Here is an update on the children we are helping from regions recently overrun by brutal attacks. We have received 49 new children this week. This brings the total to 297 children in our crisis homes for whom we care each day.
A church in Australia asked us about news of the spread of terrorism in our region. Here is our response to the church:
“Yes there are growing threats, with more attacks in regions around us. The terrorism is not a general Muslim community conspiracy. Decades of global corruption (in which all our nations are complicit) is coming home to roost in many nations: the Arab Spring, now also riots in the West. In Nigeria some of it is criminal banditry: the result of abject poverty. Addressing global injustices will help. Bringing down Ghaddafi weaponized the Sahel and led to what we are now experiencing. This is catastrophic and we don’t know how far this will go. Local community building is a key, so the infiltration and recruitment of youth into militancy is rejected and its promoters don’t get a permanent foothold in our own regions.”
Last weekend the children began arriving, accompanied by community elders. Instead of the 25 we thought we could manage, we have 49. In just one small area one of our team met 77 orphaned children. Trying to reduce to 25 he could not get below 32. Then on Tuesday another 13 arrived from a different LGA.
All the children are displaced, homeless with their families’ property destroyed, this year’s crops gone, tools, animals, household goods gone, without access to the land from which their families gain their livelihood. All of these children have lost one or both parents in the conflict. Many also lost siblings. For some, even their grandparents were killed. Of the children arriving Tuesday, 4 have old gunshot wounds from previous attacks, with significant damage to their small, frail bodies.
Now at CFM we have 45 (plus 4 children of one of our staff killed in a recent accident) more traumatised children to love, carefully tend and care for, to help them recover, address their wounds and restart their education in small groups while lockdown continues, while their extended families struggle to rebuild lives and livelihoods in difficult circumstances.
We thank you for praying with us and for those who have reached out in support.