following is more info on the programs zynga and farmville players are supporting. this was prepared and executed by my amazing sister, laura hartman, who is a professor of business ethics at depaul university in chicago and has also been acting director of zynga's non profit efforts.
With a population of just over ten million people, Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere and the 7th poorest in the world. Fifty-four percent of its people live on less than one dollar a day; 80% live on less than two dollars. Zynga's mission of connecting the world through games is enhanced by our opportunity to support the health and education of these children and their families.
Since unemployment in Haiti is so high (estimated at 30-50%), micro-loans such as those provided by one of our recipient organizations, Fonkoze, become critical to survival.
Most Haitians do not have adequate housing, nor proper sanitary conditions. Migration to the major cities has compounded the urban housing problem. Natural disasters, including cyclones, floods, droughts, and earthquakes, have had serious effects on the housing situation, as well. The photos below were taken during Prof. Hartman's visit to these Fonkoze borrowers, as well.
FarmVille farmers' and Zynga's contributions will assist the children and their families be more effectively prepared for the housing challenges they face.
FATEM is a non-profit organization based in Mirebalais, Haiti, and originally organized to bring information technology to the people in the region, thus helping with the economic advancement of the area. More recently, however, FATEM recognized the need for a sustainable means by which to support the general education of Haitian children and to ensure that these children have the necessary meals that will permit their young bodies and brains to learn and grow.
FONKOZE, based in Port-au-Prince, is an alternative bank for the poor. It is Haiti's largest micro-finance institution and is committed to the economic and social improvement of the people and communities of Haiti and to the reduction of poverty in the country.