“If I had depended on Yéle,” said Diaoly Estimé, whose orphanage features a wall painting of Mr. Jean and his wife, “these kids would all be dead by now.”
Even as Yéle is besieged by angry creditors, an examination of the charity indicates that millions in donations for earthquake victims went to its own offices, salaries, consultants’ fees and travel, to Mr. Jean’s brother-in-law for projects never realized, to materials for temporary houses never built and to accountants dealing with its legal troubles.
On the ground in Haiti, little lasting trace of Yéle’s presence can be discerned. The walled country estate leased for its headquarters, on which the charity lavished $600,000, is deserted. Yéle’s street cleaning crews have been disbanded. The Yéle-branded tents and tarps have mostly disintegrated; one camp leader said they had not seen Yéle, which is based in New York, since Mr. Jean was disqualified as a presidential candidate because he lives in Saddle River, N.J., not Haiti.
This summer, the charity foundered.
And on Wyclef’s FB page, he announced that Yele has been shut down:
According to Jean’s spokesperson Melanie A. Bonvicino, ” At present my client Wyclef Jean and his legal team are working “assiduously” to resolve any pending issues with respect to Yele prior to its closing, as Mr. Jean continues his tireless commitment to his “beloved” country by remaining steadfast in his efforts to encourage the global community to join him in supporting ongoing relief efforts in Haiti.
“Wyclef Jean helped pay for the independent audit of Yele because of his commitment to both the organization and the people of Haiti, and while most of its findings to do not in any way relate to him he is nevertheless committed to ensuring that things are made right,” according to Mr. Jean’s attorney, Avi Schick.
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