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Weekend Wrap-up: Presidential Philanthropy, Haiti News, and Upcoming Events

March 12, 2010

And just like that, another week in March has passed. As a heads-up, this weekend marks the start of Daylight Savings in the U.S.—remember to “Spring Forward” on Saturday night.

In national news, I learned yesterday, from the Associated Press, that President Obama will donate a portion of his Nobel Prize award to two education organizations that were highlighted in Pathways to Student Success. College Summit, featured on pg. 39, and the Posse Foundation, featured on pg. 51, will both receive $125,000. Additionally, $100,000 will be donated to AfriCare, an HIV/AIDS program funding organization mentioned in Lifting the Burden of Malaria, within the World Relief Promising Practice, on pg. 22. World Relief was the first to develop the Care Group Model in Mozambique, which AfriCare and other NGOs replicated to deliver key health messages to large populations.

In world news, Jonathan Katz of the Associated Press released an article, Billions for Haiti, a criticism for every dollar, which tells a story of dissatisfaction and frustration among officials in the Haitian government on how international aid money is being used. Haitian officials argue that bypassing the Haitian government in favor of U.S.- or Haiti-based aid organizations further weakens the country and cripples the effect of long-term rebuilding efforts. U.N. Assistant Secretary-General of Peacekeeping Operations, Edmond Mulet, is quoted as saying that foreign and Haiti-based NGO’s are doing “little things with little impact.” The long-held fears and distrust of the Haitian government, held not only by the Haitian people but also by its neighbors in the Dominican Republic—not to mention the history of global distrust—are all factors that affect long-term recovery. Back in January, we posted a blog on Jump Starting the Recovery with Solutions for the Long Term, in which we mentioned an initial donors conference in Montreal.  On March 31st, the International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti will take place at the United Nations in New York, which will involve officials of the United States, the United Nations, and the Government of Haiti, among others.

Speaking of upcoming events, here are a few local events happening next week on Penn’s campus:

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