In solidarity with our friends in Haiti, Faith and Money Network is reallocating the Bonjou Haiti Fund, more than $14,000, to help offset COVID and political forces that have created dire shortages.
The Bonjou Haiti Fund was established in honor of FMN founder Don McClanen to offer Haiti trip scholarships to seminary students and church leaders and has helped several people go to Haiti with FMN Trips of Perspective (TOP).
However, it is unclear when FMN will again be able to go to Haiti. The political unrest that forced FMN to cancel its 2019 TOP has abated somewhat, but it created severe economic hardship because needed goods could not move through the country and people were physically cut off from markets. And this year, of course, COVID-19 locked the country down again, deepening the food crisis and blocking access to markets, family, and medical care.
Rather than letting the Bonjou Haiti Fund sit unused for an indeterminate amount of time, the FMN board decided to reallocate the money to help our Haitian friends now. All initial fund donors enthusiastically concurred, and some even contributed additional funds.
The cash transfer departs to some degree from FMN’s long practice of keeping financial transactions out of our TOP relationships. But we have made many trips to Haiti, building lasting relationships over the years. Our friends in Ma graciously hosted several recent TOPs, sharing their homes, music and meals, and leading community gatherings to teach us about their work to stem childhood enslavement, as well as about their way of life. In their current economic difficulties, how could we not respond in the friendship we have co-created?
Eight-five percent of the total fund balance will be given to the people of Ma, and 15 percent will support Lakou Lapè’s gang-reconciliation work in Port au Prince.
FMN director Mike Little periodically Skypes with a Ma community leader, and Lakou Lapè’s director sometimes attends Little’s church via zoom, keeping their relationships close even through this time when no one can meet in person.
Please continue your prayers for the people of Haiti and do an online search for “Haiti news” to get COVID, political and other updates.
Susan Taylor | August 17, 2020
Susan Taylor is a member of the Faith and Money Network Board of Directors and was a participant in the FMN 2015 Trip of Perspective to Haiti.