Thursday, 18 February 2010

From despair to hope

On Tuesday evening I attended a memorial event for Sam Dixon and Clinton Rabb at Westminster Central Hall.

Sam and Clinton were from the United Methodist Church and were killed in the earthquake in Haiti last month.

Sam Dixon was the Director of UMCOR, the United Methodist relief agency. UMCOR has a remarkable partnership with Muslim Aid, a UK-based development charity.

This partnership came about following the Indian Ocean Tsunami on Boxing Day 2004, where development workers from Muslim Aid and UMCOR in Sri Lanka began co-operating to help the people affected by the disaster and the civil war in the country.

The partnership was formally marked by a special signing ceremony in the Houses of Parliament in 2007.

Sam Dixon was one of the leading proponents of this partnership, and had to convince the United Methodist Church that it would be beneficial to both organisations and to the people they serve.

Sam and Clinton’s tragic deaths took place whilst they were in Haiti to discuss plans for development projects there. At the memorial event hope was expressed that their legacy would be a continuation and flourishing of the partnership with our friends in the British Muslim community.

You can find out more about the partnership in the video below, which features Sam Dixon.

If you would like to give money to help the people of Haiti the Methodist Church has an appeal, as does the UK Disasters Emergency Committee.