Relief effort formed for Haitian community following earthquake

One of Rick Bausman’s friends and business partners, Jean Samuel Altema, lost his home in the recent earthquake in Haiti. — Lucas Thors

Rhythm of Life, a nonprofit founded by Island musician Rick Bausman that uses ensemble drumming to enrich people’s lives, is leading a relief effort to help the people of Ile-à-Vache — an island off the south coast of Haiti that was devastated in the recent earthquake.

Bausman has done extensive work in Haiti through his time leading the Milokan Project, which seeks to bolster the spiritual, cultural, social, and economic strength of Haiti. 

He is deeply connected to the people and communities there, and because of his ties, he is committed to overseeing donations and making sure that any money given to help Haiti gets to the right place. “We know about the islands. Everything is a little trickier during times like this. They need to bring as much food and water over as they can. We guarantee 100 percent of your donation will be directly used to save lives in this community,” Bausman wrote in a press release about the initiative.

“I was in northern Haiti when the earthquake hit around 8:15 am Saturday, August 14. I was standing alone in a patch of corn, and the ground heaved gently under me,” Bausman wrote. “In those few seconds, a few hundred miles away, many people died, including several friends of mine.”

He added that many properties and homes were demolished, including that of his business manager and close friend, Jean Samuel Altema. 

“People have very little food or water. Without help now, more will perish,” Bausman wrote.

In an outline of the relief effort, Altema wrote that a store in the port community of Aux Cayes has plenty of food to buy and transport to Ile-à-Vache.

Altema wrote that one transport boat can fit 150 bags of beans, rice, and corn, along with 200 gallons of oil per trip. Each trip will cost around $5,750. 

“We need maybe three boats weekly if you can, we will go to each village to distribute,” Altema wrote in the outline. 

Go to the donate section on the Rhythm of Life website,, if you wish to make a donation.