How well did we respond to Haiti?
Last year when the terrible earthquake happened in Haiti, the Christian & Missionary Alliance responded by setting up a fund to which people could donate to assist with relief and development. So what were the results? How well did we respond to this country in great need?
The C&MA raised nearly $1.7 million for Haiti, and the largest donating church was CCC. I don't share that so we can be proud, yet instead be excited about what God continues to do IN and THROUGH the people at CCC.
I made a personal call to Phil Skellie, who is the Director of CAMA Services, which is the relief and development arm of the C&MA. When I spoke with him, he had actually just recently returned from a trip to Haiti, and his insights were interesting.
- A big problem in Haiti now is too much relief. So many organizations have provided not just basic food and water, but also many other kinds of assistance. This hurts the Haitian businesses who also sell these goods because people will not buy what they can get for free.
- Other organizations are sending teams from America and other countries to assist with rebuilding, but in many cases they are rebuilding without involving the Haitians. Instead, what the Haitians need are jobs.
The C&MA quickly decided to take a different approach, which would be less focused on relief efforts and more focused on future development. The bulk of the $1.7 million will get spent over the next few years to focus on home reconstruction (using methods that will withstand earthquakes), job creation and training, and agricultural projects.
I believe this is a great strategy. It's much better to help the Haitians help themselves, rather than continue to make them dependent on the generousity of others.
So the C&MA has spent just under $300,000 so far in Haiti, and here is a breakdown of how that was spent, for those of you who are accountant types.
- $141,300 went for food, water, and shelter provided through partner agencies
- $43,715 went for survey trips and direct relief to Haitian churches in the C&MA
- $10,425 went for short-term teams to provide training in post-traumatic stress counseling, construction, and project management
- $89,105 went for construction equipment, food-for-work payments, and travel
Thank you for your caring and generousity to the people of Haiti. It's great to be part of a church and denomination who continues to show the love of Jesus to people in need.