"Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality."-Rom. 12:13
After living one of the countryside communities for an extended period of time in the summer of 2011 it became apparent that the people in many of these areas need MANY things. Together with community leaders we feel God has led us to the following plan which does include some short term solutions but concentrates more long term ones. We are committed to working WITH the community and churches- not to create dependence upon an outside organization, but to help them establish programs and modify their way of living to benefit for years to come and hopefully to serve as an example for other communities to follow. The following are ideas and ways we have identified to contribute to the solution- each of which can use YOUR help- either financially through information/ideas. They are all intertwined so to do one without the others will not benefit these people we are trying to work alongside. Most importantly we need to share the love of Jesus Christ with them and the Gospel message but we can not do just that- they have legitimate physical needs which we have been made aware of as well as spiritual ones. But, as a pastor in one area said to us, "To feed them, give them clothes, care for their medical needs, give them clean water, etc. is wonderful and will be a HUGE help in this community. BUT, if we stop there we have only succeeded in creating a society where people will live longer and healthier lives but they are still spending eternity apart from Jesus Christ".
Clean Water: (as of November 2012 a well has been drilled and a clean water system is now serving the community of Chaveneau!- PRAISE GOD)
We have heard it said that "the cost of treating just one person with a waterborne illness is often equal to or more than the costs associated with providing clean water for an entire year for an entire village". Clean water is essential to the health of these communities. We have a few other remote communities we are working with who have a need for a clean water system but do not yet have a plan for another system.
Sanitation and Hygiene:
Many of the homes in and around the villages we work with do not have latrines. People just go to the bathroom on the ground outside their homes. The animals (and people) walk through that which has been excreted and then travel into the house, then the children play on the floor, etc.. You get the idea. Sorry to be so graphic but this is reality. Much needs to be done in the form of education about the need for latrines at each home (or at the very least at central locations within the village and certainly at the school) and about the transmission of certain diseases/parasites, etc... The estimated cost for "latrines" (with materials) is about $650 US each.
Food and Nutrition Program:
There is an obvious need for a healthy diet among those living in the countryside. Many of the children are suffering from protein deficiency as well as other nutritional deficits (so are the adults). We need to work with organizations/churches/individuals to provide meals and vitamins for the children daily (perhaps through the local school?). Then we hope to work with leaders in the community to develop more effective ways of growing crops and raising livestock to provide for themselves and thus improve nutrition and educate the community so they implement these ideas. This will provide both a short and long term solution and would be a great long-term project for a church or group of people who plan to return to the area over and over and really make an investment there.
There are many medical needs- mostly due to the malnutrition and problem with parasites often more prevalent in the countryside. We are providing medical teams to travel to these areas but we also are in desperate need of supplies (band aids, antibiotic cream, pain relievers, etc...). Groups or individuals can make up "kits" to give out to those in the community who have a wound, burn, or other minor injury so they can care for it at home. Just collect a bunch of supplies, break them into smaller baggies or something and get them to us for distribution. This is a great idea for a Sunday School class or small group. Think of what you would put in your own personal medicine cabinet.
Practical ways YOU can become involved:
Finances: Hold a fund raising event (yard sale, car wash, cookie/bake sale, etc...) and send the proceeds to Hearts United with Haiti at the address on this site. The money raised will be used for what we determine is the greatest need unless you specify your desire for the funds to go toward something specific. Head over to our give page to check out how you can donate to our ministry.
** Note: Know that financial contributions help TWO people in need- those we buy items from (often street
vendors who are providing for their own families) and those we purchase the items for. This also helps
boost the local economy.
Physical donations: Donate items that you collect. Current "needs" are:
Thank you in advance for your generosity!