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More Questions About Wyclef’s Yele Haiti Charity

Met Wyclef a few months ago, and was quite impressed with his planning knowledge around his charity. This was a stand around over some coffee informal chat – so to be honest it certainly wasn’t some sort of in-depth talk like an investigative reporter might do. He’s a bit on the shy side, and I was rather shocked when he walked up to me and introduced himself. I had seen him in the airport lounge a half dozen times, but he was always surrounded by security. I don’t approach celebrities when I see them, because I feel that is a violation of their privacy.

I see all the stuff Yele is doing in Haiti with local people while travelling from place to place. One of their ongoing campaigns is to keep the drains along the streets clear so that runoff doesn’t pool and form potential locations for cholera to fester. They also hire crews of locals to sweep the streets, collecting some of the millions of bottles and water containers which seem to cover Port au Prince. Their bright yellow shirts are likely to appear anywhere, but I don’t know enough about all they are working on to say whether there is any overall strategy to it – or what other things they may be working on.

I suspect that when they are down to picking on Wyclef’s charity, there is a bit of cover up on how badly some of the International and US Governmental AID organizations have effed up. Almost everywhere you turn, little of the money promised has come through. Even money supposedly committed winds up being diverted, sometimes for nefarious reasons. Worse, there continues to be a massive level of confusion as to how to prioritize projects – despite the needs being pretty straightforward. Lastly, there is apparent collusion between some of those very same “Aid” and “US Governmental” organizations and the criminal drug cartels. If the Cartels are big enough to buy whole governments – they certainly can buy their own AID agency to promote and assist with moving their merchandise.

There was supposed to be $12 billion in International and US AID money… How that never got spent could well make the boys at Enron blush with envy. They are picking on Wyclef’s $16 million… But what about the $3.2 billion donated to the Clinton/Bush fund? As far as I know, none of the Clinton/Bush money has been “disappeared”, but there certainly are other fruitful areas to audit.

Wyclef Jean Defends Yele Charity, Again

The Washington Post is reporting that musician and activist Wyclef Jean is responding to a recent report by the New York Post questioning the spending of Jean’s charitable organization, the Yele Haiti Foundation, again. The New York Post reported that the foundation collected $16 million in 2010, but less than a third of that went to emergency efforts. The Post also says that $1 million was paid to a Florida firm that doesn’t appear to exist.

Jean says that he is proud of what the foundation has accomplished after the earthquake almost two years ago. He says his Yele Haiti Foundation rebuilt an orphanage and set up a system of outdoor toilet and shower facilities in one of the largest shanties in the Haitian capital.

The star told the Miami Herald:

“The Post [New York Post] conveniently fails to acknowledge that the decisions that Yele made were a response to one of the world’s most catastrophic natural disasters in modern history and required an immediate humanitarian response,” Jean said in a written statement. “We made decisions that enabled us to provide emergency assistance in the midst of chaos and we stand by those decisions.”

We find it interesting that media outlets are so focused on following Jean’s paper trail while ignoring others. What about countries that pledged to send aid to Haiti and still have yet to do so — including the United States, because of congressional shenanigans? The lesson here should be that people should actually donate money to organizations that are in the business of rebuilding after disaster relief, not just famous faces that are known for being musical geniuses. The two don’t translate, much like the numbers.

Read more at the Washington Post.

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2011 in Haiti

 

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Wyclef Jean Shot in Haiti at Campaign Stop

Singer, and abortive Presidential candidate Wyclef Jean was shot yesterday while attending a campaign rally for Mickey Martelly, one of the two candidates in the runoff election. Wyclef appears to be OK, and was released from the hospital last night with a wound to his right hand.

Haitian-American singer Wyclef Jean bid for president ended with an  August disqualification was released from the hospital after being shot int he hand.

Singer shot during Haiti campaign

Wyclef Jean, the American singer and music producer, has been shot in the Haitian capital while campaigning for a presidential candidate Michel Martelly.

The 41-year-old former member of music group The Fugees was in a stable condition in hospital in Port-au-Prince on Sunday, being treated for a bullet wound to his right hand.

His management declared via Twitter: “We have spoken to Wyclef, he is ok. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.”

Following last year’s tragic earthquake, the hip-hop sensation declared he would stand for president, only to be told he was inelegible. Instead he returned to Haiti to campaign for Michel Martelly.

The shooting comes as polls open for a presidential run-off on the Caribbean island.

On Sunday Haiti’s 4.7 million voters will choose between a political newcomer, entertainer and singer Martelly, 50, and former first lady Mirlande Manigat, 70, a law professor and opposition matriarch.

