The staff of Brethren Disaster Ministries have directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) to aid families in Myanmar (Burma) who were affected by Cyclone Komen, and to help people of Haitian descent who are living in the Dominican Republic.
In related news, the Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) program has received a large grant from an ecumenical partner.
CDS receives grant from UMCOR
Children’s Disaster Services, a program of Brethren Disaster Ministries, has received a grant of $100,000 ($50,000 for 2 years) from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). The grant is for building local and state networking and Rapid Response efforts throughout the US. CDS is partnering with churches, the American Red Cross, Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), and FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaisons to expand these networks.
“CDS always welcomes host congregations for their trainings in locations throughout the US,” said associate director Kathy Fry-Miller. “Please let CDS know if you or your church would like to be involved locally as we continue to develop this work!” Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.brethren.org/cds for more information about CDS.
EDF grant aids Myanmar families affected by flooding
An EDF allocation of $4,000 supports the Church World Service (CWS) response to families affected by flooding caused by Cyclone Komen in Myanmar. The storm made landfall on July 30, causing heavy winds, flash floods, and landslides across Myanmar. The flooding was expected to continue through mid-October when the monsoon season ended. Damaged roadways and bridges have impaired the distribution of humanitarian aid.
The Ayeyarwady region where CWS is responding lost more than 200,000 acres of farmland, with more than 100,000 homes suffering damage. Roughly 500,000 people have been displaced.
The Church of the Brethren grant helps CWS provide food, water treatment materials, and non-food items including mosquito nets to 10,000-20,000 families. Additionally, 23,000 to 46,000 people will receive livelihood restoration support, including seed rice, farming equipment, and improved community infrastructure.
EDF grant helps naturalization effort for Haitians in the DR
A grant of $3,000 aids Iglesia des los Hermanos, the Church of the Brethren in the Dominican Republic, to assist with the naturalization of ethnic Haitians living in the DR. As of the date of the grant request, the Dominican church had helped toregister more than 450 people of Haitian descent for naturalization. “This is considerably more than the original goal of 300 DR Church of the Brethren members, and now includes non-church people,” said the grant request.
The Dominican church has requested $3,000 in addition to a previous grant of $5,000 made in June, in order to continue with the work. The naturalization process requires legalization of documents, gathering missing data, and archiving of document for future identification needs of those seeking naturalization. The church also is helping pay taxes for Church of the Brethren members in La Descubierta in the province of Barahona.
For more information about the Emergency Disaster Fund or to contribute donations to the fund go to www.brethren.org/edf .