Story and photos by Paul Shetler Fast
On the steep, rocky path to Degrave, Haiti, pieces of old asphalt collected from a road demolition project many years ago act as makeshift cobblestones.
Like the road to Degrave, families in this poor, rural community in Haiti are skilled at piecing together a life from the difficult realities that surround them: political instability, economic stagnation, rising food prices, declining agricultural yields, lack of government services and infrastructure, and vulnerability to natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes.
Summary: At the invitation of the Center for Sustainable Climate solutions, two MCC partners and a staff member tell groups in the U.S. about the impact of climate change on their home countries of El Salvador, Nepal and Zimbabwe.
By Jennifer Schrock for CSCS
Zacharías Martínez, Sibonokuhle Ncube and Durga Sunchiuri never met before this month. Each is from a different continent, but they share a common grief: their nations are experiencing the effects of climate change.
by Diana Quick
A shared statement by peacebuilding organizations
International Day of Peace, 21 September 2018
Summary: MCC helps improve access to vegetables for project participants in El Alto, Bolivia, by supporting a partner that builds greenhouses and provides seeds and training.
By Rachel Bergen
Sept. 17, 2018
Summary: As people in Kerala State, India, return home after devastating flooding, MCC is assisting 500 households in the Palakkad District by providing tarps, food baskets, cooking utensils, cleaning and hygiene items.
By Julie Bell
As the monsoon flooding receded in India’s Kerala State, people forced from their homes and land by torrential rains in August are returning home to see the devastation that claimed lives, buildings, roads and livelihoods.
By Rachel Bergen
Summary: MCC collaborated with other organizations to provide humanitarian assistance to Rohingya Muslim refugees who were forced by violence from Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) to Bangladesh.
August 29, 2018
Nur Jemon remembers that the day she fled her home in the Rakhine district of Myanmar started like every other day.
By Alexis Kreiner
Aug. 24, 2018
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Rising early in the morning, Esther Pierre takes a colorfully painted bus, or tap-tap, through dense Port-au-Prince traffic to her job as principal at a school in Kafou Fèy, home to some of the most vulnerable people in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital.
By Emily Loewen
ALEPPO, Syria -- In the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Rev. Ibrahim Nseir stands on the pile of rubble that used to be his church. What was once a building where his congregation worshiped is now a pile of broken stones and dust. It’s a sunny February day, the bright sky a stark contrast to the destruction on the ground.
Por Kiernan Wright
QUITO, Ecuador – A las 9 en punto de la mañana de un martes, Alba Silva, pastora de la Iglesia Menonita de Quito y trabajadora del proyecto de refugiados de la iglesia, apoyado por el CCM, abre una gran puerta metálica y da la bienvenida a unas 20 personas que esperan afuera. Luego distribuye tiras de papel numeradas mientras la gente entra en fila al patio de la iglesia.
Luego de unos minutos, un voluntario trae café y galletas. El sol empieza a trepar sobre los muros, entibiando el aire helado.
April 28, 2018 - Compiled by Rachel Bergen
Worldwide more than 65 million people are displaced from their homes — nearly double the population of Canada.
The United Nations says this number is unprecedented and the need for humanitarian assistance is only growing.
The crisis isn’t isolated to one region. People are being displaced all over the world, testing the resources and resilience of populations around the world.
April 24, 2018
Story by Rachel Bergen, Photos by Matthew Sawatzky
DURBAN, South Africa – South Africa is home to thousands of refugees and many more asylum seekers and economic migrants seeking better futures, but it has remarkably few social service agencies.
MCC helped start one of the first holistic organizations dedicated to improving the lives of refugees who settled there.
By Kiernan Wright
QUITO, Ecuador - At 9 o'clock on a Tuesday morning, Alba Silva, pastor at Quito Mennonite Church and a worker in the church's MCC-supported refugee project, opens a large metal gate, welcoming about 20 people waiting outside. She distributes numbered slips of paper as people file into the church's courtyard.
Within minutes, a volunteer brings coffee and cookies. The sun begins creeping over the walls, warming the chilly air.
By Rachel Bergen and Linda Espenshade
Agnès Ntumba remembers the day her husband and seven children fled the violence that took over their village in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo).
“I saw people being killed. They were coming to kill us, and we had to escape,” Ntumba recalled.
Sharing the pain of loss
By Rachel Bergen
Imagine the pain of losing a child to war, compounded by not having a safe space to express grief.
This is Claudia Antonovna Ushakova's story. Her son, a soldier in the Ukrainian army, died in combat at the beginning of the war in 2014.
The conflict began in early 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea in southern Ukraine. Unrest spread, intensifying from May through November 2014 as waves of people fled fighting in the Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts (provinces), which share a border with Russia.
Many Somali refugee families returning home after years in refugee camps lack basic items, like blankets and school supplies.
This past summer, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) shipped 10,120 school kits and 2,930 comforters to Somalia. They were distributed by Lutheran World Federation (LWF), an MCC partner, at five schools in Kismayo, the capital of Jubaland State.
By Rachel Bergen
PIETERMARITZBURG, South Africa - Pastor Samson Matabaro waves at people he passes walking down the streets of Pietermaritzburg and seems to know everyone's name and history. As he makes his way through Little Addis and Little Harare, named for the number of Ethiopians and Zimbabweans populating the areas, he offers a bit of welcome in a country that isn't always hospitable to foreigners seeking asylum.
Meat enables hands and feet of Christ in Puerto Rico
By Laura Pauls-Thomas
Feb. 15, 2018
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is well known for sending high-quality cans of turkey, beef, chicken and pork around the world "in the name of Christ," providing important nutrients to people in crisis.
What is less well known, however, is that MCC also sends canned meat to Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, to be used as part of peacebuilding work with Mennonite churches and schools.
Washington, D.C. – Today, the leaders of 21 leading organizations involved in international humanitarian response sent a letter to the Trump Administration objecting “in the strongest terms” to the U.S. decision to withhold $65 million in planned U.S. contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
Washington, D.C.—Civil society groups, activists, and academics urged the negotiators of the peace talks between the Colombian government and guerrilla group the National Liberation Army (ELN, Ejército de Liberación Nacional) to do their utmost to make a peace agreement a reality. More than 14 U.S.-based organizations and 27 activists declared their support for the peace negotiations, calling on the parties to extend their first-ever temporary bilateral ceasefire, which lasted from October 1, 2017 to January 9, 2018.
Summary: An MCC project in rural Burkina Faso supports maternal and child nutrition and hygiene through its partner Foundation of Solidarity for the Promotion of Community Development.
By Rachel Bergen
Dec. 20, 2017
Two years ago, Adjiratou Ouédraogo worried for her son, Sofiane, who was severely malnourished.
Ouédraogo, 26, is from Noaka, Burkina Faso, a rural area near the Sahel Desert where more than 20 percent of children are ill because of a lack of sanitation and proper nutrition. Sofiane was one such child.