By Scott Vair | Vice President of Projects
It's been a busy few months in Haiti. We started by joining together with other ministries to assess the situation of orphans in Haiti, to find out how this horrible earthquake had affected children, to find out how the church in Haiti was responding, and to find out how we as ministries committed to the local church could come along side them in their efforts.
World Orphans developed an Orphan and Vulnerable Child (OVC) program designed to help churches implement a structured program -a holistic response - in a scalable manner.
We identified 10 Haitian churches to implement the program and found churches in the U.S. willing to join the effort in the form of a church-to-church partnership.
Each church in Haiti agreed to care for 20 orphaned or vulnerable children in their community with the critical elements being education, food, medical care and trauma counseling.
We continued to work in partnership with organizations like Together for Adoption and Hope for Orphans as we began the training process, equipping churches to do what they were already doing in a better, more structured way.
Since then each Haitian church has formed a team of 3 to 4 OVC volunteers that are making this ministry happen. Each church has identified 20 orphans or vulnerable children in its community for the program and the schooling and feeding has begun.
Last week we continued the equipping portion of the program, again working in partnership, as we had all 10 pastors and their OVC teams together – about 60 people - for trauma counseling training. The idea being to equip the OVC team members that are forming relationships with the children, visiting them in the homes regularly, to better cope with the trauma and grief they are experiencing.
We partnered with Crisis Care Training International – a ministry started by Dr. Phyllis Kilbourn who has over 40 years experience helping children in crisis – including 20 years as a cross cultural missionary in Liberia during the Liberian civil war.
We also secured regular medical treatment for all 200 children in the OVC program through a medical clinic run by a local Haitian church (1st Baptist Church of Pernier), in cooperation with medical professionals from the U.S.
They will see the children to assess their current medical condition, establish a baseline and file, and provide any care/treatment needed. They will receive follow-up care as needed but not less than every 6 months. Each church will maintain medical records for the children.
This initial treatment will be done over three Saturdays, starting last weekend. We’re also working on getting immunizations for all children that haven’t received those vital shots.
Great things are happening. Praise be to God.
But there is still one Haitian church in need of a Western Church partner to support this ministry. For more information about the OVC program and how you can help, click here.
To read more from Scott Vair, click here to visit his blog.