EDF Gives $250,000 for Brethren and CWS Work in Haiti

Grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund are helping Church World Service ship relief supplies to Haiti, through the Brethren Service Center. Supplies being shipped to Haiti include “Gift of the Heart” hygiene kits that offers earthquake survivors the basics for personal hygiene: soap, towel, wash cloth, toothbrush, comb, nail clippers, and band aids. A worship meditation on the hygiene kit, and an accompanying PowerPoint slide show, are available for use by congregations, Sunday school groups, and others who are collecting kits for Haiti. Go to http://www.brethren.org/site/DocServer/Script-MeditationontheHygieneKit.pdf?docID=6901 to download the meditation in pdf format. Go to http://www.brethren.org/site/DocServer/PowerPoint-TheHygieneKit.ppt?docID=6921 to download the slide show. Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

Church of the Brethren Newsline
Feb. 5, 2010

The Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) has given two more grants for earthquake relief: $125,000 to support the Church of the Brethren response, and $125,000 for the work of CWS and partner organizations in Haiti.

The two grants are in addition to two previous grants of $25,000 each for the same purposes.

The $125,000 grant to the Brethren response will provide daily hot meals for children at the Paul Lochard No. 2 School in Port-au-Prince, and for children at the Kids Club at the Delmas 3 Church of Eglise des Freres Haitiens, and will support the hiring of teachers for the school program.

In addition, the grant will fund a biweekly food packet that organizers plan to distribute to families in the communities around the three Brethren congregations in Port-au-Prince, and one-time or occasional food packets for congregations or families supporting displaced earthquake survivors in other areas of Haiti, as necessary.

The grant will support purchasing food locally in Haiti or in the Dominican Republic. Purchasing the food locally will help support Haitian and Dominican farmers and others involved in agriculture on the island. Church members will be hired to purchase food in Haiti. When necessary, the program will work with the Dominican Church of the Brethren to help purchase food and transport it into Haiti. Some donations from other organizations are also expected.

The new Temporary Shelter Program for 20 families in two locations of Port-au-Prince also will receive funding through this grant. The Temporary Shelter Program is intended to give aid first to Brethren families in the Delmas 3 and the Marin church congregations who have lost their homes in the earthquake, but also to neighbors in need in the areas where the congregations have been meeting. Two pieces of land have been rented where the temporary buildings will be placed, and work already has begun to dig latrines on one of the pieces of land.

The building of temporary shelters is expected to begin Monday. Shelters will be made of canvas walls, with tin roofs, and placed on thinly poured cement floors. Construction teams will be hired locally, under the direction of Brethren Disaster Ministries Haiti consultant Klebert Exceus, along with leadership by the National Committee of Eglise des Freres Haitiens.

Additional initiatives that may be supported through this grant include the purchase of property for temporary housing and long-term church use, and eventual inclusion of US volunteers in response activities.

The sum of $2,500 from the grant has been given to the Dominican Church of the Brethren to assist 25 members of Haitian background to visit members of their families who are still in Haiti, according to Global Mission Partnerships executive Jay Wittmeyer. The group plans to travel by bus to Haiti on Monday morning, each carrying up to two suitcases of 50 pounds each of food items and other relief goods for their families.

The EDF allocation of $125,000 to Church World Service represents the Church of the Brethren contribution toward an appeal total of $1,720,672 for the work of CWS and partner organizations in Haiti. The grant will contribute to the large-scale response of the US Christian community and the worldwide Christian response through the ACT (Action by Christians Together) Alliance.

Specific response activities supported by this grant include food relief assistance, non-food relief assistance, the provision of water along with sanitation and hygiene measures, emergency shelter, psychosocial support, education support and school reconstruction, house rehabilitation, livelihood and agriculture rehabilitation, communal shelters, community assistance, and disaster preparedness and risk reduction.

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