Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to support relief efforts by the denomination’s Puerto Rico District following Hurricane Fiona, and in the African nations of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda. To financially support the work of Brethren Disaster Ministries, and to give to these and other EDF grants, go to www.brethren.org/edf.
A grant of $11,000 supports the Church of the Brethren South Sudan mission response to ongoing violence. Although a peace agreement in 2018 has allowed a precarious unity after decades of civil conflict, conflict on the local level is increasing, often forcing people from their homes. Mission staff Athanasus Ungang has requested assistance to provide distributions of basic necessities such as food, water, and medicines for some of the most vulnerable people affected by violence.
The program will cover several groups: 500 households of displaced people in Magwi and Lafon Counties, from the Acholi (Magwi) and Pari (Lafon) communities, and 500 vulnerable people of the mostly Ifoto community in Southern Torit County, distributing basic necessities to the majority who are women and children who have lost their husbands or parents, and elderly people who are unable to work. Grant funds also will cover vehicle repairs and maintenance, and includes $500 for unanticipated expenses.
Please pray… For the disaster relief work of the Church of the Brethren, carried out through Brethren Disaster Ministries and partners around the world, with funding from the EDF.
A grant of $10,000 supports a flood relief program of the Church of the Brethren in Uganda following heavy rains on Sept. 7 in the western district of Kasese. The rains caused extensive flooding and a deadly landslide in which at least 16 people died, more people were injured, and hundreds were displaced. The floods destroyed homes, household supplies, stored food, and crops in the fields. Water and sanitation systems were flooded and contaminated, causing outbreaks of water-borne diseases.
The most affected 300 households (about 2,400 people) are in need of shelter, replacement of destroyed household items, food aid until crops can be replanted and harvested, safe drinking water, and new pit latrines. The Ugandan Red Cross provided some initial relief programing, and the Church of the Brethren in Uganda has developed a proposal that complements the Red Cross programing.
Additional grants will be considered after monitoring and reviewing the initial implementation of the program.
A grant of $10,000 has been given to the Center for Caring Empowerment and Peace Initiatives (CCEPI) recovery and livelihood programs for women, girls, and orphans displaced and traumatized by violence in northeast Nigeria. The grant will help CCEPI pay fees to register the land for its new administrative building near Jos. Its former headquarters in Michika, Adamawa State, were severely damaged by Boko Haram in 2014. Although it already received approvals, occupies the land, and is nearing completion of its building, CCEPI recently learned $5,000 in fees were required in order to fully register the land in its name. The additional $5,000 will support programing.
A grant of $5,000 helps Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) respond to heavy rains and flooding in Mife Village (Chibok, Borno State) and in six villages in Midlu (Madagali, Adamawa State). The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has reported that some 43,000 people in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa States have been affected by flooding since the beginning of the rainy season, with some 4,400 people displaced.
The Disaster Relief Management department of EYN plans to assist vulnerable people that were particularly affected by the heavy rains and flooding, who were displaced and have been living in damaged houses and in schools, and cannot access their farms freely due to insecurity. The grant will help provide food, sleeping mats, blankets, and mosquito nets to approximately 830 people, mostly women, children, and youth. Beneficiaries will be selected by local EYN pastors, district leaders, and community leaders.
A grant of $5,000 helps l’Eglise des Freres au Congo (the Church of the Brethren in the Democratic Republic of Congo) aid vulnerable families in the Eastern Province affected by price increases and supply chain difficulties. These have been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine. The Eastern Province also has experienced decades of political unease, violence related to local militias, fighting between the army and rebel groups, natural disasters, lack of government services, and poverty.
The grant will fund a program to provide food and other basic needs such as cooking utensils and clothing to 1,200 people including 500 internally displaced people, 200 elderly, 200 orphans, and 300 church leaders and members
A grant of $5,000 will enable Rwanda Church of the Brethren to feed and provide soap for 100 vulnerable children and their families in the Gisenyi area, for a period of 26 weeks. A combination of situations affecting agricultural production and the cost and availability of commodities, especially food, in the area is seriously affecting the ability of poor families, particularly among the Batwa community, to provide for their needs. This has resulted in an alarming increase in the number of street children. The church will use the grant to cook and serve meals for the most vulnerable children who are begging on the streets nearest to the church in Gisenyi, and to provide them with soap to assist with hygiene needs.
A grant of $5,000 has been given for the relief efforts by the Church of the Brethren’s Puerto Rico District following Hurricane Fiona. District executive minister José Calleja Otero and district disaster coordinator José Acevedo have been heading up the effort, with other leaders in the district. This grant will be used primarily to enable the transportation and distribution of water, as well as additional relief based on needs assessment.
Find the latest reporting on the district’s work to aid those affected by the hurricane at www.brethren.org/news/2022/bdm-and-districts-hurricane-response.
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