The recent disaster in Haiti has touched many of us. I'm pleased that IEEE has identified a path for us as individuals and IEEE as a whole to provide support in this situation.
Below is IEEE President Pedro Ray's letter to the membership on this, encouraging your support of both the immediate relief efforts, for which there are many existing paths, and though the IEEE foundation and an IEEE matching grant, support for the longer term rebuilding of the educational and technical infrastructure that is essential for real recovery. I support Pedro's message and welcome his initiative in making this happen.
IEEE has taken on an increasing awareness and enagement in Humanitarian activities .. reflecting the reality that Engineers and Technolgists are problem solvers .. and have much to contribute to humanity. Recent initatives such as the Humanitarian Challenge, Humanitarian Network, and Sustainability initative join ongoing previous activities such as our conference on sustainability and the Society for the Social Implications of Technology in both laying the professional foundation for this area, and also facilitating direct engagement to address some of the challenges we face.
Here is President Ray's letter:
Dear IEEE Members:
The tragedy in Haiti is still only in the first stage of triage with valiant efforts being made to alleviate the immediate suffering and provide the basics for sustaining human life. However, challenges just as daunting lay ahead for reconstruction. One of these will be the re-establishing of engineering and technology education and professional activities in Haiti.
As a global transnational organization with nearly 400,000 members and as a leader in advancing technology for humanity, IEEE is uniquely positioned to help address these challenges. To this end, IEEE has established the IEEE Haiti Engineering Educational and Professional Development Rebuilding Fund. Individuals may contribute online or donate by check to the IEEE Foundation and mail to the IEEE Development Office, 445 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854. Donations from IEEE organizational units (societies, sections, conferences, etc.) will be made using existing governance processes. IEEE will match the first US$50,000 in donations. Because Haiti is in IEEE Region 9, disbursements of funds will be coordinated through that Region.
The IEEE Board of Directors just last November developed a policy that allows IEEE and its Organizational Units to contribute to third-party nonprofit organizations that provide disaster relief. The disbursements may be in the form of grants to academic institutions, charitable organizations, or used for such things as equipment, services, scholarships and classroom and laboratory materials. They also may be used to support programs developed for retraining or other professional activities to help engineering and technology professionals in Haiti.
IEEE continues to encourage donations to other organizations for the immediate relief effort and to help bring some semblance of stability to the lives of the people of Haiti. But we are hopeful that the generosity of our members – and others associated with IEEE -- will also add to the long-term development of Haiti through this IEEE fund.
Please direct any questions to the IEEE Contact Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2010 IEEE President and Chief Executive Officer