Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Brethren Disaster Ministries offers workcamps in Haiti.

Brethren Disaster Ministries is seeking volunteers to help build homes in Haiti, as part of a new disaster recovery project following hurricanes and storms that caused widespread destruction in Haiti last year. This longterm response project was initiated earlier this year by Brethren Disaster Ministries and the Church of the Brethren Haiti Mission. It has been funded by grants totaling $305,000 from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund.

Jeff Boshart is serving as the Haiti disaster response coordinator, working with Haitian consultant Klebert Exceus of Orlando, Fla., in cooperation with Haiti mission coordinator Ludovic St. Fleur and the Haitian Brethren congregations.

"This is an exciting chance to serve and worship alongside our Haitian Brethren," said the announcement. "So far, Brethren Disaster Ministries has helped build 40 homes in Haiti. While we are thankful for progress made, there is so much more to be accomplished. We will be building 60 more homes, and volunteers are needed to meet this goal."

Three Haiti Hurricane Response Workcamps are planned for 2009: on May 30-June 8 (registration is due by May 11), Aug. 7-16 (registration is due by July 6), and in October (dates to be announced). Volunteers will work, eat, and worship with Haitian Christians and help rebuild homes in the mountainous Mirebalais area and the coastal city of GonaĆ­ves. Workcampers also will worship with the Haitian Brethren in the capital Port-au-Prince and other preaching points.

Cost will be from $1,000-$1,200, from Miami, Fla. The fee will cover meals, lodging, in-country transportation, and travel insurance, but does not include round-trip transportation from the volunteer’s home to Miami.

Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older. Other requirements include excellent health, stamina for hard work in a hot climate and two-mile treks up mountain paths, a passport, appropriate vaccinations and medications (malaria medications are recommended), and sensitivity and flexibility with regard to cultural differences.

In addition to home rebuilding, the broad-based project also includes a micro-loan program to fund the purchase of farm animals and support small businesses, shipment of meals for local schools, medical supplies for clinics, providing canned meat from the Mid-Atlantic and Southern Pennsylvania Districts canning project, and training and capacity building for Haitian leadership.

For more information or to register for a workcamp, go to or call 800-451-4407.

In other disaster relief news, the Emergency Disaster Fund has given recent grants in the amounts of $60,000 for the Brethren Disaster Ministries’ Hurricane Katrina rebuilding site 4 in Chalmette, La.; and $5,000 for a CWS appeal following extreme flooding and flood damage in several areas of the United States.

Source: 5/07/2009 Newsline Extra

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