By Roxane Hill
The Disaster Ministry of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria’s (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has been operating for more than five years. The staff work in numerous humanitarian sectors specifically in Nigeria’s northeast. One of their constant struggles is knowing who to help, as there is always more need than funds and materials to go around.
Emergency Disaster Funds (EDF) from the Church of the Brethren are still supporting the EYN Disaster Ministry. Mission 21 also provides some funding, and Mennonite Central Committee is providing programing and funding for the trauma workshops. Despite insecurity due to the ongoing Boko Haram attacks and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Disaster Ministry has accomplished a lot in the first half of this year.
The effort this year has helped whole communities as well as individuals. One well helped a community of 1,000 people who were getting water from a stream that also was used for watering animals, bathing, and clothes washing. This well is greatly appreciated by the entire area. On the individual level, a displaced Christian woman living in Cameroon was given assistance for basic needs after her husband rejected her when he converted to Islam. These are just two examples of the larger work being conducted by the Disaster Ministry.
Also this year, the team visited the International Christian Center in southern Nigeria, which is providing schooling and a place to live for 4,000 children. Many of the students are EYN orphans displaced by Boko Haram violence. The team provided a large quantity of food and spiritual care, which buoyed their spirits.
Two special workshops were held earlier in the year. One was a training through the Boys Brigade for disaster preparedness and emergency response. The other workshop on security tips and peace building was held for 152 women and girls. Gender-based violence has increased during the insurgency, and the workshop gave women safety tips to help avoid becoming victims of this violence. Those who attended were encouraged to teach others in their families and home communities.
Funds provided this year: $151,500 from the EDF, $26,000 from Mission 21, and $12,275 from MCC.
2020 activities have included:
-- Purchase of a truck to facilitate travel and conveyance of materials.
-- Medical assistance for three communities.
-- Repair of 43 homes in 3 remote communities.
-- Provision of fertilizer and maize seed to 1,200 families.
-- Support for the soybean project of EYN’s agricultural development work.
-- Wells dug in 3 communities.
-- Food distributed to 9 areas.
-- One-on-one counseling for 25 individuals.
-- Improvements to the school at Masaka IDP Camp and 3 teachers employed for the year.
-- Oversight for the building of a new church at the Yola IDP Camp, built in memory of Chrissy Kulp.
-- Administration of the EDF COVID-19 grant, which provided awareness, wash stations, and aid to 300 widows.
-- Roxane Hill is interim office manager for the Church of the Brethren Global Mission.