There have been new reports of violence and attacks in Northeast Nigeria. Continue to pray for our brothers and sisters as they live in fear but continue to proclaim Jesus Christ as their strength.
As security continues to remain a concern, the EYN Disaster team has provided monetary assistance for the building of a wall which will surround the Kulp Theological Seminary and the church Headquarters area. This project is a huge under taking. Ten teams of block molders helped produce 21,000 blocks. Numerous other volunteers help move the dried blocks to where the bricklayers will construct the wall. Volunteers came from as far away as Maiduguri.
EYN Peace Program continues to work on trauma consciousness and resilience training. In February, workshops were held to measure the work of the newly trained Community Based Facilitators and encouraged these volunteers at the local level. The Community Based Facilitators are local volunteers who have been trained to assist others in dealing with the extreme trauma everyone is facing. As listeners, they give people a chance to share their stories. They also teach some of the principles of trauma and encourage the forgiveness and resilience needed to live under such difficult circumstances. Four workshops took place in areas where Boko Haram are still active (Wagga, Madagali, Gulak and Midlu). The Peace program leaders had to travel back and forth from Michika each day as it was not safe to sleep in the towns holding the trainings.
All the churches in this eastern area of EYN have been burned and yet the churches continue to worship under temporary shelters. 81 facilitators, 22 females and 59 males, attended the four workshops; that’s 81 people at the local level trained to guide others through their trauma. Pray for all these volunteers and their trainers as they engage in such important work.
Earlier this year, EYN women’s ministry, under the leadership of Suzan Mark, held a seminar for young widows. There are over 4000 young widows in Northeast Nigeria as a direct result of the men killed by the Boko Haram Insurgency. This special seminar was held for 100 young widows that have little children and have no source of income. They were selected from 19 most affected DCCs as follows. Wagga, Madagali, Midlu, Gulak Ribawa, Bikama, Hong, Gombi, Gulantabal, Garkida, Kwajaffa, Lassa, Mussa, Askira, Mbalala, Balgi,Kautikari, Chibok and Dille.
Here are some of the things accomplished by the seminar along with concerns and recommendations for the future. Please pray for these widows and their children.
- 99 came and received training in income generation skills.
- All were give N40,000 ($115) in seed grant money to start businesses.
- They were also taught simple health tips and child protection messages.
- They all received lessons on HIV (some were tested). This was done in collaboration with EYN HIV Program.
- All the young widows at all the workshops lost their husbands as a result of the insurgency.
- Most women that were captured by Boko Haram have been refused by their husbands along with the children they had during captivity.
- Some women treat such children with hatred, for they see the children as the cause of the disgrace.
- Both the women and the children have not gained full acceptance in their communities.
- Many girls had babies as the result of rape and sexual exploitation during the insurgency.
- Number of widows, orphans and other vulnerable children is increasing daily.
- All the widows are in need of “Self-care.”
- There is need to create awareness on the treatments of the escaped women and their children in order to gain acceptance in their communities.
- The case of rape should be taken serious because it is a crime.
- There is need for counseling for the above mentioned women including girls and children victims.
- They need to be empowered economically and socially.
- There is a need for advocacy for gender justice. Women celebrate release of their husbands while men refused the coming back of their wives.
EYN Disaster Ministry put in 2 wells and 2 bore holes around Shaffa and Kwajaffa area. Many wells were destroyed during the occupation by Boko Haram. These water sources will serve 300 families each. At one site, the majority of the people accessing the water are Internally Displaced Persons from the Gwoza area (they are mainly farmers who cannot return to their homes.) At another area, the well will be used by mostly Muslim families. Peaceful coexistence between Muslims and Christians is one of the goals for Northeast Nigeria. This water source put in by the church is a big step toward maintaining peace.