An ecumenical group of people involved in medical missions to Haiti has offered colleagues in the Episcopal Church and beyond a set of “core principles” that ought to guide those efforts.
The partnership program is an effort of the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti to coordinate and facilitate the desire of Episcopalians outside of Haiti to come to the diocese on mission trips.
The attendees’ covenant statement said all organizers of mission trips should develop a partnership agreement that include:
Performing a community assessment that would document community resources, identify needs, listen to what the community wants, what current initiatives are in place, needs and history of other missions.
Developing a plan for sustainability, which the statement describes as “empowerment of the community through partner (Haitian and American) accountability, trust, honesty, and commitment with the ultimate goal of ‘It will be there when I am gone.’”
Forging a medical mission-to-recipient partnership that will be a community-to-community effort of people working side-by-side.
Coordinating and communicating about resources between medical mission organizations and with Haitian organizations, as well as paying attention to scheduling of trips and identified needs to be served.
Clearly defining the intent of the mission, including having measurable goals.
Developing and implementing ways to evaluate outcomes and assess what is accomplished.
The Rev. Frantz Cassesus, Diocese of Haiti canon to the ordinary, who attended the symposium, has reviewed the covenant statement with Bishop of Haiti Jean Zaché Duracin, and the bishop is pleased with the work initiated at the symposium, the Rev. Clelia P. Garrity of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Delray Beach, Florida, told ENS.