And I can’t tell you how… how moved I am that everybody cares. It means a lot because for so long, no one cared. For so long, no one knew us. And this really means a lot.
– Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon
Those were the words from a tearful Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon earlier this week on Larry King Live, during a mini telethon which CNN held to raise funds to aid Haiti which was ripped apart by a huge earthquake on January 12th.
Islandistas, we have to tell you – Garcelle’s words really grabbed us – the emotion in her voice when she said “no one cared… no one knew us” was really moving. It made us think of the burden and conflicted emotions that her and other Haitians have to bear loving a country that can be so unremittingly sad.
This is really what it had to come to for the world to look at Ayiti, to pay attention to the injustices that have been wrought upon it since they first declared independence in 1804.
But at least now they are looking.
And a huge cast of stars, including island folk in Wyclef Jean, Rihanna and Alicia Keys are getting together tomorrow night for what could be one of the biggest telethons of all time – the Hope for Haiti telethon, spearheaded by George Clooney and MTV Networks.
The telethon is going to be seen across just about every well-known network – MTV, VH1, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, BET, the CW, HBO, CMT, PBS, TNT, Showtime, Comedy Central, Bravo, E! Entertainment Network, National Geographic Channel, Oxygen, G4, Centric, Current TV, Fuse, MLB Network, Epix, Palladia, SoapNet, Style, Discovery Health and Planet Green, Canada’s CTV, CBC Television, Global Television and MuchMusic.
It will also be aired on the international networks of certain channels, including BET International, CNN International, National Geographic and MTV Networks International.
Over HALF A BILLION homes world wide will see the telethon – estimates are that it will be available in 640 million homes.
Donations will go to Oxfam America, Partners in Health, Red Cross, UNICEF and Wyclef’s Yele Haiti foundation, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and United Nations World Food Programme, with funds raised being split evenly between the organisations.
Islandistas, you know what you have to do tomorrow night. More than anyone else, we need to step up for Haiti because that is our Caribbean family. Rihanna, who will be performing from London for the show, put it well when discussing it on a Norwegian talk show today.
“In the Caribbean, we think of ourselves as one big family, one country. We’re all together. We all represent each other….
It’s like it happened to Barbados.”
Or Trinidad. Or Jamaica. Or Puerto Rico or Curacao. Let us be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.