Mission Volunteers, General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church 

Haiti Response Plan/UMVIM Haiti

Volume 5, Number 4

January 2, 2013

In This Issue
2013 teams arrive
"Safety is our first priority"
First 2013 teams arrive tomorrow 

Our New Year will be off to a busy start tomorrow, January 3, with the arrival of the first three teams of the year. The teams, from Upper New York, South Carolina and Rocky Mountain Conferences, will disperse to Bercy, Leveque and Furcy. The next day, January 4, we will assist a water filter team on their way to Arcahaie and an HRP Pennsylvania Conference UMVIM team will be on their way to Torbeck.


As the 2013 calendar currently stands, we have almost 90 teams scheduled for the year.


This week, we welcome our new team coordinator, Sarah

Marsalis-Luginbill, to our Haiti-based staff. Danette Dennison Segroves is back in Haiti for two weeks to help with training and transition.


To schedule a team for service in Haiti, contact US-based Communications & Calendaring Coordinator, Susan Meister.



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UMVIM Haiti Response logoHappy New Year from the staff of the Haiti Response Plan!
This special edition is being sent to address the many questions about security and safety in Haiti, prompted by the December 28, 2012 Travel Warning issued by the US State Department.
The UMVIM community and the staff of the Haiti Response Plan continue to work at the invitation of the Eglise Methodiste d'Haiti (EMH). The Haiti Response Plan hosts volunteer teams to address the humanitarian needs and priority projects of the Methodist Church of Haiti.  We appreciate the work of all the teams who have served since May 2010, and anticipate more blessed service in 2013.

Vencuss confirms "team safety is our first priority"

Since the US State Department issued an updated Travel Warning on December 28, 2012, many have sent inquiries and concerns to the Haiti Response Plan regarding our mission work in Haiti.


Tom Vencuss, Project Coordinator, has issued the following statement from the office in Haiti:


"Many of you have seen the US State Department advisory regarding travel to Haiti. The State Department has maintained a travel advisory for a number of years now. From time to time it is modified or updated. We have talked with persons close to the Embassy and been told that there is nothing new in country that would pose a new threat to Americans or our teams. We also have also spoken with UMCOR leaders and they have not received any new advisories," Vencuss wrote.


"On the ground here, team safety is our first priority. Through UMCOR we receive updates on travel, weather, and other in-country issues. We maintain a contact with Pastors and church leaders in several locations, and our drivers and interpreters have a grassroots network to report on any concerns that may arise. We also provide security persons and emergency vehicles for all teams.


"Our staff has arrive and been through the airport and reports that the new entry area is beautiful, quicker to process passports, and easier to navigate," he continued.


"If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of the security issues with us, please feel free to call our office. Updates as we know them will be posted to our Facebook page."


Editor's note: The Haiti office is currently experiencing some difficulty with their Internet access. If you need to reach someone in the Haiti office, please email Susan Meister in her US office, haitivolunteers@yahoo.com, and she will forward your question/request.


Click here to read the original text of the State Department release.


Grants Available 

Teams of 4-6 persons who raise $2500 in project funds are eligible for a matching grant of $2500. Teams of 7-10 persons who raise $3500 in project funds are eligible for a matching grant of $3500. For more information on how to apply for matching funds, contact Susan Meister, US-based Communications & Calendaring Coordinator