Our Partnership with Cuba
The Birth of an Idea
For over a decade, the leadership of One Heart – Many Hands (OHMH) has felt the need to be engaged at some level in Cuba. In 2011, the United States changed its policy and began allowing its citizens to travel to Cuba legally. This action was taken to help reunite divided Cuban families and to increase humanitarian assistance. During the fall of 2012, OHMH leadership began exploring the possibility of engaging volunteers and donors not only to address immediate physical needs but also to build a bridge of goodwill to Cuba.
In July 2013, Dr. Gary Morsch (Founder of OHMH) and George Sisler (President of OHMH) traveled to Havana and met with Cuban officials. Enthusiastically, the officials welcomed the idea of a project designed to address basic healthcare needs and improve the lives of the Cuban people. During their visit, OHMH leadership met with representatives of the Cuban Church of the Nazarene who also encouraged this humanitarian mission of goodwill. As a result, partnerships have been established and a plan is moving forward.
Stage 1: First Container
Our first forty-foot container will be shipped to our facilities in Cuba by the end of 2013. This container will be loaded with supplies and materials for our American and Cuban volunteer teams. It will also contain medical equipment that will be used by our in-country partners. We will mobilize volunteers to help with the distribution of these items.
Stage 2: Volunteer Engagement
In the summer of 2014, American volunteers will join their Cuban counterparts in grassroots projects. These projects will take the form of construction and repair of homes, community buildings, churches, and other facilities in order to improve the living conditions of Cubans at the community level.
Stage 3: Professional Exchange
OHMH will mobilize volunteers with professional expertise in a variety of disciplines, which may include medicine, healthcare, leadership development, education, and agriculture to engage in educational exchange promoting people-to-people contact.
Stage 4: Second Container
Our second forty-foot container will be shipped to the Cuban Ministry of Health. It will contain requested pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and diagnostic equipment. Teams will be mobilized to inspect this shipment once the items have been delivered to the appropriate sites. A list of the recipient sites will be established beforehand and cleared by the U.S. Government.
Stage 5: Airlift
OHMH will collaborate with partners and engage corporate donors to fill a cargo plane with millions of dollars worth of donated pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and healthcare equipment to help fill a void in their healthcare system. These items will be distributed to clinics and medical offices throughout Cuba reaching its population at their basic level of need. All recipient sites will be established beforehand and cleared by the U.S. Government. This unprecedented airlift is slated for the summer of 2017.
Now we need you to get involved! We need your help and are inviting you to be part of this unprecedented opportunity. There are several was that can help:
Whether you are a medical professional, a skilled construction worker, or someone with a heart to help, there is place for you to serve.
A monetary gift of any size will help support this five-stage project.
Partner with us:
If you company or organization is looking for a way to make a difference, we invite you to partner with us either through employee volunteerism, product and services donations, or both
Be an Advocate:
We all have a circle of influence or those people that we know (business, church, friends and family, Facebook, Twitter, etc) Would you be willing to be our voice and share this project with them?
Host a Fundraiser:
Hosting a fundraiser is a great way to support OHMH. You could plan a gala or something as simple as asking people to support OHMH as you run your next marathon. Whatever you decide, together we will continue to make a difference! What is your idea?