Church of the Brethren funds close out year with final grants for 2021

The Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF), Global Food Initiative Fund (GFI), and Brethren Faith in Action Fund (BFIA) announced final grants for the year 2021. Included were an EDF grant to a humanitarian partner organization in Burundi, a GFI grant to a pig project in Rwanda, and BFIA grants to three congregations and three camps.

An EDF grant of $3,000 was given for repairs to the roof of the Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services (THARS) training center in Gitega, Burundi, after a powerful storm on Oct. 24, 2021. The roof was badly damaged by the storm, but the building is still structurally sound. THARS is a long-time partner organization of the Church of the Brethren Global Mission and the Global Food Initiative. The repairs will allow THARS to continue programming that provides humanitarian relief.

A GFI grant of $15,270 was given to the Church of the Brethren in Rwanda to support Phase 2, the “passing the gift” phase, of its pig project. Animals from a central farm established in the project’s first year will be given to Batwa families, formerly a hunter-gatherer tribe that continue to be a major outreach focus of the church in Rwanda. Two communal mini barns for the pigs will be built near the villages of Mudende and Kanembwe, one to be used by five families and the other by six families.

A pig-raising project in Rwanda is among the recipients of final grants in 2021 given by Church of the Brethren fund. Photo by Etienne Nsanzimana, courtesy of the Global Food Initiative

Six BFIA grants were given:

— $5,000 to University Park (Md.) Church of the Brethren for the first of a three-phase project to update audio/video capabilities to enhance capacity to offer a hybrid worship service;

— $5,000 to Camp Colorado in Sedalia, Colo., to cover the cost of a survey to establish the property boundary lines of the camp, where maintaining fencing and accurate property lines is an ongoing challenge due to the forested and mountainous terrain (Camp Colorado was granted a waiver of the matching fund requirement);

— $5,000 to Camp Koinonia in Cle Elum, Wash., for the purchase and installation of a new speaker and sound system in the lodge and meeting hall, and outdoor speakers to expand usable space;

— $5,000 to Camp Peaceful Pines in Dardanelle, Calif., for the removal of invasive brush and dead trees from the camp property to comply with Forest Service regulations and insurance company requirements for wildfire risk;

— $5,000 to Whitestone Church of the Brethren in Tonasket, Wash., for materials to construct Corsi-Rosenthal air filtration boxes to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (the congregation was granted a waiver of the matching funds requirement);

— $5,000 to Washington (D.C.) City Church of the Brethren for the renovation of unused basement space as an art gallery and meeting rooms. The congregation’s Community Arts Ministry was created to increase the congregation’s capacity to meet its shared vision of “Seeking Justice, Wholeness, and Community through the Gospel of Jesus.”

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