|Photo by Kendra Johnson
|A mother and child at one of the mobile clinics offered by the Haiti Medical Project.
The Haiti Medical Project is receiving a major multi-year grant from the Royer Family Charitable Foundation that will enable a doubling of the number of communities in Haiti that are served by mobile clinics. The grant in addition will help the project purchase a truck and will contribute to an endowment fund.
A $104,300 grant this year contributes $20,000 toward the Haiti Medical Project endowment fund, $34,300 toward the purchase of a truck, and $50,000 to double the number of clinics in the coming year. The additional money means the Haiti Medical Project will be able to provide another 20 one-day clinics serving 5 more communities quarterly in 2014.
The foundation’s intention is to continue to support this additional number of clinics each year for five years.
Haiti Medical Project
The Haiti Medical Project is a partnership of US Brethren with Eglise des Freres Haitiens (the Church of the Brethren in Haiti) to provide mobile clinics in under-served communities where Haitian Brethren have congregations. A team of Haitian physicians, nurses, and other workers provide the medical care.
The project grew out of the experience of a Brethren Disaster Ministries medical delegation to Haiti shortly after the earthquake that devastated Port-au-Prince and other areas in 2010. American Brethren physicians were part of the delegation, and witnessed the need for ongoing medical services in Haitian communities.
The effort has been funded by gifts from congregations and individuals, and has the support of the denomination’s Global Mission and Service program. Leading the project is Paul Ullom-Minnich, a physician from central Kansas who convenes the coordinating committee. Former Mission and Ministry Board chair Dale Minnich is a volunteer consultant for interpretation for the project.
Royer Family Charitable Foundation
“The Royer Family Charitable Foundation seeks to improve the quality of people’s lives internationally and domestically through sustainable programs that have a long-term impact on individuals and communities,” says the foundation’s mission statement. “The foundation’s aim is to support basic needs for life and health while encouraging long-term self sufficiency. The foundation prefers to support efforts that have a tangible impact, defined measureable goals, and permit a relationship between the grant recipients and the foundation.”
|Photo by Kendra Johnson
|Medical staff with patients at a mobile clinic of the Haiti Medical Project.
The foundation was started in 2008 by the family of Kenneth Royer and his wife Jean, who is now deceased. They were former owners of a flourishing florist business, “Royer’s Flowers and Gifts,” started in 1937 by Kenneth’s mother Hannah, and now passed on to the next generations of the family. Kenneth’s father, Lester Royer, was a licensed minister in the Church of the Brethren.
Now Kenneth and several of his children and grandchildren are focusing their sights on doing good through the work of a family foundation.
Becky Fuchs, pastor of Mountville (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, is one of the Royer family who sits on the board of the foundation. “I was the one who brought the idea to my dad,” she said in a telephone interview, explaining how the foundation became interested in the Haiti Medical Project.
She had become aware of the Church of the Brethren work in Haiti following the earthquake, and was impressed by the Brethren Disaster Ministries project to build 100 homes in Haiti. After seeing a presentation and meeting with Dale Minnich, she and the family gained a more in-depth understanding of the nature of the project.
Speaking for the foundation, Fuchs expressed excitement at the prospect of supporting the church’s medical work in Haiti. “One of our desires is that our grants make a noticeable difference in people’s lives,” she said. The opportunity to help the Haiti Medical Project serve twice as many people is important to the foundation.
Fuchs added that she is thrilled “that my parents’ hard work all their lives can make this kind of difference.” She hopes her family’s contribution will inspire others to see that making a difference is possible.
More information about the Haiti Medical Project is at www.brethren.org/haiti-medical-project .