I know as a compassionate supporter, your heart will have been touched by the plight of the children and their parents in Haiti. As you may know, Siloam has supported a children’s feeding programme in Haiti since 2004 which has literally saved hundreds of children from starvation before the recent tragedy visited them.
Haiti is a country with a long history of suffering which began shortly after Christopher Columbus discovered the Caribbean Island in 1492. Prior to that, it probably enjoyed idyllic paradise conditions before the European invaders arrived.
Then, it became a Spanish colony where slaves were bought and sold and exploited on the plantations. In 1697 the western portion of the island renamed San Dominguez was succeeded to France.
After much turbulence in 1804 the island became the first American territory after the USA itself to rebel against colonial rule. Since then the country has never really enjoyed any kind of prosperity except for a brief period in the 18th century. The island is also synonymous with suffering much of which was brought about by ‘Papa Doc’ the infamous dictator who ruled between 1957 and 1971. The country has never enjoyed the political stability of other Caribbean nations and this recent tragedy has only heaped further suffering and misery on an already impoverished and dispossessed population.
On Saturday last it was announced that this was the worst disaster ever encountered by the United Nations. As the days have gone by, we have noticed despair being overtaken by anger and frustration as the aid effort has taken longer than anticipated. But, when infrastructure is destroyed, the ‘government’ is in disarray and with lawlessness stalking the streets, is it any wonder that it will take time for the aid effort to get into full swing.
Hilary Clinton’s message last Sunday morning emphasised that the US government would do its part which no doubt brought some hope for the despairing population. But, news reporters are replete on the ground offering mostly criticism where advice and positive encouragement would have been preferred!!!
So, what will Siloam do bearing in mind we are not a big relief organisation with vast resources that we can call on, just caring supporters like you who want to see that their Christian compassion is shown in practical ways to a people really hurting right now. Siloam’s response will be to maintain and expand our feeding programmes which in the past have helped hundreds of children who would otherwise be starving. We will increase our Survival Pack disbursements to help mothers with food, medicine and other relief as the resources begin to flow. Already 4 containers weighing 20 tons and each costing £6,000.00 have been organised by our partners Childcare Worldwide from their Bellingham office. Siloam as partners will work with Childcare Worldwide to help them in their desperate effort to bring urgently needed relief to those in most need. Our Haiti Director Mendelson Cesar will oversee the programme and make sure your donation is spent wisely and frugally without duplication or waste, which compassion given without co-ordination can often bring about!
Well, how can you play your part which is why I am writing to you now? I know that in the past supporters like you have been more than generous. Many of you gave to our Christmas food parcels in Portugal and Bulgaria and others supported the medical need for a young girl in India to have an urgent heart operation. So, how will your donation help a child in Haiti? Where will your valuable cash go? What will your giving really achieve?
Well let me tell you. Gifts given by Siloam through Childcare Worldwide will be used in a compassionate way by caring co-workers on the ground to reach the poorest of the poor. It will be the children and the mothers who will get most of your support, they are the ones that desperately need food, medicine and clothing. All these can be supplied by our Childcare Worldwide co-workers when they know that your donation is on its way.
You can have confidence that Siloam will spend your hard earned money wisely. – In 2007, 83.91% of our income was spent on direct aid overseas and in 2008, 72.74%.
A gift of £25 will feed a family of 4 for a month. Just think of that your gift which would only represent a small portion of your next week’s grocery bill could help a family of 4 stave off starvation and avoid malnutrition which will cause a multitude of life threatening diseases.
I hope you will give what you can, please use the coupon at the bottom of this letter or pick up the phone and give us your Credit Card details. Your help is needed now, your love really does matter to those in Haiti awaiting your prayerful response.
P.S. Siloam is not a huge humanitarian or disaster relief organisation, every kilo of help that you will give will provide our workers with the opportunity of sharing the love of Jesus Christ in a compassionate and understanding way that may also help rescue a soul from a lost eternity at a time when many are considering the eternal fate of their dead relatives.
Richard Norton Director-Siloam UK
Risking hazards to save entire families, Christian teams meet on-going needs (left) Paul and Monise with their family (right).
People around the world took note of the alert. Haiti would suffer yet another destructive weather front. Yet global supporters of Siloam Christian Ministries, in partnership with Childcare Worldwide (CCW), provide ongoing critical care.
‘Residents near our UK head office in Royal Leamington Spa share convictions with other far-flung supporters,’ explains Siloam UK Director Richard Norton. ‘We want to relieve
suffering and recognise that the impoverished benefit from a helping “hand-up” rather than a mere hand-out. On the ground CCW partners distribute Critical Care Packs.
Everything from food staples to basic hygiene products protect family health.’
Such Haitian families include Paul and his wife Monise.They live in a simple shack with their little boy Widnaika and daughter Wendy as well as Monise’s mother. Paul tries to plant vegetables but the poor soil does not yield good crops. Now countless families like this suffer in the wake of devastation. Survivors face starvation and deadly hazards such as cholera from contaminated water. Yet CCW team members risk these conditions to distribute emergency packs.
Just £45 ensures that a family receives food, clean water and other staples. Months of follow-up will enable Haitian families to move forward beyond their crisis to an encouraging future.