A couple weeks ago, I joined a team traveling to Haiti with Elevating Christian Ministries because I wanted to see with my own eyes what ECM is all about. ECM’s strategy is unique to many organizations existing in Haiti. By partnering with native Haitians, ECM aims to get to the root of poverty and lack of education by supporting efforts to help them become self-reliant.
Nothing is simple in Haiti. Years of well-intended contributions have unfortunately caused the Haitian people to become dependent on foreign aid - hampering their own economy. This greatly increases the challenges of helping people in Haiti while supporting the local economy. ECM does not shy away from these issues and that is what attracted me to them.
Leadership development is a key solution to EMC's mission of elevating children, communities and hope. By focusing on the root causes of poverty and lack of education, ECM invests in sustainable solutions.
During the trip we visited a village which had been ignoring the issue of a water well that was producing no water. Rather than solve the problem, villagers were traveling miles away to pump water because they have been conditioned to know that eventually foreign workers would come and fix the well. This reliance on foreign aid has crippled leadership development in the region. As problem solvers, we fixed the issue with the well and restored fresh drinking water to the village but ECM is dedicated to not only meeting the immediate needs of food, shelter, water and education but to developing leaders who can solve problems without the need for foreign aid.
Right now, ECM is identifying leaders on the ground, building relationships and partnering with existing organizations that focus solely in leadership development in third world countries. They are eager to help Haitians solve long-standing issues in Haiti and then replicate their success elsewhere.
I saw first-hand how important the work of ECM is to children, women and men and how their humble and cooperative approach to ministry opens doors and hearts to bring about sustainable change to Haiti. After this trip, I'm more convinced than ever that they are elevating children, communities and hope!