About Us

Carla Murphy | Editor and Founder

I’m a journalist and an immigrant.  My maternal grandmother worked the fields; my paternal grandfather owned them.  These United States of America could care less–and I’ve learned to find a kind of freedom in that.  The result is that I’m a cultural, class and nationality mutt. After you get over the ‘lost’ feeling, it’s a nice place to be.

I’ve always had a working class urban address and except for three years in elementary school and now, journalism school, a prep school education.  I have a BA in International Studies from New York University, an MSc in Gender and Development from the London School of Economics and an MA in Journalism from the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.  I’ve always gravitated towards public service.  Given my life experience and book learning, Develop Haiti makes sense to me.  Does it make sense to you?

Melissa Martelly | Research Assistant

I am a Haitian American who has always had an interest in international relations.  I guess it’s in my blood since my parents came to the US in pursuit of a “better life.”  I have an undergraduate degree in nursing and an MA in international peace and conflict resolution with a concentration in global health.  Most recently, I taught and worked for five months in a rural primary health clinic in Tanzania.  Since the age of 14 I’ve made service an integral part of my life.  My goal is to help improve the health of fellow global citizens so that one day they too can choose the path of their dreams.


29 Responses to “About Us”

  1. Ladies, I love the site!! Can you provide me with your most updated e-mail address?

  2. Hello Ladies!
    I stumbled across your site doing research for my internship. I am currently doing a MA in Human Rights in London. The NGO I intern for works with grassroots organizations helping kids at risk. My role is to research into new countries/projects that we could develop partnerships with. It would be great to hear from either of you about possible developing contacts.


  3. Hello Carla,

    Makes sense to me…

    Assume you are familiar Fonkoze?

    Can you give me some insight into Fonkoze and the Haitian Diaspora’s current involvement. We’ve been down there just once- were given impression that safety for Diaspora to invest and come back is critical and low hanging fruit for Haiti…

    We hope to be building schools etc. down around Jacmel in early 2011.

    Do you know Alice Speri?

    Are you by chance connected with Michele Montas??

    Best of luck!

    Brad Wells
    Executive Director
    TSC Global
    1205 Osage St.
    Denver, CO 80204
    303-825-1535 x202
    720-273-8837 Mobile

  4. We are developing a “mobi project” to help women and children who have been sexually assaulted.

    We are working in collaboration with a catholic university in the US, who has recently released a study about video games and violence, as we will be using virtual technology.

    CHRISTech MOBILE MH is using virtual technology, addressing post traumatic stress in victims, along with medical professionals and IT consultants, bringing healing directly to victims.

    We understand KOFAVIV is an org of women activists addressing the rape in the camps. We are hoping to get a contact name and email.

    Can anyone help us? Thank you, in advance.

    Marcia Lynn Eichenauer, Ceo, Founder

    • Contact information for KOFAVIV may also be sent directly to


      Thank you in advance for your kind and timely help, supporting women and children victims of sexual violence, with IT solutions. We are a faith based org, bringing together catholics and christians, to end sexual violence and slavery.

      Marcia Lynn Eichenauer, Ceo, Founder
      “lift the Name of Jesus above all names”

  5. Carla,
    As you research the ways that the Haitian diaspora can assist in the rebuilding efforts I would suggest a hidden opportunity to which each Haitian/American can relate.

    Most of your readers benefit from the quality concrete construction methods of industrialized societies. Unfortunately in Haiti the people are dealing with millions of cubic feet of rubble caused by poor quality concrete. The low quality concrete killed many, and history will repeat itself if we don’t find a solution to mixing concrete on the ground with shovels. (Ask yourself how many buildings in NY or Miami are built using small shovels)

    We have a plan to make quality concrete the foundation of Haiti’s economic recovery. The diaspora is uniquely qualified to move this initiative forward and I would ask that you take a look at the plan and our blog posts.

    Plan: http://www.theconcretemd.com/The_Haiti_Prescription.htm

    Blog: http://cementtrust.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/concrete-crisis-in-haiti/#comment-22


  6. Carla, I am looking for ideas to improve my blog. I must say your blog is very nice and I like a lot the presentation.

    kenbe pa lage.


  7. I hope you don’t mind me reaching out. We were looking at your blog, which is great by the way, and I thought you’d be interested in the project I’m working on. I’m producing a non-profit film on Haiti’s food crisis and the grassroots sustainable ag-based recovery movement emerging there called Hands That Feed. I’m guessing you’re already aware of the importance of this topic. We also have a short Intro Video at http://www.handsthatfeed.com.

