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Posts Tagged ‘Wyclef Jean’

Wyclef’s Haiti Charity May Have Been a Big Scam

When Hurricane Jeanne struck the island of Haiti in 2005, Wyclef Jean was a perfect spokesman for recovery efforts. As the leader of the Fugees and a top-selling solo artist, he was the world’s best-known Haitian face, so everyone seemed enthused when he and a partner founded the charity Yéle Haiti with the stated purpose of improving life for Haitians through education, nutrition, sports, housing, the arts and environmental projects.

Well, that once-promising project is over—and it didn’t end well.

Turns out the whole thing may have served as a personal slush fund for the singer, his family members and his employees–though he now portrays himself as a well-meaning martyr who endured a “crucifixion” at the hands of those researching his organization’s financial history.

Yéle encountered significant PR and legal problems some time ago. Despite taking in $16 million in donations after an earthquake further devastated Haiti in 2010, the organization failed to deliver many of its promised services–from building temporary residences and medical centers to renovating public spaces.

Looks like the Yéle pot overflowed thanks to the generosity of strangers and celebrities like Matt Damon and George Clooney—and all that money was too tempting to resist. According to the organization’s own accounts, nearly half of all the cash collected went to pay for accounting and legal fees, employee salaries, and travel expenses for essentials like “a private jet that transported Lindsay Lohan from New Jersey to a benefit in Chicago that raised only $66,000.”

Oh my.

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Timberland Pledges ‘Five in Five’

Photo: Yele Haiti and Sebastian Petion.

Clothing and accessories company Timberland has made a pledge to plant five million trees in the next five years – “five in five” – in China and Haiti, a continuation of the company’s reforestation efforts that goes back a decade.

The company says it will go above and beyond the five million mark with the “Timberland Earthkeepers Virtual Forest,” a Facebook app that will let visitors plant virtual trees and view other content. Activity in the virtual forest, which will be online through October 31, 2011, will prompt the planting of up to one million real trees.

In Haiti, Timberland has partnered with nonprofits Trees for the Future and the Yéle Haiti Foundation on Yéle Vert. Yéle Haiti and its founder, Wyclef Jean, met with controversy earlier this year over alleged mishandling of donations meant for Haitian earthquake relief.

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Expanded ‘WSJ’ Saturday Edition Debuts Tomorrow

The Wall Street Journal will debut a larger Saturday edition tomorrow featuring four sections instead of three (with New Yorkers still receiving Greater New York) and a new design. The “Money & Investing” section will henceforth be “Business & Finance.” And the paper is adding two new sections: “Review,” which will be edited by Gary Rosen and contain in-depth features, book excerpts, essays, and other coverage; and “Off Duty,” a style, fashion, food, and tech section edited by Deborah Needleman.

In addition, WSJ is launching “WSJ Weekend Conversations” today with guest Wyclef Jean, who has dropped his bid to be Haiti’s president. These segments will be filmed each Friday at 10am at New York’s Lincoln Center and available on the following Saturday. “WSJ Weekend Conversations” will feature interviews with artists, musicians, and newsmakers.

Wyclef Takes Outrage Over Disqualification to the Web


Wyclef Jean has taken his frustrations about being disqualified from the Haitian presidential election to the Internet, releasing a song, “Prison for the CEP,” via Twitter with a call for “equal rights and justice.” His anger is falling on mostly deaf ears since the decisions of the council are final. Still, he says he’ll challenge the ruling, which concluded that residency issues barred him from running.

Newsweek enlisted two Creole speakers to translate the song, which was recorded in the Haitian dialect to respond to those who’ve said Wyclef can’t speak the language. The translation reads like one long whine about how Wyclef was wronged and it’s not him that’s been rejected, but the will of the people.

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