Relief, development and peace in the name of Christ
Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), a worldwide ministry of Anabaptist churches, shares God's love and compassion for all in the name of Christ by responding to basic human needs and working for peace and justice.
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Young people arrested for nonviolent crimes in Burkina Faso often face prison time, reducing their chances for education or jobs. MCC partner Lieux de Vie (Places of Life) helps them regain a future. After being caught stealing crates of soda, Joel (name changed for privacy reasons) was able to spend the last half of a six-month prison sentence as a carpenter’s apprentice and got help finding a job at a hardware store. After a year of manual labor, he began managing the store and dreams of opening his own shop. “Lieux de Vie gave me the chance to rebuild my life,” he says.MCC Photo/James Souder
Arriving by horse or camel, hundreds of people from the surrounding area flock to Teriturenne, a village in central Chad, to celebrate a new well MCC helped to build. In this remote camel-herding region, many people speak Dazaga, a local language, instead of the French used in government schools in Chad. Since 2015, MCC has supported the first school in the area that gives children the chance to have classes in Dazaga. Because of the new well, which has four access points, girls can spend less time waiting in line for water and are less likely to be late for school.MCC photo/Jon Austin
After an April 2015 earthquake damaged her home in Lalitpur District, Nepal, Ukha Maya Magar and her family moved to a temporary shelter. MCC partnered with the Rural Institution for Community Development to provide emergency food, blankets, tarps and kitchen utensils to Magar and others affected by the earthquake. MCC’s initial response included supplying emergency food to more than 12,000 people. Today, MCC continues to help communities recover, supporting livelihoods and water and health projects as well as efforts to train masons in earthquake-resistant construction.MCC photo/Matthew Sawatzky
In Yater, Lebanon, a new water system built through a MCC-supported project is making life easier for Lebanese residents and Syrian refugee families who have settled in the area. Before, residents relied on a patchwork of blue water hoses strung from pole to pole alongside electrical wires, a makeshift fix after underground water pipes were destroyed during the Lebanese-Israeli war of 2006. The new system provides a more consistent source of water and helps reduce tensions between long-time residents and newcomers, like the Syrian families of these girls.MCC photo/Matthew Sawatzky
In Rwanda, MCC partners with Friends Peace House to support the Mwana Nshuti (My Child, My Friend) vocational training center. The center offers classes in hairdressing, mechanics, sewing, cooking and construction, followed by one- or two-month internships. Delphine Umutoniwase successfully completed the auto mechanics program, then her internship at a garage turned into a full-time job that helps to support her and her parents. Around the world, MCC-supported vocational training programs give young people new skills they can use to find jobs or start their own businesses. Class sizes are intentionally kept small so that staff are available to advise and encourage students who need it.MCC photo/Matthew Lester
“Many years ago our ancestors came as refugees,” reflects Elaine Hofer (third from left). “If Canada hadn’t welcomed Hutterite refugees, many of us wouldn’t be here today.” Hutterite members of Green Acres Colony near Wawanesa, Manitoba, along with Enes and Fata Muheljic, a refugee couple who fled from the former Yugoslavia years ago, worked with MCC Canada to sponsor a refugee family from Syria. From left, Wanda Waldner, Najwa Hussein Al Mohamad, Hofer, Reyad Alhamoud, Paul Waldner and 1-year-old Lee Waldner meet together at Green Acres Colony. Photo/Ava Waldner
Did you know you’re supposed to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds (enough time to sing the “Happy Birthday” song through twice)? Do you remember to always lather between your fingers? Around the world, MCC water, sanitation and hygiene projects help people like 15-year-old Mitu Akther, shown with her mother Rohima Habib in Mymensingh, Bangladesh, find low-cost ways to take an active role in protecting their own health. That’s especially important in villages and towns where sanitation facilities are inadequate and families may have little access to medical care.MCC photo/Colin Vandenberg
The U.S. is home to 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of its prisoners, with people of color imprisoned in far greater numbers than others. People often leave prison with few belongings and little money, says Spencer Lindsay, who was formerly incarcerated and is founder of Working Men of Christ Ministries (WMCM) in Wichita, Kansas. MCC Central States provides returning citizen care kits of hygiene supplies. Here, Lindsay places a kit in a home WMCM runs for people leaving incarceration. “People want to change, but they need good ground to start from,” he says.MCC photo/Vada Snider
MCC’s work after a disaster can give birth to efforts that make a difference for years to come. In 2015, MCC joined with Guatemalan Mennonites and local residents to respond to devastating mudslides near Lake Atitlán, Guatemala. They helped to rebuild but also met other community needs, including support for students whose parents have little education and can’t help with homework. Today, New Dawn Association of Santiago Atitlán continues to provide tutoring for students such as (from left) Kenni Dolores Ixbalan Ixbalan, Ana Dolores Quinon Chojpen and Dolores Maribel de León Nimatoj.MCC photo/Matthew Lester
In the Amhara region of Ethiopia near Debre Markos, the massive gullies that carry water downward during the rainy seasons have consumed ever-growing portions of farmland, so families produce less food, leading to hunger and poverty. The problem is even more pronounced for youth who don’t have land of their own. In response, MCC supports programs that pay young people without land of their own to work in activities like building dams to control water flow or planting trees and grasses across watersheds. Here, young women haul baskets of stones to line a new drainage canal.MCC photo/Matthew Sawatzky
Around the world, MCC comforters provide warmth and hope. In Zhytomyr, Ukraine, MCC items, including comforters, canned meat and hygiene kits, are helping people in need such as Valentina Inskirveliy and those who came to this area after fleeing conflict in eastern Ukraine. Other comforters are shipped to places like Syria, Iraq and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea). Want to make a comforter? Find instructions for making a comforter and other MCC kits, including relief, hygiene, sewing, school and infant care kits.MCC photo/Colin Vandenberg
Each year in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, Palestinians and visitors from all over the world gather in Manger Square in front of the Church of the Nativity to celebrate Christmas. In a land where Christians trace their heritage to the beginning of the church some 2,000 years ago, MCC supports the witness of local Palestinian churches and works with Palestinian and Israeli groups committed to nonviolence and justice, peace and reconciliation for all. MCC supports work in peace, education and food security, as well as rehabilitation services for people with disabilities. Photo/Nathaniel Bailey