It follows a chaotic first round vote on November 28 that dissolved into fraud allegations and unrest.

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2011 in Haiti

 

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Wyclef Jean Yele Charity a Bust

More problems surface for Wyclef. Last week there was the revelation that he owed the IRS $2.1 million in back taxes. He better be careful, he could be sharing a cell with The Blade!

No question that Wyclef knows how to play the media… The question is does he have the skills necessary to manage a country through what will be the most ambitious recovery effort in history?

More importantly, is Wyclef really a departure from the sort of corrupt politician and government which has crippled the country and every single effort to move forward?

It’s really beginning to look like he doesn’t… and isn’t.

Hope I’m wrong.

Star’s Candidacy in Haiti Puts Focus on Charity

A few months before Wyclef Jean, the hip-hop star, declared his candidacy for president of Haiti, the representative of a struggling tent camp made a pilgrimage to the new headquarters of Mr. Jean’s charity. He arrived, hat in hand, at the eight-acre compound the charity leased after a fund-raising bonanza in response to the Jan. 12 earthquake.

But the representative, Carel Calixte of the Christ Roi camp, could not get past the gate of the $15,000-a-month property, where grapefruit and palm trees surround an unfilled swimming pool and two model homes for the homeless sit empty. So, accepting a vague promise of assistance, he left.

No help ever arrived, Mr. Calixte and other leaders at Christ Roi said, even though the charity, Yéle Haiti, lists their camp among several dozen it supports. Yéle’s president, Hugh Locke, provided dates of several water deliveries to Christ Roi. But camp leaders insist that their water has been supplied not by Yéle but by two other nonprofit groups.

At least four more camps that Yéle claims to support also maintain that they have received nothing from Yéle — “Not even a cookie!” Ricardo Dorvelus, a camp leader, said — and still others characterize Yéle’s assistance as short-lived or token, like the television donated to one camp that broke halfway through the World Cup.

Mr. Jean, who is considered a potential front-runner in the campaign, said his charity was saving lives, especially in “the roughest communities.” He dismissed the accounts from camp leaders as “hearsay” that reflected “the overall fear and anger in these camps after nearly seven months of hardship and fear.”

Mr. Jean also expressed displeasure that his presidential bid has renewed scrutiny of his charity and its history of poor financial management “at a time when I am trying to make a genuine difference.”

How Mr. Jean, a celebrity with no experience in politics, has guided Yéle Haiti offers one barometer of his ability to lead. The earthquake raised the musician’s profile and brought his small nonprofit group more than $10.5 million through July 31, of which just under a third has been spent, according to the charity.

In the past, Mr. Jean blurred boundaries between his personal, business and philanthropic enterprises. His charity paid his production company for benefit concerts featuring Mr. Jean, and paid his Haitian television station for promotions that also featured him. After the earthquake, the television station, its building badly damaged, broadcast rent-free from Yéle’s new estate.

Derek Q. Johnson, who became Yéle’s chief executive this month after Mr. Jean stepped down to run for president, said, “On the whole, it’s clear that missteps have been made, both in execution and in judgment, some of which apparently are still unfolding.”

On Monday, Euro RSCG Worldwide PR announced that it had resigned from all public relations work for Yéle and Mr. Jean’s campaign. The firm offered no explanation.

To his many ardent supporters here, Mr. Jean’s championing of the Haitian cause is more important than any missteps at Yéle — and Mr. Jean has acknowledged making mistakes.

Jocelyn Augustin, 38, a pregnant mother of three who lives in a miserable camp beside a municipal dump, said she idolized Mr. Jean even before his charity gave the camp’s residents tents branded with the Yéle logo. “After God is Wyclef,” she said.

To Mr. Jean’s skeptics, indications that he has poorly handled money at Yéle and in his personal life — with $2.1 million in tax liens against his house in Saddle River, N.J., which Mr. Jean says he is addressing, and an unfinished Miami mansion lost to foreclosure — raise concerns about a presidential candidate for a shattered country pledged billions in reconstruction aid.

After the earthquake, it was widely reported that Yéle’s 2006 tax filing revealed $350,000 in questionable payments to two companies that Mr. Jean and his cousin control, including $250,000 to a Haitian television station they had just acquired.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2010 in News

 

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Wyclef’s Personal Statement on the accusations against Yele Haiti

This is Wyclef Jeans personal statement on Yele Haiti, the charity he founded for his country refuting criticism that his foundation is feeding his own pockets…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2010 in General

 

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