Brethren Disaster Ministries Directs Disaster Grants to Angola, Palestine

Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have directed allocations from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to SHARE to support schoolchildren in Angola, and to the Shepherd Society of Bethlehem Bible College in Palestine.

An allocation of $17,000 responds to a SHARE appeal aimed at providing food resources, bicycles, wheelchairs, school materials, and hygiene kits to children affected by almost three decades of protracted civil war in Angola. SHAREcircle has been a partner organization to Brethren Disaster Ministries, along with the IECA Church in Angola, for more than a decade. The grant will support students in three schools in Bié, Kwanza Norte, and Kuando Kubango provinces and will provide shipping of material aid to Angola from the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. As part of a larger coordinated relief program, the resources and material aid increases the likelihood of SHARE receiving a USAID grant for a food package program.

An allocation of $15,000 to the Shepherd Society in Bethlehem, Palestine, the charitable arm of Bethlehem Bible College, will aid Palestinian people living in the West Bank who find themselves confined to their towns without adequate employment. “Bethlehem is under occupation and the separation wall makes business difficult,” said the grant request. “The poorer segments of society lack insurance and social security. The result is a despairing people reaching for hope.” The allocation will provide support and relief to a minimum of 500 needy people in the Bethlehem area with urgent medical care and a family food subsidy. The Global Food Crisis Fund also is making a similar allocation (see related report from the GFCF).

In more disaster relief news:

A week of rain in eastern New York State resulted in some minor flooding in the small town of Middleburg on June 14. Middleburg is about six miles south of the current Brethren Disaster Ministries project housing in Schoharie, and is in the service are of partner agencies to Brethren Disaster Ministries. The majority of the homes affected only experienced flooding in the basements, though a handful did have water in the first floor. The creekbeds in the region were still loaded with silt that had been deposited during the flooding in Aug. 2011, resulting in a considerable mess, reports team leader Tim Sheaffer. The Brethren volunteers who were in Schoharie for the week had already left, but the leadership team of Sheaffer along with Larry and Alice Petry and Adam Braun, joined with associates from World Renew and local volunteers the next day to assist in clearing out ruined furniture, flooring, and carpeting, and clearing driveways and basements and a couple of first floor homes. The effort was coordinated by partners at Schoharie Recovery.

Florin Church of the Brethren in Mount Joy, Pa., is hosting a district Emergency Clean-Up Bucket assembly to help replenish the depleted supply of buckets warehoused at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The two-day event June 28-29 starts each day at 9 a.m., with lunch provided. The project is sponsored by the Brethren Disaster Auction and organizers hope to assemble a total of 1,700 buckets. RSVP to 717-898-3385 or 717-625-4918.