- November 30, 2010
An update of UMCOR’s relief and recovery efforts in Haiti.
During the autumn board meeting of the General Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) executives reported on the progress of recovery efforts in Haiti since the devastating January 12 earthquake there and requested the release of funds for important programs.
In the months since the disaster, UMCOR has provided assistance to survivors and built a foundation for a large-scale, long-term recovery effort, the executives said. United Methodists and other faithful supporters have donated more than $40 million, and the organization is carefully distributing those funds to ensure that they empower the Haitian people and build a sustainable infrastructure.
UMCOR directors at the board meeting approved the release of funds for two important projects. One of these will support farm families affected by the earthquake. It is modeled on the Heifer International program, in which farmers receive the gift of an animal and then share resources, training, and the animal’s offspring with other farmers.
The second release of funds will allow for the continuation of United Methodist Volunteers in Mission’s three-year Haiti Response Plan. It is expected that by the end of 2010, the Haiti Response Plan will have brought 82 volunteer teams to serve in Haiti. Another 170 teams are scheduled for 2011, and the first three months of 2011 are already filled to capacity.
Read the full story of UMCOR’s progress in Haiti and the organization’s six-month report to its board of directors. Watch the CBS Religion Special on Haiti, Religion’s Response to Disaster, which began airing December 5. The show features the work of UMCOR and an interview with Melissa Crutchfield, head of UMCOR’s international disaster response program. Check your local listings.
Transitional Schools Bring Hope to Haitian Children
In just six weeks, UNOPS completed construction in November of nine school buildings in the Corail resettlement camp in Haiti. The construction, which was undertaken on behalf of UMCOR, will provide a safe learning environment to 900 children displaced by the earthquake. Read more and see the information to the right regarding a new education support grant.
By late November, more than 1,700 Haitians had died of cholera in Haiti, according to the World Health Organization and others. As many as 400,000 Haitians could eventually contract the disease, with half of the cases likely to occur in the first three months of the epidemic. Read about actions UMCOR’s partners in Haiti are taking to confront and stem the spread of cholera and see the new grant information to the right.
Hurricane Tomás swept through Haiti on November 5, causing flooding in low-lying areas, but provoking less damage and fewer deaths than expected. The greatest threat posed by the storm turned out to be its effect on the spread of the cholera epidemic.
Mission Travel Study
After eight weeks of personal research, email correspondence, and online chats, nine United Methodists met in Miami in mid-November to participate in the Mission Travel Study to Haiti. They met with churches and conferences in ministry with the Haitian Diaspora in Miami and the Dominican Republic before heading to Haiti for a five-day immersion study of ministry there. Read more.
Voices from Haiti: Nicolette
Nicolette (not her real name), 16, faithfully brought her sister to the YWCA program in Haiti. As the staff got to know her, they recognized Nicolette’s desire to learn. They enrolled her in the YWCA leadership seminar for young women and supported her education. Read how the seminar gave Nicolette the courage to change her life. UMCOR is supporting the work of the YWCA with a grant; see information to the right.
November Grants Approved
UMCOR funding for the following programs was approved in November and will be released to UMCOR’s partners in Haiti in the first week of December:
- • Cholera Relief and Prevention: $99,020 UMCOR partner GlobalMedic will deploy a Rapid Response Team to Haiti to provide water purification units to families affected by the cholera outbreak in the larger Port-au-Prince area.
- • University Scholarship Program: $82,000: In collaboration with the Methodist Church of Britain and the United Church of Canada, UMCOR will support the Methodist Church of Haiti’s University Scholarship Fund, which will allow a total of 33 students to complete a three-year university program.
- • Psychosocial Support: $10,000: Through partner organization the YWCA, UMCOR is funding a program of psychosocial support and education.