    It’s pretty urgent because we only have 5 days to reach our fundraising goal for on Kickstarter. If that target is not reached, all money we’ve successfully raised is returned to the donors and the project dies. The good news is, a generous donor has just offered to work outside Kickstarter and independently match the next $2,000 in donations that are made. This is why I’m reaching out to the blogosphere and wondering if you might be willing to post something on your blog, or send to your list?

    Just to provide the reference, the Intro Video for the film is at http://www.handsthatfeed.com. An embeddable version from Vimeo is available at: http://vimeo.com/13301985. And a little embeddable widget for blogs made by Kickstarter is also available.

    If you’re able to share in any way, I would be incredibly appreciative.

    Thank you

  8. Oh and Carla, I’m not sure if you’ve discussed what I’m going to mention elsewhere in your blog but here goes. A few months ago, I discussed with a friend of mine based on certain factors that many NGOs in Haiti would be hiring their own kind so to speak rather than Haitian-Americans (specifically those who are qualified and possess cultural adeptness) for managerial/senior level posts and the like. They will also offer a lower salary to a Haitian-American compared to an American. I know of several individuals who have proven this. A few minutes ago, I received the following e-mail from a friend of mine currently stationed with an NGO in Haiti:

    Working for an NGO isn’t all rosie! The bureacracy get’s frustrating after a while. I had put in 2 requests for expats, with the idea of hiring Haitian Americans who have experience and passion for Haiti. I was informed by HR that they do not want to hire Haitian Americans for “various” reasons. Apparently, they don’t want the National Office to have resentment. I guess, I slipped through the radars. Can you believe that shit? So, they would rather hire a blanc, then hire Haiti’s own people! Grrr…I’ll fill you in later.

    What do you think of this? FYI, when my friend sarcastically mentioned “she slipped through the radars,” she’s referring to her complexion as most people assume she’s the “American” girl next door when they meet her and are generally shocked when she says she is Haitian (as you know, we Caribbean folk look like anyone in the world from Africa to Asia) ….Now, I’m not a huge fan of NGOs to begin with, but despite this, I would think that at the very least, they would consider hiring nationals to assist in the work they do on-the-ground. Just two weeks ago, I went to visit a friend in NJ. I met her boyfriend as well, and we began chatting about working in Haiti. My friend’s bf bluntly said “DO NOT state in your cover letters that you are Haitian, and if they ask in an interview how you learned the national languages, tell them in the university.” I looked to her bf with a smile, and said “Yup, you got it..I’ve been saying this for a few months now.”


    • Hey, I’ve been hearing the same, off and on for a couple of months. I’d love to do the story but I’d need a Haitian-American to go on record, naming an organization and names, about the bias.

  9. Carla,

    Thanks for response. OK, I have no idea how to obtain your e-mail on the site! Also, do you have Skype by chance? I’m interested in obtaining more feedback on your work in Haiti. Thanks! y.

  10. Hi Carla,

    Hope that your trip to Haiti is going well. I read your first post and the focus on the shit mound was a bit misplaced I thought. Maybe after you have talked to people, you will be able to focus on them and not on the dismal landscape of a destroyed Haiti that you are witnessing now. Of course it all depends on your mindset and how much you value interaction with the “common” folk. I believe you do.

    By the way, I see that you are now writing for the Haitian Times. I’m curious, did you make friends with Ilio Durandisse’s paper before or after you joined HaitiRewired? Maybe you could tactfully suggest that those brothers at the Haitian Times read some Frantz Fanon. With their history of supporting coups and representing the oligarchs they desperately need to asap.

    Best of luck,

    • Hi Chantal, Nice to see you on here. Hope you’re well. Re: HT, I linked up with them a while before becoming active on HR.

      Re: shit, people, landscape, mindset, common folk, all I’ll say is that I generally think about what I write before I post. Sometimes I make mistakes. I didn’t make one however, with this post. Re: interacting with the common folk, right now I don’t have running water and I bathe out of a bucket (I wash the important parts). Toilet doesn’t flush either (not good for the touch of diarrhea that came on this morning). Not sure how much more “at one” with the common folk you’d like me to be.

      But the important point I think is worthy of making, here, is your presumption that the common folk living around the shit that I smelled wouldn’t want it talked about. I take it as a fact of human existence that none of us like to live around shit. I don’t need to interview someone to ask them what it feels like. The only answer is: it sucks. Clean it up. And no one can do that if someone with a voice doesn’t identify it as a problem.

