Almost as soon as the crisis in Haiti occurred, the word came out that you could text “Yele” to 501501 to easily donate money. This resulted in over 2 million dollars being raised by the organization to aid those in need. As is usually the case when this type of money is involved, some decided to dig into Yele’s financial records. What they found raised some eyebrows but, in the grand scheme of things, was irrelevant.
Yele, established in 2005 by Haitian artist Wyclef, raised 1 million dollars in just 24 hrs to help with this current situation. Shortly thereafter, the Smoking Gun released Yele’s tax returns along with allegations of “a lackluster history of accounting.” They point out payments paid to companies affiliated with those working within Yele, including alleged payments made to Wyclef himself for shows done in the name of charity.
Wyclef returned to the US after helping dig up the bodies of his fellow countrymen and find graves for them, to learn of the accusations against his organization. He took it personal, calling it an “attack on his integrity.” In a response posted on YouTube this past Saturday, he points out a few things that should be obvious:
- He is from Haiti. It’s where he lives. Yele existed long before this recent disaster. Wyclef is not just the face of some charity.
- Yele is a non-governmental organization, which was done presumably so that they could have more flexibility in the methods they used to help Haiti. Including penetration into areas they might otherwise not have access to.
- Just because a show is organized to raise money for charity doesn’t mean all involved in the production of that event will do so for free. Equipment, venues, and musicians still need to be paid for their work.
- You can donate to another charity. Wyclef doesn’t care if you donate through Yele, he just wants you to donate.
Wyclef denounces the statements made against him and Yele, pointing out that he’s put $1 million of his own money into the organization. He also says that, in the next few days, he will release footage of the efforts being made by Yele in Haiti. He believes this footage will give everyone more information to make an educated decision as to Yele’s intentions.
I believe Wyclef, via Yele, is doing all he can for Haiti and has been for years. There is no real proof of any real corruption at this time and these statements are simply diverting attention for the real story here: A natural disaster in Haiti has killed thousands and the survivors need our help. You can donate $5 via Yele by texting the word “Yele” to 501501. If you don’t trust that method, Use one of the many other options available.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Wyclef Responds to Accusations Against Yele « Black Web 2.0