It was such a pleasure to open Monday’s e-edition of the Portland Press Herald to find the front-page focus on Konbit Sante (“Maine volunteers haven’t given up on Haiti”). This nonprofit’s mission and actions epitomize the most effective kind of philanthropy now working for and in Haiti.

Malfeasance, history, natural disaster, thoughtless intervention and broken promises have all contributed to the crippling, debilitating poverty so close to our wealthy shores. Even our own individual props in other forms – well meant and shared in good faith – while helping shorter-term issues, often create welfare webs that disguise longer-term, more helpful solutions.

As someone who has traveled a bit in Haiti in recent years and read much of what the experts have to say, I have discovered Konbit Sante’s example to be exemplary among other good causes throughout the country.

Executive Director Nate Nickerson and his board, associates and supporters strive successfully to empower a fragile public health system, working with, for and among Haitians in the know, on the ground. They are aware of their limits and pursue a clear mission without hubris or unnecessary flourish.

Peter L. Knauss

St. John’s, Newfoundland, and New Harbor