CBS-TV to highlight Haiti work of Global Ministries’ Partner Church World Service in Dec. 5 special

CBS-TV to highlight Haiti work of Global Ministries’ Partner Church World Service in Dec. 5 special

CBS-TV to highlight Haiti work of Global Ministries’ Partner Church World Service in Dec. 5 special

Examining the faith community’s ongoing assistance to
survivors of last January’s devastating earthquake in Haiti, the CBS Television Network will broadcast
the religion special “Haiti:
Religion’s Response to Disaster” on Dec. 5.

After a 7.0 magnitude earthquake ravaged Haiti, some of
the first responders were faith-based relief organizations. These groups
continue to assist Haitian survivors.

The special chronicles faith-based groups’ relief efforts
begun immediately after the quake and the progress made in the past 10 months.
Members of Church World Service (CWS), Catholic Relief Services, Jewish
Distribution Committee and United Methodist Committee on Relief share stories
about their work with viewers.

“It will be good for members to watch the special to get
a better insight into the continuing challenges in Haiti and also to know more
about how faith-based organizations are committed to walking with the people of
Haiti on the long, long journey to recovery and rebuilding,” says Susan
Sanders, minister and team leader of Global Sharing of Resources in the UCC’s
Wider Church Ministries.

“Church World Service and Global Ministries’ relief and
recovery initiatives in Haiti – all of which have been supported by the UCC and Disciples
with donations to our Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund – continue to be of critical
importance,” adds Sanders.

Burton Joseph, CWS Haiti program manager who was born and raised
in Port-au-Prince,
is featured in the program. He is shown helping CWS return children to school
in new buildings; aiding people with disabilities; and expanding the agency’s
rural food co-op program to serve quake survivors migrating to Haiti’s Artibonite

CWS – the primary agency through which the UCC gives support
for relief and recovery efforts – has worked in Haiti since 1954, providing
disaster relief and ongoing sustainable-development programs in collaboration
with local partners.

Its current food-security program in Haiti’s
Artibonite and Northwest departments, started in 2005, helped families form
farming cooperatives to mitigate the effects of chronic drought, poverty and
food scarcity.

While religious relief organizations worked to help the
living in the aftermath of the January earthquake, they often struggled to cope
with the dying. Some groups have mourned the deaths of their own members.
Representatives from United Methodist of Relief Committee (UMCOR) were in Haiti
when the earthquake hit and lost two members, Rev. Sam
Dickson and Rev. Clint Robb.

Melissa Crutchfield, UMCOR’s assistant general secretary for
International Disaster Response, talks about the Haitian people’s struggle for
survival and UMCOR’s renewed efforts and commitment in Haiti.

Gideon Herscher, Haiti relief director for the
Jewish Distribution Committee (JDC), 
talks about the rehabilitation center the JDC has opened to serve
amputees and injured victims.

With help from the JDC, Jewish refugees from Central Europe
immigrated to Haiti
in 1938, an action that saved them from the Holocaust. 

Also featured on the Dec. 5 broadcast is Charisse Classman,
a Washington-based legislative assistant for Catholic Relief Services (CRS),
which has been committed to working in Haiti since Hurricane Hazel struck
in 1954.

The special was produced in cooperation with the National
Council of Churches, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the
Islamic Society of North America, the Union
for Reform Judaism and the New York Board of Rabbis.

For more information on the Global Ministries’ relief effort and partnership in Haiti, go to Haiti Earthquake Response.