By Zakariya Musa
Director of the Center for Caring and Peace Initiative (CCEPI) in Nigeria, Rebecca S. Dali, charged the first graduates of the Livelihood Skill Acquisition Center established by CCEPI to work hard by utilizing the materials such as knitting machines, sewing machines, and computers given to them to make them economically independent.
Dali is the founder and executive director of CCEPI and wife of president Samuel Dante Dali of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria).
This first graduation and the 25th cake cutting ceremony of the non-governmental organization was held on Dec. 19, 2015, at Yelwa Club in Bukuru, near the city of Jos in central Nigeria.
While encouraging the beneficiaries, widows and orphans, who are also internally displaced persons (IDPs) from northeastern Nigeria, Rebecca Dali said: “The insurgents and Boko Haram killed your beloved ones but it is not the end of your life.”
In her speech, Dr. Dali presented the organization’s mission as “to alleviate suffering among vulnerable people; to promote human well being, dignity, economic development, and peace; to strengthen the capacity of individuals, families, and communities to achieve set goals in life; to pay close attention to immediate needs of vulnerable children and women; to strengthen the ability of families to live a productive life; to reduce conflict and foster peace within and among communities in northeast Nigeria, Nigeria, Africa, and the world at large.”
During the occasion she expressed appreciation to her supporters within and outside Nigeria in realizing her goals and missions. She mentioned the International Rescue Committee, the Church of the Brethren in the United States, NEMA, NERLA, and individuals such as Mr. John Kennedy Okpara.
EYN president Samuel Dali, who was accompanied to the event by EYN vice president Mbode M. Nbirmbita, appreciated the work of CCEPI among the needy. He added that EYN members are the most affected and are among the beneficiaries of the assistance, which he said, “was started in our house with our food.”
A sermon was delivered by Rev. Luka Vandi, one of CCEPI’s board of trustee executives, who encouraged the depressed to be strong in spite of life issues brought by the insurgency.
Certificates of attendance were issued to 32 graduating students who received their training in computer knowledge, sewing, knitting and other skill acquisitions. One of the graduates, Christy Hosea, who spoke on behalf of the graduating students, thanked the executive director and staff for being patient with them during the training, which led them to be the first to graduate at the year-old center.
The cake cutting was ushered by Dr. Jullee Mafyeng, chair of the board of trustees of CCEPI. A free-will donation was made in support of the new center formed to help orphans and widows achieve self sustenance.
Also during the occasion, Dr. Dali announced that the organization has acquired land in two cities for the purpose of erecting structures for the widows, orphans, other vulnerable people, and the disadvantaged to come and acquire skills in various fields, although the work has not yet started. Other challenges include means of transportation and lack of enough funds to cater to the basic needs of the teeming IDP population. She then solicited for general donations to reach out to the needy.
-- Zakariya Musa serves on the communications staff of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria). For information about the Nigeria Crisis Response, a joint effort of the Church of the Brethren and EYN that has helped provide funds to CCEPI and other partner organizations in Nigeria, go to www.brethren.org/nigeriacrisis .