The RICUCC Haiti Task Force was founded over 26 years ago and continues today more dedicated than ever to its Mission …..To provide education, quality health care and nutrition programs, orphan relief, spiritual support and community-based services for the people of Haiti. We do this through student and school sponsorships, individual contributions, grants and joint advocacy for positive change with other partners working in Haiti.
Over the years the Task Force has:
- Built two multipurpose buildings to house schools, churches and a clinic in Fontamara, a section of Port-au-Prince and Ti-Marche. (more detail below)
- Supported the staff salaries and funding for medicine at the clinic that regularly serves over 400 patients a month
- Sponsored individual children and schools that provide education to over 400 students
- Built wells in 3 communities
- Provided funding to improve the lives of the tiniest of Haiti’s needy – the orphans
- Built a nursery and bathroom for one orphanage
- Provided bunk beds, mattresses, and a generator for another
- Provided a solar power system for another
- Arranged surgeries for several children and adults in the US and in Haiti
- Participated in funding for the development of a community poultry farm at the New Life Community Center in Gressier.
Adult Education Tuition Assistance Program
Recognizing that unemployment in Haiti reported to be at a staggering 70% or higher, the Haiti Task Force initiated and administered an Adult Education Tuition Assistance Program. We identified students who had graduated from ‘high school’ in Haiti and wanted to go on for some technical and/or professional training and education. Approximately 32 students participated in this program and attended programs such as Agronomy, Business Administration; Accounting; Plumbing; Electrical; Journalism; etc. About two-thirds of the students who participated have found employment.
The One Egg Nutrition Program provides much needed protein to over 1200 under-nourished children in various schools, orphanages and communities throughout Haiti. (You have the info on this program)
The Fontamara Church, School and Clinic building. Fontamara is a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. A neighborhood that is very poor and growing more so. Many years ago, a pastor from Rhode Island, Reverend Dr. Daehler Hayes, and a Pastor from Haiti, Reverend John Dorisca, who was visiting his daughter in Rhode Island, met and talked about the needs in Haiti and how the UCC in Rhode Island could help. The RICUCC Haiti Task Force and our Mission was born.
Rev. Dorisca headed a group (like our conference) of 60 churches – Methodist Evangelical Baptista Bethesda or MEBB as you will hear us say. One of the first projects of our mission was to build a building for that group in Fontamara that over the years has come to house on the first two floors a school that serves over 200 children from Kindergarten through what we would consider middle school. On the 3rd floor is the church. As many as 400 people from the community will attend church here on Sunday. Next door to the school on the first floor is a clinic. This clinic is staffed by two nurses and a part time doctor. They will see between 200 and 400 patients from the community a month here. The patients pay on a sliding scale, which often means they pay very little. Our Rhode Island Haiti Task Force has been able to support that building and its activities and the medical staff for all these years.
Ti-Marche Church and School
About an hour outside Port-au-Prince in a little town call Ti-Marche (in Haitian Creole that means little Market), is another MEBB church and school. This church was built by the generous donations of two individuals from one of the Rhode Island churches after a visit there. This church is the flagship church of the MEBB – they hold important ceremonies, their annual conference and many weddings (often on the same day as a group). This beautiful church has withstood hurricanes that ravaged the land there. Classrooms run along-side the church and serve about 100 children. This is one of the communities in which the Haiti Task Force has built a well. This well serves not only the church, but the community.
For more information about the work of the RICUCC Haiti Task Force and to make additional contributions please visit our website: www.richaititaskforce.org or contact Suzanne Swanson at email@example.com or Shirley Hardison at firstname.lastname@example.org