Disaster Grants Announced for Haiti, Angola, Summer Storms in US

Photo by Sandy Christophel
Haitian and BDM workcamp volunteer rebuild following earthquake

Several grants have been given recently by the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF). Heading the list is a grant continuing the post-earthquake work of Brethren Disaster Ministries in Haiti.

The EDF grant of $48,000 continues funding for earthquake recovery work in Haiti by Brethren Disaster Ministries in cooperation with L’Eglise des Freres Haitiens (the Church of the Brethren in Haiti). The response is nearing completion, with the current need in Haiti less related to the 2010 earthquake and more a problem of pervasive poverty and unemployment, said the grant request.

“Long-term recovery programming has focused on lifting earthquake survivors into a sustainable living situation,” the grant request explained. “Building homes for the many homeless has been an important part of the story, but is far from the whole response. By focusing on systemic issues in Haiti that were brought to light by the disaster, we are building capacity–meaning caring for people emotionally and spiritually, encouraging and equipping Haitian leadership to lead in social ministries, creating work for unemployed construction workers, and creating a physical location for the Haitian Church of the Brethren to expand and continue service ministries in partnership with the US church.”

This grant will support continued home construction and repair for earthquake survivors, completion of a guesthouse for volunteers and a manager’s house at the Ministry Center of L’Eglise des Freres Haitiens, along with purchase of furnishings and a new generator, provide volunteer support and staff salaries for security and maintenance, support work groups needing housing in Haiti, continue to expand the Wozo program providing emotional and spiritual care through a three-year program cycle with STAR Haiti–Seminars on Trauma Awareness and Resiliency, and develop and produce a wrap-up DVD and reports summarizing the work of Brethren Disaster Ministries in Haiti.

Previous allocations to this project total $1,300,000. The funds have been given in seven grants between Jan. 14, 2010, and Oct. 12, 2011.

In Angola, the EDF is giving a grant of $3,500 to support the work of the Church World Service (CWS) Development and Humanitarian Assistance Program. More than 114,000 refugees from the decades of civil war are returning to Angola, the grant request reports, and they are finding a country in drought and without resources to support the re-establishment of their livelihoods and households. This grant will provide emergency food and longer-term supplies including food, utensils, tools, shelter, and seeds to help the refugees establish temporary homes in host communities.

In the United States, an EDF grant of $3,000 responds to a CWS appeal following summer storms and wildfires in multiple states. This grant supports CWS work to assist affected communities through training for construction management, volunteer management, emotional and spiritual care, and case management, as well as start-up grants for longterm recovery groups.

For more information about the work of Brethren Disaster Ministries go to www.brethren.org/bdm . See photos from recent disaster rebuilding projects at www.brethren.org (click for BDM and CDS albums). Give to the disaster work of the Church of the Brethren through donations to the Emergency Disaster Fund at www.brethren.org/bdm/edf.html .

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