Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) for a tornado response and rebuilding program in Kentucky, aid to Ukrainian refugees and others affected by the war, a hurricane response in Honduras, projects of the Church of the Brethren in the Democratic Republic of Congo, among other needs.
Financial support for these grants is received at https://churchofthebrethren.givingfuel.com/bdm.
An allocation of $71,800 finances completion of a Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding project supporting tornado recovery in Dawson Springs, Ky. The area was hit by an outbreak of tornados in December 2021. From 24 counties in Kentucky alone, FEMA received over 15,000 applications for assistance. An estimated 75 percent of the town of Dawson Springs was leveled, with over 400 of the 1,200 housing units lost. There were 15 deaths in Dawson Springs and 12 in the nearby town of Bremen. An initial EDF allocation for the project site was approved in November 2022. As of April 2023, around $20,974 remains from that first grant to support May and June expenses. The new grant funds will help the site in Dawson Springs remain open until the end of 2023.
Please pray… For the grants given through the EDF and Brethren Disaster Ministries, that these monies may serve people in need around the world.
A grant of $120,000 supports the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. According to the United Nations, as of April 18 more than 17.6 million people need food and livelihood assistance inside Ukraine including 5 million displaced from their homes, and an estimated 10.2 million more outside of Ukraine also need of food and livelihood assistance due to the war. The IOCC, a US-based NGO, has been effective at reaching people in need that few other aid groups can because of its close connections with Orthodox Christian churches in Ukraine and neighboring countries. IOCC programing supported by a 2022 EDF grant will continue in Ukraine, Poland, Romania, and the Republic of Moldova. This current grant will support the IOCC budget for programing focused on families sheltering in Ukraine, which totals $4.145 million.
A grant of $75,000 supports the Church World Service (CWS) response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, with a focus on Ukrainian refugees sheltering in Moldova. CWS has identified the country of Moldova as one of the areas needing considerable assistance. Previous EDF grants in 2022 helped CWS support more than 12,000 Ukrainian refugees and some of the Moldavan host families.
A grant of $50,000 supports the Proyecto Aldea Global (PAG) small animal livelihood programing as part of recovery efforts following the record-breaking hurricane season in 2020. After Hurricane Eta, long-time partner organization PAG quickly organized a relief program that reached 50 communities before Hurricane Iota struck. The relief work continued after Hurricane Iota, reaching more communities and providing medical aid in more remote regions. An initial $25,000 grant to PAG supported immediate feeding programs, transportation costs for a container of food from the US, and home repairs. Additional grants totaling $85,000 provided for the rebuilding of homes and water systems in more remote areas. This current grant offers more assistance to expand livelihood programing into new communities where PAG has rebuilt homes. The project will support 100 new families with the necessary training and education to manage and reproduce their small animal projects: 50 families with pig projects, 40 families with chicken projects, and 10 families with honey-bee projects.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
A grant of $37,500 supports the work by Eglise des Freres au Congo (the Church of the Brethren in the DRC) to respond to the large-scale displacement of people due to violence. In the eastern part of the country, the most recent conflict erupted in May 2022 when a well-armed rebel group attacked an army camp outside of the town of Kibumba, about 12 miles northeast of Goma, the capital city of the North Kivu Province. The violence has spread to other areas, resulting in more than 1.1 million people being displaced, according to the United Nations. About half of the displaced households (about 500,000 people) fled to the greater Goma area and have built temporary shelters. Goma is also the site of a 2021 volcano eruption. Three previous grants provided $56,000 for emergency food and distributions of other aid to displaced families in the Goma area over the last year. The current grant supports the DRC church developing a longer-range vision that recognizes the importance and value of all people, including the displaced families, and sets healthcare assistance, humanitarian assistance, water and housing, economic security, and environmental protection as priorities. The church has identified 450 households (about 3,600 individuals) as some of the most vulnerable. The response plan is to provide more temporary shelter supplies, food, and household supplies to each family.
A grant of $5,000 supports the initial flood and landslide relief work of the church in the DRC, following heavy rainfall in the South Kivu province. The flooding and landslides began on May 2, followed by additional rain on May 9. Church leader Ron Lubungo shared that four Church of the Brethren congregations are affected, in the communities of Uvira, Lusenda, Mboko, and Mukolwe. The church leaders plan to respond to the needs in these communities.
Dominican Republic (DR)
A grant of $17,000 supports the Hurricane Fiona relief program of la Comunidad de Fé, the Haitian community within the Church of the Brethren in the DR. Hurricane Fiona struck the DR in September 2022, in an area populated by low-wage workers who often live in substandard housing or simple shelters. Many are Haitian immigrants who are discriminated against in the DR and have very limited employment opportunities. Some of these families are members of the ethnically Haitian community within the DR church, known as la Comunidad de Fé (the Community of Faith). This grant money is being sent through partner organization Social Services of Dominican Churches and includes a $1,500 grant to the organization for its Hurricane Fiona response and for handling the funds transfer.
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