndJustice.com --Clint Eastwood
To view the video included with this press release, please visit the following link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIE2coFUV5M