Success at a camp for displaced people in Nigeria

By Carl and Roxane Hill

What a privilege to visit the IDP (internally displaced people) camp at Masaka, Luvu-Brethren Village, while we were in Nigeria for the centenary celebration of Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria).

In 2015, the area was just a huge open field, which was purchased with funds from the Nigeria Crisis Response. Now the area is filled with homes, trees, and a church. The IDPs who started with nothing have built a life for themselves. They have been very successful at farming the surrounding area. Nine families have been able to purchase land and build new homes for themselves. As these families moved out of the camp, new families from the IDP camp in Maiduguri were moved in. (Maiduguri camps are still crowded and have few opportunities for farming.) Fifty babies have been born at the camp and several marriages have taken place. Some of the IDPs have been able to buy cars or motorcycles.

In addition, the community started an International Beans Market with a building on the main highway. It functions as a wholesale market where farmers can sell their beans and people from across Nigeria can come to purchase in bulk. It has been very successful and provided income for many.

While we visited, we met with the leaders of the youth at the camp. Employment and opportunities are limited in this rural setting. They wondered if we could help provide a small business to keep them occupied and help them support their families or pay for schooling. Their request was for some soccer balls to organize games for both children and youth and for startup funds to make soap and cleaning products. We were able to fund both projects and are waiting to see what the youth will be able to accomplish.

— Carl and Roxane Hill are former staff of the Nigeria Crisis Response, a joint effort of EYN, Global Mission, and Brethren Disaster Ministries. They also in previous years worked with EYN as staff of the Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission program.

Photos of the Masaka IDP community and its bean market, courtesy of Carl and Roxane Hill.

Please pray… For the work to aid displaced people in Nigeria, and particularly for the continued success of the Masaka community of IDPs.


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