The Haiti Medical Project attained a 30-month milestone this summer in June, reports Dale Minnich who serves as a volunteer fundraiser for the project. Also this summer, Lancaster (Pa.) Church of the Brethren surpassed its fundraising goal of $100,000 to raise an actual amount of $103,700, reported by Lancaster member Otto Schaudel.
The Brethren World Mission group also is offering substantial support, with a goal of providing $100,000 to the project.
“The Haiti Medical Project has grown rapidly,” Minnich reported. “Overall, it has been an amazing 30 months since Haiti Medical Project began in early 2012.”
Developments in 2014 include the doubling of the number of clinics held per year to a projected total of 48, which will serve about 7,000 people, with total expenditures expected in the range of $135,000. In 2013, 24 clinics were held with almost 3,500 patients seen.
The fledgling endowment has over $225,000 in hand. There is a growing focus on preventative care, and benefits seen from the 2013 addition of a small building and purchase of a vehicle.
The Haiti Medical Project emerged out of the experience of a Brethren medical delegation that worked in Haiti after the devastating earthquake of 2010, under the auspices of Eglise des Freres Haitiens (the Church of the Brethren in Haiti) and Brethren Disaster Ministries. “This initial response–though just a drop in the bucket–launched a series of conversations over the next 18 months to envision a way to make a more significant and on-going response to the great needs that were identified,” Minnich wrote in his report on the 30-month milestone.
In fall 2011, American Brethren including Paul Ullom-Minnich, a physician from Kansas who had been on the medical delegation of 2010, met with Haitian Brethren leaders and physicians willing to lead a mobile clinic team. A plan was developed for 16 clinics in 2012 costing about $30,000 and staffed by a team of Haitian doctors and nurses. At those first clinics, more than 1,500 people were served.
Because of limitations in the Global Mission and Service budget at the time, funding was sought through “over and above giving” from Brethren congregations, groups, and individuals, with an endowment fund initiated to provide long-term financial stability.
“The Brethren have responded generously to this challenge, led by an initial grant of at least $100,000 by Brethren World Mission to be paid over several years,” Minnich reported. As of the end of 2013, a total of $71,320 in support had been given by Brethren World Mission and the group projects that the $100,000 goal will be reached by the end of 2014. “This lead gift was extremely important in getting the project moving and in witnessing to others who also could provide support,” Minnich said.
The project is working with the Church of the Brethren Global Mission and Service and Haitian Church of the Brethren leaders to create some additional features of the partnership, Minnich reported. These may include an annual consultation in Haiti to review and plan together for social service ministries, and a new Community Development Team to work alongside the Mobile Clinics on community health issues such as water purification.
— Dale Minnich, a volunteer consultant for the Haiti Medical Project, provided the bulk of this report.