Wednesday, February 03, 2010
Haiti Orphan Relief Team (HORT)
Sweet Sleep is a member of the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO). Several of their partners and multiple US disaster relief experts have come together to create an initiative called HORT, Haiti Orphan Relief Team. Its 15-member team deploys for Port-au-Prince, Haiti on February 14, 2010 to implement a short and long-term strategy for displaced and orphaned children in the wake of last month’s devastating earthquake.
HORT is comprised of disaster response specialists as well as leaders from non-profit organizations that are members of the CAFO. I have agreed to serve as the deputy logistics director.
The team will create a communications infrastructure with a radio command system which is used by FEMA. Team members will train Haitian church leaders and orphanage directors to use the system to communicate their needs and to provide updates on their situations. Additionally, our team will be using a GIS mapping system to chart the coordinates of each orphanage and Christian church we can learn of. This infrastructure will become the basis of a permanent network that will provide immediate and long-term assistance where and when it’s needed most.
The specific mission is to support the churches of Haiti to care for orphaned children. This will be accomplished by pairing U.S. churches with Haitian churches, to provide ongoing resources and support. HORT will collaborate with and train Haitian partners to sustain this effort beyond the deployment period. The mission goes far beyond today’s immediate needs of Haiti’s orphans as HORT establishes a network of support for these children for years to come. The Haitian churches which link with orphanages will later be linked to churches in the United States who will walk alongside them in rebuilding a sustainable Haiti and strong children.
HORT partners are: CAFO, World Orphans, UNC School of Public Health, Together for Adoption, Sweet Sleep, and Orphan Lifeline. Information and giving opportunities to HORT can be found at www.haitiorphanrelief.org.
Haitian churches will be matched with US churches who are interested in long-term ministry opportunities to walk alongside their brothers and sisters and children in Haiti. People can also keep up with the happenings in Haiti on our website www.sweetsleep.org as well as this blog or the link on the home page in the next few days and beyond.
I would greatly love to have everyone’s prayers for this work---for the details, planning, fundraising, travel, health, safety and execution of everything involved. I’ll keep you posted over the next 11 days…oh, my.
See you in the next blog,