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American prisoners of war in Haiti were helping rebuild homes destroyed by the earthquake

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The entrance to the Christian Aid Ministries complex is seen after the kidnapping of a group of US missionaries raised international concerns about gang violence, in Titanian, on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, October 18, 2021. REUTERS/Ralph Teddy Erroll

(Reuters) – The work of American and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti over the weekend has included helping rebuild homes in the wake of the August earthquake, according to their Ohio-based organization that has aid projects around the world.

Christian Aid said in a statement on Tuesday that 17 captives – including five children, one just eight months old – were visiting an orphanage supported by the organization when they were kidnapped on Saturday outside the capital, Port-au-Prince.

CAM added that the mission’s work in Haiti includes distributing Bibles and Christian literature, feeding the elderly and delivering medicines to clinics.

“Their most intimate desire is to share the love of Jesus,” Cam said. “In recent months, they have been actively involved in coordinating a rebuilding project for those who lost their homes in the August 2021 earthquake.”

Haitian Justice Minister Liszt Koetel told Reuters the gang that kidnapped the group was asking for $17 million – or $1 million each – for their release. Read more

According to its most recent annual report, CAM’s revenue for 2020 was over $132 million, mostly from cash and in-kind donations. An audited financial statement that is part of the annual report shows that the Center for Alternative Medicine spent nearly all of its revenue on assistance programs such as supporting school children in Haiti and feeding families in Nicaragua.

CAM ran operations in more than 130 countries and territories in 2020, according to the annual report, providing food, clothing, medicine and other services to more than 14 million people.

The organization, founded in 1981, “strives to be a trustworthy and effective channel for Amish, Mennonites, and other Conservative Anabaptist groups and individuals to meet material and spiritual needs throughout the world,” according to the CAM website.

Anabaptism is a Christian movement dating back to the 16th century in Europe centered around the literal interpretation of the teachings of Jesus and adult baptism.

In Haiti, where CAM has worked for several years, it operates a medical clinic as well as projects that provide work for Haitians, according to its website. Another program provides textbooks, other school supplies and meals to more than 9,000 students in 52 schools in Haiti, according to the annual report which states that “a donation of $65 per month enables five students to go to school.”

In 2019, it emerged that an employee of the Christian congregation had molested children while working for the organization in Haiti, and CAM managers had known for years.

“The fallout from the abuse case in Haiti continues to weigh heavily on us,” CAM Managing Director David Troyer wrote in the annual report.

(Reporting by Maria Caspani in New York. Editing by Donna Bryson and Alistair Bell

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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2/ https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/us-captives-haiti-were-helping-rebuild-quake-damaged-homes-2021-10-19/

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