Our dependence on volunteers and donors is a well-known fact, and when we see a decline in their numbers we are naturally concerned. And we are not alone. In a recent report in the Time Magazine, Oxfam is having to reduce staff by close to 30% due to reduced revenue following the impact of Covid-19 on fundraising activities.
Such a reduction in personnel will affect operations in most organizations, whether to advantage or not depends on how the leaders adapt. For the faith-based Christian charity there is always the possibility of divine intervention.
Faced with a massive decline in volunteers, resources, and consequently activities, EMAS is seeing the immediate post-COVID-19 period as an opportunity to reorganize operations, while trusting God for His intervention.
Going for Measurable Impact
Sustainable Development Goals are clearly defined UN targets.
Adopting them enables development partners to collaborate with existing programs and share resources for holistic growth.
EMAS Canada projects in Haiti and Zimbabwe will serve through programs of healthcare education, medical aid to develop new facilities, and delivery of clinical services for tangible long-term results. One of the best returns on investment in healthcare is through improved maternal health. We will focus on bringing solutions to this problem in Zimbabwe and to a lesser extent in Haiti.
The clinic in Gambade is ready to open it doors to contribute towards good health and well-being in Northern Haiti. National staff will be hired once the pandemic travel restrictions allow the EMAS Team to go to Haiti. The clinic will be equipped with electronic patient records systems that will gather information useful for measuring impact on maternal and child health.
In Gutu the EMAS team is developing a project with clearly defined goals targeting reduction in maternal mortality and morbidity, and infant mortality for a population of 200, 000 over a ten-year period. The UN’s the SDG #3 is a ready-made benchmark that is acceptable to the Ministry of Health, the community, and our local partners.
In both Haiti and Zimbabwe EMAS hopes to provide year-round service opportunities for small teams of 8-10; these are prototypes for flagship projects that will give every EMAS volunteer an alternative service area.
Going with Smaller Teams
“Look!” said the Philistines. “The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.” The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, “Come up to us and we’ll teach you a lesson.”
The Philistines saw two Hebrews, the Hebrews saw God on their side. This biblical story about an unlikely military victory draws attention to what can happen when God intervenes in a desperate situation. (1 Samuel 13:15-14:15)
The Hebrew nation faced an overwhelming military force at a time when “not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel” and on the day of battle only the king and his son bore arms.
One team to Asia downsized from 60 to 20 and found new opportunities to invest in training national staff. The added teaching responsibilities and smaller team is reducing the numbers of patients seen. However the transfer of skills to local staff is what we believe God will use in years to come in a service area that is closing doors to our teams. We are excited at what the future holds as a subunit of this same team explores service in Cambodia.
Focusing on Vision-driven Funding
We will continue to give our volunteers opportunities to donate to their teams and share in our world-wide missions even when they are unable to travel.
As we adopt universally accepted goals and run flagship projects open to all volunteers, we are opening EMAS to non-traditional funding sources like grants and partnering with other missions. We have been encouraged by several Canadian churches that are trusting us with their mission funds. We know that our high standards in fiscal management and corporate governance will give new donors confidence.
EMAS Canada comes alongside communities and leverages her power of teams to change lives through Education, Medical Aid and Service and because the teams are Christ-centred, we have resources only limited by the grace and will of God
Here is the latest about development in Northern Haiti and how you can share in the operation of the Gambade clinic.
All Scripture references are taken from the New International Version (NIV)
A physician and surgeon in his native Kenya, Peter has a passion for Christ-centred healthcare and has a wealth of experience both hosting and sending short-term mission teams.