Food, Aid Distributions Reach Thousands of People in Remote Districts in Nigeria

Photo courtesy of Carl & Roxane Hill
A distribution of food and other aid in a remote area of northeast Nigeria is carried out by the EYN Disaster Management Team of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria. This and other food and aid distributions are funded by generous giving from the Church of the Brethren in the United States, and are part of the Nigeria Crisis Response.

By Roxane Hill, consolidated from reporting by the EYN Crisis Management Team

The EYN Crisis Management Team of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) has been very busy with food distributions. In the last few weeks, your donations have provided food for more than 988 families (about 6,000 individuals). Food was distributed to three remote districts that had never received help because they were still in dangerous and unsafe areas.

In related news, three new American volunteers have begun terms of service in Nigeria: Tom and Janet Crago, and Jim Mitchell.

Mussa District

Most of the people displaced from this district had relocated back home, but they were attacked for the second and third time by the Boko Haram extremist Islamist insurgents. The community was burned and many people were killed. The displaced people have taken refuge in Wamdeo, a neighboring village.

The EYN Crisis Management Team provided some 277 households with rice, detergent, cooking oil, Maggi (cooking flavoring), soap, salt, and personal care items.

Dille District

The people displaced from Dille also have returned home. The EYN Crisis Management Team assisted in this relocation of 654 families. However, Dille was attacked a few days before the distribution of relief goods. Soldiers around the community were able to restore order and the people are living well and going about their normal activities. The EYN Disaster Management Team along with two representatives from Christian Aid Ministries, a partner organization in the Nigeria Crisis Response effort, went to Dille under Nigerian military escort to ensure a safe distribution.

Ado Kasa

Ado Kasa is another community in Nassarawa State where IDPs (internally displaced people) have relocated and are staying. It is not an IDP camp but a community where people stay in rented houses. Some 57 households have found refuge at Ado Kasa where they have a church with a pastor assigned to them from the EYN Headquarters.

The community faces many health challenges, especially the pregnant women who have to travel to another town for medical services. When the people of Ado Kasa received the distribution of bags of corn, they danced and were happy, saying it is more than anything they have ever received.

New Nigeria volunteers

In related news, three new Church of the Brethren volunteers are serving in Nigeria. Two of the three–Tom Crago and Jim Mitchell–gave presentations during a gathering of the District Church Council (DCC) secretaries of EYN, who were called together by EYN president Samuel Dante Dali on Aug. 5-6 to discuss pertinent issues regarding their leadership in the recovery and revitalization of EYN as a church. Also currently volunteering in Nigeria is Janet Crago.

Colorado residents Tom and Janet Crago began their service in Nigeria after Annual Conference, and are expected to work in Nigeria through September. They have extensive experience from previous terms of service in Nigeria when they helped EYN with pension programs and demographic work.

Jim Mitchell, an Ohio resident, began his service in Nigeria on July 3. This is his first time in Nigeria. He brings to the position many years of chaplaincy at hospitals in the Columbus area, and will serve as a listening ear for the many EYN leaders who themselves are suffering from trauma and have been displaced from their homes.

— Roxane and Carl Hill serve as co-directors of the Nigeria Crisis Response. For more about the Nigeria Crisis Response of the Church of the Brethren in cooperation with Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and other partner organizations, go to . Read stories from the crisis response effort on the Nigeria blog at .