Methodist Church in Haiti Plans for the Future of UMVIM Teams

November 18, 2016

[caption id="attachment_7848" align="aligncenter" width="689"]Photo by Simon Kim - UMNS Photo by Simon Kim - UMNS[/caption] Hurricane Mathew caused much devastation in Haiti on October 4th, 2016. UMCOR’s quick response provided emergency supplies and other assistance. See the links for UMCOR articles: UMCOR Quick Response  and Going the Extra Mile Also, given UMVIM’s tremendous history with EMH there have been several requests to send teams to support their partners and friends in the recovery area. However, from the 2010 earthquake experience we realized the best way to approach team involvement would be to allow EMH and UMCOR to do their assessments first. So, with that in mind UMCOR and the Mission Volunteer (MV) office encourages all interested teams to be patient and hold off from going, just yet. On October 17th, 2016, we had a conference call with several folks and out of that discussion we launched a strategic process. Mike Willis (first consultant from the Haiti Response Plan (HRP) of 2010 Earthquake) went to Haiti to explore EMH’s plans and assessment especially for UMVIM teams. The MV office continued to have several conversations with Haiti Partners and they too explored their own research and sent folks into Haiti. Mike returned with some valuable information and now, Tom Vencuss (second consultant from the HRP) is in Haiti now addressing the second phase. Mike and Tom had discussions with Bishop Paul, the Guest House Manager Brulan Jean-Michel, and other EMH leaders. And, the conversations are continuing as there is much to organize so teams can have the most productive experience, and be as effective as possible, in Haiti. It’s been confirmed that EMH sees this great opportunity to rebuild the partnership with the wider UMVIM community. We understand some have been frustrated with waiting but “all things work together for the good…” Romans 8:28 Here are the results and some recommendations are still being negotiated:

  • We encourage UMVIM Teams to start their planning as EMH will be ready to receive teams starting in January 2017.
  • Each Team leader must have been to Haiti before; please know this would be extremely helpful because knowing and understanding the context is vital.
  • Each Team should be encouraged to be smaller, e.g. 5 to 8 in total, giving EMH the capacity to possibly host 3 to 4 teams at a time, for now. Please note, this will expand down the road.
  • Teams are strongly recommended to have 50% of the team members with some experience of Haiti.
  • Funding recommendation to EMH and UMVIM Teams:
  1. Each Team raises $2500 for Project Funds and this amount is subject to EMH’s 5% Admin fee.
  2. Second suggested recommendation: Each team cultivates an additional $2500 from interested donors to match their initial $2500 and amount is not subject to Admin fees.
  3. These collective funds for Projects could also support the 2:1 ratio (ration e.g. a team of 5 results in recruiting 10 Haitians) developing ownership by the Haitian and the team working “WITH” them and not “FOR” them.
  4. Teams will be engaged with EMH Projects and local communities.
The MV office in collaboration with the UMVIM Jurisdiction offices are going to be, for now, the key communication network for the wider UMVIM community. We are pledging to support the initial process until EMH can take over the full communication. Please note, moving forward we are committed to support EMH. Therefore, Tom Vencuss agreed to return to Haiti sometime in January 2017 to support Brulan with the management of teams. Then too, Mike will follow up sometime the end of January and early into February 2017. In the meantime, the MV office is soliciting names of individuals or couples interested in being MV in Haiti for approximately 2 to 3 months at a time. Please forward potential names and emails to the MV office; email: If you have any further questions which I am sure you will have, redirect your request to the UMVIM Jurisdiction offices and jointly we can address your questions. The second Update is scheduled for December 1, 2016. Mission Volunteers Director, Una Jones