The African Methodist Episcopal Church Service and Development Agency, or AME-SADA, is a part of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME). The organization provides humanitarian relief and supports development within Africa. Their primary goal is to improve the overall quality of life for those living in Africa, as well as those living in the Caribbean.

AME-SADA was created nearly 30 years ago by a few committed people within the African Methodist Episcopal Church, including Bishop Frederick C. James, Reverend Lonnie Johnson, Dr. Joseph McKinney, Bishop John Hurst Adams, and Bishop Donald G. K. Ming.

AME-SADA’s mission is, “Helping People Help Themselves.” This means that, rather than giving people food or shelter, they would rather provide them with sustainable practices so they can support themselves. It goes along with the famous saying, “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”

AME-SADA focuses on programs of education, health, and micro-credit, although they also provide emergency humanitarian aid in both Africa and Haiti. AME-SADA is supported by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, governments, foreign institutions and agencies, and their donors who wish to create a better world.

AME-SADA is currently working on a project to provide health care and other services to those living in Haiti, particularly in the western part of the country. As of now, they have provided healthcare for over 400,000 people. One healthcare program they have is to address child and maternal health by providing pre and post-natal care for women between the ages of 15 and 49. The program gives aid through newborn care, vaccinations to children under the age of 5, diarrhea treatment, nutritional aid to malnourished children, family planning, upper respiratory infection treatment, counseling to new families, and more. Currently, AME-SADA supports nine outpatient clinics, which provide services such as HIV and STD education, as well as treatment and counseling. Over 150,000 people benefit from this each year.

Two other programs are SADA-KREDI and a school health program. The SADA-KREDI program supports economic opportunities for those living in both rural and urban areas. It gives micro-loans to 2,500 people in order to stimulate growth in the economy and allow people to prosper on their own. In addition, the school health program helps 30,000 children at an elementary school level in the poorest neighborhoods of Haiti. It provides healthcare to children whose families cannot afford it.

Overall, those programs only represent part of what AME-SADA does. They support and fund many other programs in South Africa and Haiti in order to help the locals prosper and flourish. They promote sustainability in their programs, especially in the micro-loan programs to allow entrepreneurs in Haiti and South Africa to have a chance to implement their business plans, and create a source of income to support their family, and to stimulate the community.

Corina Balsamo

Sources: AME-SADA, AME-CHURCH, Our Health Ministry
Photo: Digitation