Columbus State Participates in Haiti Relief Effort

COLUMBUS, Ga. - Efforts are under way at Columbus State University to support the people of Haiti following the earthquake on Jan. 12.

A trio of events are upcoming, while CSU’s Department of Modern and Classical Languages opened the Haiti relief effort with a Jan. 21 film screening and discussion that provided information on, and contribution guidelines for, several aid organizations working in Haiti.

Haitian-born French language professor Cécile Accilien will lead a “Forum on Haiti” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26 in Illges Hall 318 as part of a “Haiti in our Backyard” film-lecture series. The program is free.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Office of Student Life and Development invites the community to bring monetary, clothing and nonperishable food donations to the Davidson Student Center’s second-floor game room during a noon-1:30 p.m. program titled “Cougars Making Imprints” and featuring entertainment by DJ 03. Contact Sonya Lazar at 706-568-2273 for more information.

The Red Cross will collect and distribute the proceeds from the Tuesday program, as well as from a pair of events at the end of the week involving a lecture-reception and a basketball-skills competition.

The CSU Honors Program will stage “All for Haiti,” 6-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 29 in Schuster Student Success Center room 130. The event will involve CSU faculty and Red Cross representatives discussing the earthquake and relief effort. Refreshments will be served and presenters will include CSU President Tim Mescon. Donations will be collected at the door. The Schuster center, adjacent to the Davidson Student Center, also is accessible by a walkway from the Center for Commerce and Technology. For more information, call the Honors Program office at 706-507-8251.

Also on Friday, Kappa Alpha Psi will host 'Kappa iKARE (International Kappa Action Relief Efforts) charity basketball skills competition in the Woodruff Gym from 7-10 p.m. The cost of admission — as a spectator or participant — will be $1 and-or non-perishable food. Anyone can participate, as the competition will include a three-point shoot out, two-person relay races and a slam-dunk contest. For more information, call 706-568-2273.

Regarding Haiti in our Backyard, the earthquake had prompted Accilien to complement the relief effort with an informational campaign. The series will run through spring semester with future dates to be announced. Call 706-507-8451 for more information.

As part of a Jan. 21 opening program featuring a screening of The Agronomist, Accilien and Giselle Remy Bratcher, a Haitian-American CSU Archives assistant, presented a guide to supporting relief organizations that working in Haiti alongside the Red Cross. The organizations Accilien and Bratcher highlighted are:

• CARE has established the Haiti Emergency Response Fund, with a goal of raising $40 million to support our five-year response to provide immediate relief and longer-term rehabilitation.

• Oxfam operates four offices in Haiti and has 200-plus experienced aid workers on the ground. Oxfam has flown in more than 10 tons of water plus emergency equipment, including clean water, buckets, water treatment kits, shelters and sanitation tools.

• AmeriCares has an emergency response team working to quickly distribute the medicines and supplies to hospitals and health clinics treating the injured.

• Action Aid's Strategic Crisis Fund has coordinated immediate disbursement of funds for rapid or slow-onset humanitarian response, such as providing medicines, food and shelter.

• MADRE has activated an emergency response effort through its partner organization, Zanmi Lasante Clinic. The most urgent needs are bandages, broad-spectrum antibiotics and other medical supplies, as well as water tablets to prevent cholera outbreaks.

• Partners in Health (PIH). (

• Beyond Borders is working around the clock to coordinate strategic interventions and facilitate collaboration between local organizations and international aid agencies.

• Hope Foundation of Haiti: Primarily provides financial assistance in education, health care and farming in Haiti.

• Fonkoze is Haiti’s “Alternative Bank for the Organized Poor.”