Monday, May 16, 2011

Emergency Disaster Fund distributes more than $360,00 in grants.

The Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) has distributed $362,500 in grants for disaster relief and rebuilding in Haiti, Japan, Libya, and Tennessee and other areas of the South and Midwest affected by tornadoes and flooding.

An allocation of $300,000 continues support for the Church of the Brethren’s work in Haiti following the devastating earthquake of January 2010. This grant will provide funding to continue the collaborative response of Brethren Disaster Ministries with Eglise des Freres Haitiens (the Haitian Church of the Brethren) and the Church of the Brethren Global Mission Partnerships. The five grants given to this project in 2010 totaled $700,000.

This year, the Brethren earthquake related work in Haiti has the following goals: to build 25 new homes and repair 25 damaged homes in 2011; provide safe drinking water in locations with clusters of Brethren-built homes; support sustainable agricultural development in communities impacted by the earthquake or receiving survivors; build a hospitality center (building) to house US guests/volunteers and to provide a national office for the Haitian Church of the Brethren; support partners in improving health care for all Haitians; support pastors and church members in emotional and spiritual recovery from the trauma of disasters.

A grant of $30,000 has been given to establish a Brethren Disaster Ministries work project site in Brentwood, Tenn., to assist residents affected by the devastating floods of May 2010. Funds will be used to underwrite operational expenses related to volunteer support, including housing, food, and travel expenses incurred onsite as well as volunteer training, tools, and equipment needed for rebuilding and repair of homes. The project site opens in June.

A grant of $15,000 responds to an appeal from the Asia Rural Institute in Japan for help with earthquake damage. ARI is a partner of the Church of the Brethren through the Global Food Crisis Fund and has applied to be a project site for Brethren Volunteer Service. The disaster in Japan resulted in expensive damage to the ARI training facility, estimated at over $4,500,000. The institute has relocated its 2011 training to Tokyo as part of a disaster management plan. This grant will support the repair and rebuilding of ARI facilities.

An allocation of $10,000 responds to a Church World Service (CWS) appeal following the displacement of families from violence in Libya. This grant will support critical humanitarian aid, income generation programs, and trauma support for displaced families now living in Egypt.

A grant of $7,500 responds to a CWS appeal following the severe storms and tornadoes that caused loss of life and property damage across the Midwest and South of the United States. Record flooding along the Mississippi River continues to affect communities in its path as well. The money will support shipment of material aid and resources and training in the development of long-term recovery groups. Shortly following the storms, CWS responded by shipping cleanup buckets, hygiene kits, school kits, baby kits, and blankets. CWS staff also will begin training for local long-term recovery groups, which play an integral role in linking survivors to outside resources and support, such as the Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding program.

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