As reported by John Joseph (Camp coordinator and administrator)
Summer is rainy season in Nigeria. It’s time for planting. $2500 from Church of the Brethren support provided seeds, fertilizer and herbicides. Thanks to an abundant rainfall, the crops are growing nicely. As the new crops grow, food from last years crop tends to run out. 22 families were really suffering and COB funds were able to provide help. Gurku is a long way from a hospital. There is a clinic built by the Swiss Embassy but it is always a struggle to have enough medicines on hand. There have been four deaths (all women) so far this year. Funds have been used for medicines, hospital visits and funerals.
Vaccines from Zawram Islamic Global Foundation
Help from Others – Zawram Islamic Global Foundation brought vaccines for hepatitis. Marie Stopes Nigeria did some medical tests, Voice of Mathias Group brought bicycles, books, Bibles and mats. A Nigerian engineer brought food items.
Positives from this summer 1)The camp organized meetings and dialogue so Muslims and Christians could meet to address needs in the community. 2) Gifts were given to help Muslim families celebrate Sallah (a big Muslim holiday). 3) A guesthouse was built and partially furnished. 4) Water has been plentiful due to the solar powered pump. 5) Head teacher/ administrator has been relocated to the camp
Never enough medicine
Continued Challenges 1) Cost of medical help 2) Distant relatives who have heard of the camp ask for monetary assistance. 3) More homes are needed to house the numerous families still without a place to live. 4) More kitchens need to be built. 5) Classrooms for the over 200 pupils 6) Families continue to hear of attacks on relatives in the Madagali and Gwoza area.
EYN staff have been housed and their children have been enrolled in local schools
Building of staff housing is going on at Headquarters
2 trucks were purchased to use in the distribution of food and construction supplies
Lifeline Interfaith project – 100 Christian and Muslim families are being settled, water bore hole was dug, building of semi-permanent houses has commenced
Food was distributed to over 12,000 displaced persons in the last 2 weeks
Land has been purchased and is being cleared for care centers for the displaced people
WYEAHI (Women and Youth Empowerment For Advancement & Health Initiative) – has begun registration for the sustainability projects
Numerous trauma healing seminars for pastors, men and women have been held (Mennonite Central Committee in Nigeria is assisting in this effort)
Building houses at the Lifelines Interfaith project. Photo courtesy of EYN Nigeria.
Building of the staff quarters at EYN Headquarters. Photo courtesy of EYN Nigeria.
Registration table with WYEAHI staff busy registering the Internally Displaced Persons. Photo courtesy of EYN Nigeria.
Aishatu, head of WYEAHI, with two Muslim women among those that came for registration. Photo courtesy of EYN Nigeria.
Highlighting WYEAHI (Women and Youth Empowerment For Advancement & Health Initiative) Aishatu Margima is the Executive Director of the NGO (Non-government organization). She will be assisting in the Nigeria Crisis by providing sustainability projects to displaced persons especially women who are widowed or separated from their husbands. These sustainability projects will include setting them up in small business ventures i.e. sewing machines, grinding machines, cooking & selling food items, giving animals for breeding and selling, and providing farming assistance with seeds, plows, and fertilizer. The first step in this process was an information session where Aishatu told about her program and registered individuals. This first session was completed at a church and both Muslims and Christians were successfully registered. One challenge is that funds are limited and she can only help so many; the organization will first concentrate on the most vulnerable.
Snapshots (edited for grammar and security) Amina “Tragedy befell me during the insurgency attack in Maiduguri, Borno State of Nigeria on Tuesday 2nd October, 2014. On that fateful day they attacked, my beloved husband and two (2) of my lovely children were slaughtered before my naked eyes. They (the Boko Haram) took away our two cars and all valuable things in our house and left me a widow with five children.”
Maria testified that she has not seen her husband since the Michika crisis (July 2014). She is left with her kids and she is now six months pregnant.