Haiti Task Force
Haiti Task Force
Providing education, quality health care, orphan relief, spiritual support and community-based services for the people of Haiti for over 30 years. Watch this video with former Conference Minister Kent Siladi and Haiti Task Force Co-Chairs Shirley Hardison and Suzanne Swanson, discussing the work of the Haiti Task Force (June 2020)
Our Story and Our Ministries
SNEC UCC Haiti Task Force with the Mission Evangelique Baptiste Bethesda
Rev. Dr. H. Daehler Hayes (right) on one of his many trips to Haiti
The Haiti Task Force grew out of a serendipitous relationship between two pastors – one from Haiti, the other from Rhode Island. The SNEC UCC Haiti Partnership has as its foundation the former RI Conference UCC Haiti Task Force which was developed when the late Rev. Dr. H. Daehler Hayes, from Rhode Island, began taking mission trips to Haiti.
This ministry was initiated by the invitation of the late Rev. Jean Dorisca, the pastor of the Mission Evangelique Baptiste Bethesda (MEBB) churches in Haiti. Rev. Dorisca was in RI visiting his daughter Rose Desilus and met Rev. Hayes at a church service. This was the beginning of a long-term friendship and partnership which has expanded into many programs which continue to this day. The medical clinic is a very significant part of this relationship.
During the 1990s, groups raised funds and made mission trips to Haiti to begin the construction of a large building to house both a church and school in Fontamara, Haiti. It was Rev. Dorisca’s dream to keep expanding the building and its opportunities for the people living in that large community.
|Tony at the clinic|
Another mission trip, primarily consisting of medical personnel, was made in November 1999. Initially the group went to assess the availability of medical services in that community and to provide some very limited healthcare to the folks in the church. However, that trip proved to be the beginning of medical services being developed right in that same compound of the church and school. The group had brought some funds with them and, upon discussing the need for a clinic with Rev. Dorisca, met with a contractor to start the construction of an addition to that very large 100 by 150-foot building built into the side of a hill.
|Clinic's Fontamara Building 3|
It wasn’t long before nurses and a part-time doctor and lab technician were hired to provide basic medical services to patients in the Fontamara community. The staff has increased in size a bit, but two of the original and very committed nurses, Elvie and Denise continue to provide services to the many patients each day. The staff sees patients of all ages including newborns. It is well situated to provide health exams for the school children as well. Patients are referred to a higher level of care as needed.
The salaries of the medical staff have been supplemented by two of the churches in Rhode Island since the beginning. Haitian crafts are brought back by members of each mission trip and sold locally to fund some of the money needed for the staff to buy medications for the patients. Donations are always needed to help support the operation expenses of this very vital clinic that serves as a beacon of hope in this very densely populated community.
Wells in Haiti
Another major health initiative of the Haiti Task Force is providing clean water to communities in Haiti. Access to potable water in Haiti is a vital need that the Task Force has been able to address over the years. It is so necessary for drinking, cooking, bathing and the washing of clothes. So many regions in Haiti are without good water which we, in the US, often take for granted. Water typically has to be brought in from other areas and it is not unusual to see children carrying buckets of water very long distances to their homes before they start their school day.
It has been amazing to see people from different churches raise funds to support the installation of water wells in areas in Haiti such as TiMarche, Archaie, Leferone, Gressier and Miragoane. The cost typically ranges between $5,200 and $7,000 for each well, dependent on its location. Groups and individuals are welcome to donate a portion or the entirety toward the cost to install additional wells. This source of water supply makes such a difference in the health and welfare of the people in Haiti.
Any amount is truly appreciated!
Over the years the Haiti Task Force has:
- Built two multi-purpose buildings to house schools and a clinic;
- Helped build two churches and repair others damaged by the 2010 earthquake;
- Provided financial support to the clinic in Port-au-Prince that serves between 400 and 700 patients a month;
- Sponsored individual children and schools that provide education to over 600 students;
- Worked with our Haitian partners to build school desks and benches, paint schools and orphanages, install two metal roofs and pour concrete flooring for a home and orphanage;
- Provided tuition assistance for over 30 young adults to attend professional and technical schools;
- Provided over 2,000 children in schools and orphanages with high-quality protein in the form of an Egg a Day.
- Funded the installation of wells in seven communities bringing fresh water to over 1000 people in each community;
- Provided funding to improve the lives of the tiniest of Haiti’s needy – the orphans.
- Built a nursery and bathroom; Provided bunk beds, mattresses, a generator, and a solar hot water system
- Brought a child to RI for brain surgery that could not be performed in Haiti; and a young man to Massachusetts for bi-lateral knee replacement.
Through all of this we have fostered a strong fellowship that brings the people of Haiti together with their Southern New England brothers and sisters in the truest meaning of loving one another.
Join a Mission Trip! Contact the co-chairs for information.
Our Mission Team:
- Carolyne Ainsworth
- Pierre Jonas Azolin
- Lori Ferreira
- Gilfred Gauthier
- Patricia Gross
- Janet Igo
- Wendy Merriman
- Jaime Papineau
- Linda Sable
- Yvette Sousa
- Lora Spalt
- Patricia Sylvester
- Barbara Thompson