Rhode Island Conference-United Church of Christ (RIC-UCC)
The Haiti Task Force is affiliated with and now a Division of the RICUCC with the Division VP having a seat on the Board of Directors. The task force oversees and funds a number of projects in Haiti and accompanies mission delegates down multiple times a year for service work.
Groups began traveling to Haiti in 1990 with the now retired Conference Minister Rev. Dr. H. Daehler Hayes to partner with the Mission Evangelique Baptitise Bethesda (MEBB) upon his meeting the Rev. Jean Dorisca, founder of the MEBB churches. Since that time many groups have gone to Haiti and the task force has funded the construction of several churches, schools, a health clinic, an orphanage nursery, solar system and bathroom and installed 3 water wells in church courtyards. It has provided a generator, mattresses and bunk beds for two orphanages as well. Several churches provide the salaries for the clinic staff quarterly along with money to stock the medicines. A number of people provide sponsorship money to keep many students in school each year. A young adult vocational training program supports the tuition for students to complete a number of areas of study. Other money has been provided to help with teacher salaries.
Throughout the years a number of medical teams have traveled to Haiti to provide assessment, treatment and referrals to a number of people in the villages. A baby was brought to RI for brain surgeries and a young man was brought to a hospital in Massachusetts for bi-lateral knee replacement. Both successful operations could not be done in Haiti.
The Haiti Task force has a number of volunteers to collect and send down many donations with the groups and all are so appreciated. During the first year following the earthquake, the HTF focused on emergency relief for many folks in Haiti affected by the earthquake. It now is helping 3 orphanages and several schools rebuild since being damaged by the quake. A new endeavor is to develop food programs for children due to the extreme hunger and malnutrition so prominent in Haiti. A collection was taken recently for agronomy students to plant a number of fruit trees in a village. More work is being done to assess potential food sources and opportunities to fund such.
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