      • It was Bush who said: “Fool me once, won’t be fooled again” wasn’t it?

      • You have a touch of Montezuma’s revenge do you? That’s interesting, last time I was in Haiti. I was in my element and didn’t suffer one uncomfortable moment from being in the beloved country of my birth. Does “a touch of diarrhea” make you one with the people? Really? That would actually make you one with the tourist, I would think.

        FYI. Shit is used as fertilizer. It nourishes the earth and is a natural function of the body. It is highly concentrated urea — high in nitrogen and minerals. Did you know that the soil of Haiti is precious? Well, it is. Scientists have discovered that Haitian soil is very high in antibiotics. So remember that when you see the people of Haiti in their ceremonies worshiping the mud — it’s quite possible they know something you don’t.

      • You misunderstand the point. What makes me one with many people here is that I do not have access to basic social goods, i.e. running water and sanitation. One of the things that I don’t have in common with many people here is that I can leave.

  11. Hello Carla!

    Found this blog “by accident” and so thankful I did 🙂 I’ve read several pieces causing me to nod my head in agreement quite a few times. I just wanted to let you know of “Repiblik,” a project my colleagues and I have been working on since 2004. Repiblik (Haitian Creole for “republic”) is a social media project highlighting the efforts of Haitians at home and abroad who have been doing what they can (some with minimal, others with many resources) to advance their country’s future since 2006.

    We are also severely under funded and have primarily funded this doc on our salaries. We have taken a break from shooting until we gets jobs (producers are in grad school) or a miraculous grant. If you check out the trailer on the website, it’s a very old one and was done by an amateur for free, hence the poor quality. If you happen to be in NYC sometime, I could show you the 12 min preview clip on DVD. Anyhow, I genuinely support your blog – EXCELLENT/BRILLIANT idea – and I’ve bookmarked it as well. Many of the views mentioned here, I’ve been promoting for some time but to no avail.

    I will hopefully be working in Haiti in the next few months and hope to contribute to this blog as well. I’ve never blogged in my life so should be interesting 😮 Chapo ba to you and your colleagues working on this project 🙂

    • Yaz, thanks for the encouragement. I appreciate it. Will check out the site and get back to you. My internet access here in Haiti isn’t constant or is slow, so just email me privately if it’s been a while. Thanks again. I especially look forward to you contributing.

  12. Donating to Haiti… and Beyond

    Might be of interest to your readership. Keep up the good (and interesting) work!


  13. Melissa! Excited to hear/read about all the research you’ll be doing with this. Let’s see how you can incorporate global health, peace and conflict resolution, nursing, and all your other interests for the betterment of the mother land.

  14. Hey Carla,
    I’m a graduate student at Columbia University getting my masters in Latin American and Caribbean studies. I am doing some research on Haitian hometown associations for a paper I am writing and I’d love it if you could give me some guidance in reaching out to hometown associations in New York. I’ve been met with several disconnected numbers!

    Awesome blog.


  15. Hi Carla,

    This is a very good initiative. I did Urbanisation and Development at LSE, run by Sylvia Chant, and I’ve been building the site The Global Urbanist – http://globalurbanist.com – with other DESTIN graduates over the past year. Would you be interested in contributing an article there to promote this blog?

  16. Kerr, thanks for stopping by and your note. It made me smile though, as the context for your well wishes is pretty bleak! I’m aware of human history, too but I’m more informed by what we can accomplish, especially now, in the information age. Challenges abound but so do solutions… perhaps they just need more sunlight.

  17. Carla, My Dad was a carpenter and my Mom was a housekeeper/maid for rich people in the Catskills. I am the first 4 year college graduate in the history of my family. The power brokers never ask those in the front lines what they want and need. Even doctors examine one in sterile pretty offices. Haiti is just the latest example of arrogance, greed and corruption that you are seeing. I refer to the Jews and Palestinian situation, the Navajo-Hopi interface and the British in Northern Ireland, not to ignore the slaughter of Tamils in Sri Lanka. I could go on ad nauseum. The ” peoples gathering ” in Bolivia barely mentions Haiti. We wish you the best of luck with your project. Meanwhile we have 2300 homeless street people in Phoenix, Az. and lots of farmland. I almost forgot the number of journalists killed this year for their critical reports.

  18. Amazing blog and idea, Carla. I’ve bookmarked it and look forward to watching it grow!


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