Thursday, December 17, 2009

Grants support ecumenical build in Iowa, assistance to Cambodia, India, Haiti.

Recent grants from two Church of the Brethren funds--the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) and the Global Food Crisis Fund (GFCF)--total $40,200. The grants support an ecumenical rebuilding project in Iowa, reconstruction and food relief in Cambodia, work at the Rural Service Center in India, and a children’s program in Haiti.

An EDF grant of $25,000 will support a rebuilding project in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, more than a year after the severe flooding that affected the state in June 2008. Brethren Disaster Ministries is joining with Church World Service and other denominations in an ecumenical rebuilding effort in which it will take a lead role by committing additional staff and volunteer time. The grant will purchase building materials, tools, and supplies, and undergird volunteer support, travel expenses for additional project leadership, and equipment.

Northern Plains District reports that the project is scheduled for April 12-May 21, and will involve working through two local programs: the Linn Area Long Term Recovery Coalition and Block by Block. Several people from the district participated in a planning meeting on Nov. 16-17 in Cedar Rapids, including Dick and Karen Williams, district disaster response coordinators; Jim Goodrich, pastor of Cedar Rapids Brethren/Baptist Church; and Tim Button-Harrison, district executive. Also present was Zach Wolgamuth, associate director of Brethren Disaster Ministries.

A GFCF grant of $7,500 has been given to Church World Service (CWS) for reconstruction in Cambodia following a typhoon in September. CWS Cambodia responded with a three-phased program of immediate food and relief assistance, intermediate recovery measures, and longer term reconstruction for 41 villages. The Brethren grant will be designated for agriculture and development, and is in addition to a $15,000 grant from the EDF made in October.

A GFCF grant of $5,000 will assist the Rural Service Center at Ankleshwar, India, which has connections with the Church of the Brethren. The center assists villagers in utilizing government agricultural extension programs, working among Hindus, Muslims, and Christians alike. The grant will undergird programs of land leveling, biogas development, and agricultural capacity-building.

A GFCF grant of $2,700 has gone to a children’s educational agriculture program in Haiti, "Coordination des Enfants pour le Progr├Ęs Agricole et Educationnel de Bombardopolis." The program provides children the opportunity of working in school vegetable gardens in return for having their school fees paid in part or in full. The funds will be used for the purchase of vegetable seeds, plastic sacks for tree seedling propagation, and watering cans. The program covers school fees for participating families.

Source: 12/17/2009 Newsline

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