Dave Richardson, the WOCCU senior manager who oversees the Haiti program,and Brian Branch, WOCCU executive vice president and chief operating officer, arrived in Haiti Tuesday to deliver supplies to the project's 16-member staff. Richardson told CUNA News Now that his goal in Haiti is three fold.
"Our first thought in disaster situations is to stabilize our staff and provide them with the basics of food, water, clothing and a place to sleep," Richardson said. "Our second step is to help the public with general relief, and we have chosen to work with Food for the Poor, based on the quick and efficient response they have demonstrated in disaster situations. Our third step is to find a temporary work space to replace our devastated building. We will be working on that this week."
Richardson also says credit union donations will buy those basic supplies, but later buy the brick and mortar to rebuild any credit union that has been damaged or destroyed. The WOCCU headquarters was devastated in the earthquake.
"Once WOCCU is able to assess all credit union damage, we will begin a formal rebuilding program to get credit unions back on their feet and assist them in helping as many members as possible," said Richardson. "Those efforts will include providing assistance to rebuild credit unions as necessary, training credit union staff to implement emergency loan programs and helping them implement crisis management strategies."
Greta Greathouse, the program's chief of party who manages operations on the ground in Haiti, will also assist in the evaluation process.