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7389: Mission of mercy: Helping out in Haiti (fwd)
From: nozier <email@example.com>
Mission of mercy: Helping out in Haiti
By Stephen Huba, Post staff reporter
Roberta Teran is a soccer mom, a Procter & Gamble logistics manager and
suburban Cincinnatian. Add to that list: a founder of orphanages.
Ms. Teran, of Evendale, is leading an effort to build an orphanage
for abandoned girls in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the capital of the
poorest country in the Western hemisphere.
''I have a lot of passion for this project,'' Ms. Teran said. ''I think
I can make a difference.'' During a medical missions trip to Haiti in
January 2000, Ms. Teran learned that about 10 orphaned girls who were
living in a dirt-floor basement with no running water or bathroom
The group from Church of the Saviour in Montgomery returned wanting to
do something for the girls and decided to build an orphanage. ''All
these girls have parents; they were just not able to be cared for,''
said Gerry Saddlemire, a member of the United Methodist congregation.
''Quite often in Haiti, children that can't be cared for are just left
on the streets.'' Ms. Teran started fund-raising for the project and
secured Christian Services International, a missions agency based in
Muncie, Ind., under whose auspices the trip was made, as a sponsor.
The organization is now, through one of its missionaries
in Haiti, managing the project.
Within a year, the project had received $50,000 in donations,
including $10,000 from a church in Valley Forge, Pa., and $14,000 from
a collection taken on Worldwide Communion Sunday. Total construction
cost for the project, titled the HOPE Center Orphanage for Girls, is
projected at $125,000. HOPE stands for Haiti Orphanage that Provides
for and Educates young girls. In November, enough money was raised to
rent an apartment for the girls. ''Although these quarters are quite
primitive by our standards, it is a big step up for the girls and their
caregivers,'' Saddlemire said.
A 22-person work team from Church of the Saviour and John Wesley United
Methodist Church in Pleasant Run went to Haiti in January to begin
construction on the orphanage. They cleared a sugar cane field and laid
about three-quarters of the foundation. They also met the girls for
whom the orphanage is being built.
''That made a big difference,'' Ms. Teran said. ''I have more
ever to raise the money.'After meeting the girls, everyone felt a new
sense of purpose,'' Saddlemire said.
Work has continued since then with the use of Haitian labor. A
wall has been constructed around the building to keep out vandals.
Cincinnati work team is planning to go down in the fall.
When completed, the orphanage will be able to house and educate up to
girls. St. Louis resident Johna Blockman has been named the orphanage
director and will live on site. Saddlemire said the orphanage will cost
about $2,200 a month to operate, and sponsoring churches hope to set up
an endowment as a source of continuous funding. A $100-a-plate
fund-raiser will be held at 6:30 p.m. April 30 at the Sharonville
Convention Center. For more information, call Ms. Teran at 983-2728.