Grants support hurricane relief, international groups affected by pandemic, community gardens – News

The latest grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) and Global Food Initiative (GFI) have been announced:

Satellite image of Hurricane ETA as the storm headed toward Central America. Courtesy of NOAA

A GFI allocation of $20,000 is divided between four church-related international partners of the Global Food Initiative: Bittersweet Ministries in Mexico, Trauma Healing and Reconciliation Services (THARS) in Burundi, Fundación Brethren y Unida (FBU, the Brethren and United Foundation) in Ecuador, and Proyecto Aldea Global (PAG, Project Global Village) in Honduras. Each has seen significant reductions in income due to the pandemic. Although GFI grants typically support direct program costs, these one-time administrative grants may be used for salaries, utilities, or other needs within the organizations.

Brethren Disaster Ministries has directed an EDF grant of $11,000 to the COVID-19 response of Haitian congregations of Iglesia de los Hermanos (Church of the Brethren) in the Dominican Republic. The church reports high unemployment, especially for Haitian citizens and exacerbated by the pandemic. The grant announcement reported that “most Haitians in the DR do not have a permanent job but get paid daily for their work…. Further, Haitians experience all types of racism, including laws that limit their legal status in the DR. Global Mission leadership has been working with church leaders in the DR to support reconciliation between ethnically Dominican and ethnically Haitian churches. This request is specifically for the Haitian churches with the permission of the leadership board of the DR church.” The grant focuses on 340 families (around 2,000 individuals) in 10 communities including unemployed parents, single mothers, widows, the handicapped, and elderly. Among other needs, it will provide large food kits to each family containing rice, oil, sugar, oatmeal, beans, spaghetti, powdered milk, seasoning, hot chocolate, sardines, salami, and eggs.

An EDF grant of $10,000 supports hurricane relief by the Christian Solidarity Program (CSP) in Honduras. The work follows two storms that struck Central America in Nov. 2020, Hurricane Iota and Hurricane Eta. CSP is a new partner for Brethren Disaster Ministries but has established connections with Church of the Brethren members in Illinois and Wisconsin District, where Bill Hare of the Camp Emmaus staff has organized work groups to serve with CSP projects in southern Honduras. CSP has identified 16,800 families in extremely impoverished conditions who need assistance. The grant will fund food distributions to 290 families or about 2,030 people.

Two GFI grants support community gardens related to Church of the Brethren congregations. A grant of $9,153.50 goes to the New Carlisle (Ohio) Community Garden, an ecumenical ministry supported by New Carlisle Church of the Brethren. A grant of $1,000 goes to the community garden project of Linville Creek Church of the Brethren in Broadway, Va.

Find out more about the disaster relief work supported by the Emergency Disaster Fund at www.brethren.org/bdm. Find out more about the Global Food Initiative at www.brethren.org/gfi.

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