Los Angeles, CA (BlackNews.com) -- According to Rosanita Ratcliff of the Black Global Development Corps, "Many African-Americans are overlooked during times of natural disasters. This was especially apparent during the Haiti earthquake disaster. News outlets showed White organizations and their members helping with victims, rescuing them from buildings, feeding them. But, where were the images of Blacks? It is a hot topic of discussion in the Black community. Black Global Development Corps is trying to solve that problem."
Rosanita Ratcliff, developer of the Black Global Development Corps found when talking to business owners and people who wish to volunteer that education and information were missing in the Black community. “Many wish to help in some way. They want to donate money and goods, help rebuild, and volunteer. The issue that arises is a lack of information. What are the necessary steps to volunteer during a disaster? Where can they get local training? Where are they welcome to volunteer? The Corps is not just for those who already have the skills and are ready at a moment‘s notice when a volunteer opportunity arises, but for those who wish to gain those same skills.”
The purpose of the Black Global Development Corps is to train people of African descent to help before, during and after natural disasters in the communities in which they reside and in other communities as well. The Black Global Development Corps disburses information on how to register as a minority owned business, how to register as a city, county, state and federal contractor, how to search for and find contracts, how to sign up as a business located in an empowerment zone, how to find trade missions, information regarding disaster relief training, donation and volunteer opportunities, and other educational information.
“We want to help protect the legacies and cultures of those affected by disasters and assist them with gaining the skills to truly compete in the global economic market.” Says Rosanita Ratcliff, co-founder of the Black Kinship Network and developer of the Black Global Development Corps.
The main focus of the Black Global Development Corps right now is earthquake relief in Haiti. The earthquake in Haiti on January 12, 2010 destroyed the infrastructure of Haiti, left millions homeless and killed over 100,000 people. The economic and social effects of the earthquake will be felt for years to come, not only in the Haitian community, but in the international community as well.
The Haitian Diaspora Marketplace sponsored by USAID sets aside over 2 million dollars for Haitian professionals in the Diaspora to return to Haiti and help invest in Haiti. The HDM was started in August 2009 and was not widely publicized.
"The Haitians throughout the world need to know that this fund exists. Especially in the wake of the earthquake. There are many professionals who wish to return and help rebuild. A part of me wants to the fund to be increased. If the fund is advertised, then perhaps more people will donate to it, allowing for more Haitians to participate in the rebuilding process," says Rosanita Ratcliff, writer of the petition.
The petition may be found at www.citizenspeak.org/node/1890, on Facebook through the petition application and at www.thepetitionsite.com/1/extend-the-haitiandiaspora-marketplace.