Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed grants from the Church of the Brethren Emergency Disaster Fund to COVID-19 response in Nigeria through Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and the worldwide COVID response by Church World Service (CWS). Another grant supports CWS relief work in Indonesia and Timor-Leste following flooding. A grant also has been given to support a humanitarian response at the southern US border by Children’s Disaster Services (CDS).
Humanitarian border response
A grant of $27,000 supports the CDS response at the southern US border. The growing crisis along the border and the influx of migrant families seeking asylum since the beginning of 2021 is related to the struggle with poverty and violence in Mexico and Central America that has led people to flee for decades. Due to changes in US policy and a hurricane that hit Central America last fall, numbers have skyrocketed including unaccompanied minors and families seeking refuge.
A CDS team has been deployed to the border in Texas to work with migrant children while their parents rest before the next leg of their journey. These families have been released on deferred adjudication, a legal status allowing immigrants to travel to reunite with family and loved ones, as long as they promise to appear for their scheduled immigration court dates. CDS continues to seek additional opportunities to serve unaccompanied minors and at other border locations.
A grant of $15,000 has been given to EYN’s COVID-19 response. Previous EDF grants focused on providing PPE and hygiene supplies to at-risk populations and food distributions to vulnerable widows, the elderly, and orphans. EYN provided monthly reports including an activity summary, financial report, pictures, and stories of recipients.
With this grant, the EYN Disaster Relief Ministry will continue similar programing. The PPE equipment, including hand sanitizer and face masks, will be provided to schools and for the EYN Majalisa (annual conference). Food distributions will be provided to widows, orphans, and the elderly in five church communities at Viniklang, Bajabore, Yola Town, Mbamba, and Nyibango.
CWS COVID-19 response
A grant of $25,000 supports the CWS worldwide coronavirus response in 2021. This long-term partner issued a $2.25 million appeal to address the extensive global need on April 22, 2020, then updated the appeal on July 6, 2020. CWS is working with its branch offices and many partners to address pandemic-related needs. This includes rental assistance in the US, childcare assistance, expansion of hunger programs, humanitarian assistance, and the shipping of CWS emergency kits to families in need.
Grant funds will be targeted to support humanitarian assistance, hunger- and poverty-fighting programs, support of global refugees, and CWS kit programs, which best match the intent of the Emergency Disaster Fund.
Indonesia and Timor-Leste
A grant of $5,000 supports CWS in the purchase of supplies for hygiene kits for families affected by flooding in Indonesia and Timor-Leste. Torrential rains from Tropical Cyclone Seroja, one of the most destructive storms to hit the region in years, sent thousands fleeing to shelters. Hundreds were killed and thousands of households have been displaced.
Together with partners, CWS has initiated a program to support 1,000 disaster-affected families with hygiene kits containing bath soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste for adults, toothpaste for children, sanitary pads, shampoo, towels, buckets with lids for water collection and storage, water drippers, detergent, and a trash can with lid.
To give financial support to these grants, go to https://churchofthebrethren.givingfuel.com/bdm.
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