While Wyclef has dispatched to Haiti to help his countrymen with aid, his former Fugees bandmate Pras has chosen to hold the home fort down via New York’s Haitian Consulate.
The “Ghetto Superstar” lyricist is among the many Haitian-Americans in the Tri-State Area who have ventured to the local consulate to volunteer.
“We’ve been through a lot,” Pras told MTV News on Thursday (January 14). “But I’m confident with what Wyclef is doing in Haiti — I mean, he got on a plane the following day. He’s going guerrilla-style. What I’m doing, mobilizing up here — what we’re doing is a joint effort.”
Pras is urging assistance in the form of supplies in the immediate term, whether it be water, food or clothing.
The Brooklyn native has been overwhelmed by the support pledged by President Barack Obama and the individual donations from citizens across the country.
“America has been so gracious,” he said. “We’ve been going through our own economic crisis and people still find money to donate to Haiti.”
In the long term, however, Pras hoped all the money and supplies being donated actually make it to his native country. He cited past issues with the government where aid had not been distributed fully to residents of the island. He said an independent watchdog organization should be launched to coordinate the financial efforts of the Red Cross, Yele and Care.org.
“When the dust settles, Haiti just went back to the Ice Age,” he said, citing the damage to hospitals, schools and homes.
Molaine Milfert, the communautaire at the Haitian Consulate in New York, echoed Pras’ point.
“Our headquarters in Haiti was flattened out,” she explained. “We lost six employees [at that location]. So it’s very difficult to contact any of the executive staff over there. But we are working on our own. We’re working with whatever source to provide information, help people get the aid they need and the help they need in Haiti. We have a team of health-care professionals being coordinated. We’re being assisted by Jet Blue and they can start transporting groups of doctors and nurses, up to 30 of them, on Friday and Saturday.
“What just happened activated the community part of the consulate,” she added.