In its first grants of 2011, the Church of the Brethren’s Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF) has allocated funds to support a water project in Niger, a girls’ school in Sudan, an institute in Japan, and the Global Policy Forum at the United Nations.
The Nagarta Water for Life project in Niger has received a $10,000 grant. The money will support construction of 10 gardening wells in the village of Barho-Banima, benefiting its 4,600 inhabitants. The project will extend off-season gardening, diversify produce, reduce food losses through improved preservation and storage, spearhead reforestation, and promote the growing and consumption of tubers (cassava). This is the second GFCF grant issued to Water for Life. The first $10,000 issued in 2010 supported a project in Dan Kallou. In addition, in 2010 the Church of the Brethren sent $10,000 to an emergency food appeal of Nagarta to provide rice and maize and seed for the village of Maito, Garin Shéga.
The Ayok Anei Girls School in Sudan has received a $3,000 grant. The school educates over 200 girls ages 6 to 15, and includes a nursery school that enrolls 135 youngsters. Opened in April 2009, the school comprises eight classrooms, a meeting room, an office, and 12 huts for teachers. Funds will support the school’s effort to become more self-sufficient in its food operation. It seeks to add a kitchen for cooking and serving the noon meal to students and to install solar equipment to generate electricity. The goal is for the school not only to become more self reliant with food by starting a school farm, but to offer the students life skills.
A $3,000 grant has been given to the Asia Rural Institute in Japan, a community of learning that trains grassroots leaders primarily from Asia, the Pacific, and Africa to work with the poor, the hungry, and the marginalized in their home communities. The grant will support a residence program that emphasizes sustainable agriculture by integrating organic farming, community building, and leadership development. The Asia Rural Institute also is being considered by Brethren Volunteer Service as a possible project site in 2011.
An allocation of $1,000 has been given for the Global Policy Forum, which convenes the NGO Working Group on Food and Hunger at the United Nations. The forum coordinates strategic advocacy planning for partners in Rome, Geneva, Washington, and elsewhere, and initiates public and private meetings on policy directions. Previous grants to the Global Policy Forum were given in 2008 and 2009.
For more about the work of the Global Food Crisis Fund go to www.brethren.org/site/PageServer?pagename=go_give_food_crisis .
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