The mission of Haiti Allies is to help empower Haitians to better their lives and country through education, meal programs, adult literacy, and job creation. We also lead group trips to Haiti to foster relationships with our Haitian partners and to learn from the wisdom and spirit of the Haitian people.
Haiti Allies is under the nonprofit umbrella of Community of Hope UCC and Advent ELCA Lutheran Church in Madison, WI. We have been in existence since 1999. Our primary focus has been supporting Haitian organizations that provide education and food in some of Haiti’s poorest communities. We also lead group trips to Haiti twice a year.
WANT TO TAKE ACTION?
Haiti Allies has exciting programs to offer congregations. Go to www.haitiallies.org for complete information.
1. Silver Bowl Challenge for Sunday School Kids: A video on our website explains this program in detail. It involves educating young children about life in Haiti and inviting them to raise funds by doing chores for 2 weeks. The money raised is sent to a school we support in Cite Soleil, Haiti (a shanty town on the outskirts of Port au Prince) and used to feed the students.
2. SPARE video contest for Teens/Youth Groups: SPARE stands for Sponsorship Program Aiding Relationships and Education, and it is a program we started in 2000 with our Haitian colleagues. The program pairs Haitian students with individuals and groups in the U.S. who sponsor their education all the way through graduation from college. Teens and young adults in the program in Haiti made a music video which they are eager for groups in the U.S. to view on our Facebook page. The program invites youth groups here to make a video of their own (very simple i-phone is fine!) which will be posted on our Facebook page for our Haitian friends to view and enjoy and “discuss” together through comments on the Facebook Page. The program challenges youth groups to show the videos to their congregation at a fundraising dinner/event and to invite folks from their congregation to donate at the dinner and support the SPARE program. The amounts raised will be posted on the Facebook Page, and there will be a contest to see which group raises the most. The winning group is invited to send one person from their congregation (could be a youth or adult) to travel to Haiti on one of our group trips for free to represent their congregation.
3. Journeys of Mutual Exchange to Haiti: Congregations can send individuals to Haiti on one of our group trips. It is also possible to contract with Haiti Allies to lead a trip to Haiti for a group entirely from your congregation.
4. Mission Methodology Education: One of the greatest things we have to offer is the methodology and principles that guide our work. Our 3 guiding principles are:
These principles are explained more on our website. We have put a great deal of energy and thought into how to go beyond traditional models of charity in so-called third world countries. We are committed to sustainable development and to breaking cycles of dependency. One of our newest initiatives is to help our Haitian partners establish a small factory in their school where parents of the students work to make yoga bags out of 50 lb. Haitian rice bags. Members of Haiti Allies are available to speak with local church congregations about this program, our methodology, and why we are convinced that this model is a powerful example of what missions across class and culture need to be about.
5. A Bryan Sirchio Concert or worship service focusing on Haiti and any of the programs mentioned: Bryan Sirchio, a UCC pastor and singer/songwriter, can be booked to do a musical worship service or concert that focuses on the theology that undergirds mission, Haiti, the work of Haiti Allies, the difference between charity and justice, and the new face of mission methodology.
In addition to our own website and the videos available there, we strongly suggest viewing a brand new movie called “Poverty, Inc.” Here is a link to the trailer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPmawWgpX0s