Christian Aid Ministries, the charity whose employees were kidnapped in Haiti on Saturday, has a long history of working in the Caribbean country.
Based in Ohio and founded in 1981, the group has worked in Haiti for at least 15 years, according to its website. The organization distributes food and clothing, finances schools, teaches farming methods and provides emergency aid. In 2020, it was present in more than 130 countries and territories.
The group was founded by the Amish and Mennonites, Christian sects known for their conservative demeanor and their avoidance of many modern technologies. In Pennsylvania, where America’s first Amish arrived in the 1800s, many live in isolated rural communities that focus on farming and farming.
CAM says it “strives to be a reliable and effective channel for Amish, Mennonites and other conservative Anabaptist groups and individuals to meet physical and spiritual needs around the world.” Amish and Mennonite communities across the United States regularly organize fundraisers for Haiti, selling food, blankets, and other products they make.
In Haiti, CAM operates a “child sponsorship” program, whereby a donation of $ 65 per month can allow five students to attend school. Donations finance the purchase of textbooks and allow each child to receive one hot meal per day. This program helps more than 9,000 students in 52 schools in Haiti, according to the group’s website.
Their work has not gone without controversy in Haiti, where the government depends on international aid and charity to provide services it cannot. In 2019, CAM said one of its former employees confessed to assaulting boys while working in Haiti. Last year he announced a settlement to a civil lawsuit in Haiti and said he had provided $ 420,000 in victim assistance.
The organization retired its U.S. staff in 2019 for about nine months. He fired staff in 2020 after the political situation improved in 2020, according to the annual report.