Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 22nd 2013 Contents A45
December 22, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
CLOSURE OF INSTITUTIONS
The Port-of-Spain Corporation advises members of the public that
the undermentioned institutions will be CLOSED on Wednesday
December 25, 2013 (Christmas Day), Thursday December
26, 2013 (Boxing Day) and Wednesday January 1, 2014
(New Year's Day)
> Central Market
> St. James Market
> Port-of-Spain Abattoir
> Lapeyrouse Cemetery
> Woodbrook/Western Cemeteries
> Port-of-Spain Crematorium
> King George V Tennis Court
Although the offices at the three (3) cemeteries will be closed on the
above-mentioned days, the gates at these facilities will remain open
between the hours 6.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Chief Executive Officer
sharing food with needier
groups, has been helping
the church address the
problems, supplying vol-
unteers to paint and
clean, training the Haitian
staff and recently taking
in several sick infants.
That the orphanage
struggles is a surprise, given that it has a seemingly
In its Form 990 for 2011, the most recent version
available of the document the Church of Bible Under-
standing must file with the Internal Revenue Service,
the church reported spending about US$2.5 million
annually on its orphanage, according to an analysis
by Chuck McClean, vice president of research at
Guidestar, the leading source of information on non-
McClean reviewed three years of returns and said
it was difficult to determine from the explanations
on the forms how much of what the church provided
the orphanage was cash and how much was in-kind
support such as food.
Church members gave conflicting information.
Senior church official Kevin Browne said in an inter-
view that the organisation spends about US$1 million
a year in Haiti. Fair, one of two church members
working in Haiti, said: "Basically, a third of all the
profits go to our orphanages."
Asked about the discrepancy, Browne said the
group also distributes food in other parts of Haiti,
but he said only the church s pastor, Stewart Traill,
was aware of the details of their finances. "I m not
a money guy."
Browne said Traill has never given an interview
and would not comment for this story.
Bickel said her orphanage spends about US$1
million annually to care for about 140 kids and received
government certification. Gena Heraty, director of
the special needs programme at Kay Christine orphan-
age, said her organisation spends less to house 386
children and also passed muster.
"They are very basic standards," said Heraty, who
has worked in Haiti for 20 years. "I wouldn t think
they are hard standards to meet."
Once called the Forever Family, the Church of Bible
Understanding was founded by Traill, who lives with
Browne and other members in a 12,000-square-foot
home in Coral Springs, Florida.
The church was once known for its former carpet
cleaning business, Christian Bros., and was lampooned
on the TV show Seinfeld, when character George
Costanza hires the company and gets angry when
they don t try to convert him. Browne said the episode
came about because the company once cleaned come-
dian Jerry Seinfeld s carpets.
Former members have said they had to work for
the church for free or hand over their paychecks if
they had outside jobs. They lived in communal homes
and sat through long prayer meetings nightly. Browne
shrugged off criticism from what he calls "disgruntled"
ex-members in an interview at a church warehouse
near the main airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
"So many people talk so much nonsense about
us," he said. "If someone had some reason or some
proof of what they are claiming then I would be glad
to listen because I m interested in truth."
The church, with about 50 members and 60 non-
church affiliated people employed in its business,
has worked in Haiti since 1977, ferrying supplies in
a private plane piloted by Traill. He said they intend
to build a large orphanage for up to 1,000 children
in northwestern Haiti, Browne said.
Orphanage inspections by the government s Social
Welfare Institute with Unicef s help were instituted
after unregulated charities flooded the country after
a devastating January 2010 earthquake.
Unicef says that only 20 per cent of the children
living in such homes are actual orphans, the rest
having either one or both parents alive, but placed
in orphanages because their families cannot afford
to care for them.
Inspectors reviewed more than 700 orphanages,
rating 36 per cent of them green if they met minimum
standards. Forty-nine per cent were rated yellow for
below standards and 15 per cent were rated red if
they were so bad they had to be closed immediately.
Church members give
In this November 13
photo, children attend
class in the US-based
Church of Bible
orphanage in Kenscoff,
Haiti. The orphanage,
supposed to be well
funded, failed Haiti's
new national standards.
The failure to meet
standards would seem
to contradict the
financial position of the
sponsors. AP PHOTO
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