Global Food Crisis grants support new BVS position in public witness, agriculture in DRC Congo and Rwanda




The Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) this week announces three grants, to support a new Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) position at the Church of the Brethren Office of Public Witness, and for agriculture work in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

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An allocation of up to $15,000 supports a new BVS placement in the Office of Public Witness based in Washington, D.C. This volunteer will focus on advocacy around international and domestic issues related to food sovereignty and food security. Other assignments include starting and promoting a community garden in cooperation with the Washington City Church of the Brethren soup kitchen, and relating to and promoting the Going to the Garden initiative of the Office of Public Witness and the Global Food Crisis Fund. Funds will support a one-year commitment, with the possibility of renewal upon review by the GFCF review panel and necessary approvals.

A GFCF grant of $5,000 supports agriculture work in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The money will help meet the food needs of 100 families of the Twa people (Pygmies) through a project planting maize, casava, and bananas on three teaching fields in the villages of Swima and Ngovi, and also an extension component in Kimbunga where Twa are living in camps and have begun their own gardens. This is the third GFCF grant to this project, which is run by Shalom Ministry for Reconciliation and Development (SHAMIREDE) together with Eglise de Freres du Congo. SHAMIREDE's director, Ron Lubungo, is a leader among the Congo Brethren. Previous allocations to this project amount to $7,500 since December 2011.

A related grant of $5,000 supports agriculture work meeting the food needs of 60 Twa families living in Rwanda. The project is administered by ETOMR (Evangelistic Training Outreach Ministries of Rwanda), a ministry of the Evangelical Friends Church of Gisenyi. The contact person for ETOMR is pastor Etienne Nsanzimana, who has studied at Earlham School of Religion--a sister school to Bethany Theological Seminary, both located in Richmond, Ind. While at ESR, Nsanzimana became friends with Marla Abe, pastor of Carlisle (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, which since 2011 has been supporting this project financially. Previous GFCF grants to the agriculture work of ETOMR total $7,500 since October 2011.

For more about the Global Food Crisis Fund go to www.brethren.org/gfcf .

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