Project Medishare recently received a $1.25 million grant through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The award, which focuses on HIV/AIDS prevention activities, is part of a $4.8 million grant to Cross International, a South Florida-based interdenominational Christian humanitarian agency.
“This grant is a solid foundation,” Dr. Fournier said, “on which to build awareness to prevent the spread of AIDS.”
This grant, which took effect December 1, on World AIDS Day, marks a milestone for Cross International, the organization overseeing the grant and achievement of its objective.
“This is the biggest single grant in the history of Cross, a real landmark in the seven years since we began serving the poor,” Cross President Jim Cavnar said. “The competition was tough, and the fact that we were chosen says a lot about our work and how much we have matured as a ministry.”
PEPFAR was established by President George W. Bush in 2003 to combat global HIV/AIDS. Cross was one of 19 non-profits to receive funding.
The grant’s goal is to encourage faith-based and local organizations to partner with the U.S. government’s global AIDS initiative. Cross International will work with Project Medishare and four mission partners to begin a comprehensive HIV/AIDS awareness and care program that targets teens, AIDS orphans and vulnerable children. The three-year project will reach an estimated 5,000 orphans and vulnerable children, providing them with care and medical services. Project Medishare will focus its work on one of Haiti’s poorest regions, the Central Plateau.
The ties between Project Medishare and Cross International have long been established, with Cross supporting a number of programs. Miller School and UM nursing students have traveled to Haiti to work hand in hand with local doctors and community nurses, providing access to preventive and curative health care to more than 6,000 children in the city of Thomonde. Cross has funded CT scans for the more than 60 children who undergo surgery each year to alleviate hydrocephalus.
Project Medishare is currently developing a factory to produce a nutritious, sustainable food source called Akamil. Once operational, Cross will be one of the first organizations to purchase Akamil to feed children in local schools.
“Partnering with Cross International,” Dr. Green said, “has proven to be successful in the past. We believe this money will allow us to expand AIDS awareness, educate the population and prevent its spread to future generations.”