Opportunity Africa

Join with Barnabas Aid to create sustainability and resilience for suffering Christians in Africa

E ight-month-old Precious was shot twice in the back. The bullets passed right through the baby and into her mother, who was instantly killed. Her father, four of her siblings and about 25 other Christians in the village also died in the same attack on 16 May 2023 in Plateau State, Nigeria. Precious survived, although she will probably never be able to walk.

In the same state, on Christmas Eve 2023, 295 Christians were killed in coordinated attacks on 25 villages. These are just two of dozens of violent incidents in Nigeria last year, causing hundreds of deaths with tens of thousands of people displaced.

It is not only Nigeria where Christians are being violently attacked. Christian communities in other African countries such as Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad, Cameroon, Niger, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda continue to suffer devastating attacks as terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen extremist militias, Islamic State West Africa Province, Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab and Ansaru target and destroy them.

Natural disasters, including last year’s earthquake in Morocco, floods in Chad, Rwanda, Malawi and Libya, extreme drought in parts of Ethiopia and Somalia, and the conflict in Sudan have compounded the problems of poor and vulnerable Christians. Hundreds of thousands of Christians in sub-Saharan Africa are now displaced or refugees. Disease, hunger and the sexual exploitation of women and girls in these refugee camps are becoming prevalent.

Introducing “Opportunity Africa”

Suffering Christians in sub-Saharan Africa have become increasingly dependent on aid relief to survive. With the help of your donations, we at Barnabas Aid have frequently provided food, soap, medicines, sleeping mats and blankets for Christians who have lost everything. This has saved many lives and lifted many more from the depths of wretchedness.

But in the long term, we want to enable African Christian communities to be self-sufficient, sustainable and resilient – no longer needing repeated help from outside.

Barnabas Aid has therefore established “Opportunity Africa”. The aim is to work in partnership with local Christian communities in Africa to strengthen them for the future so that they can be robust in the face of persecution or natural disaster.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barnabas has funded the provision of drinking wells in five Cameroon villages sheltering Christians fleeing Islamist attacks in the Far North region

Making Christian communities self-sufficient, sustainable and resilient

Building on experience gained in earlier Barnabas projects, Opportunity Africa is now establishing partnering pilot programmes with suffering Christian communities in Nigeria and Uganda to develop and enhance local knowledge and skills for sustainability. These critical projects include:

  • sustainable agricultural activities
  • continuing education through skills acquisition
  • apprenticeships and vocational training
  • a holistic approach to spiritual education

Other key areas, especially in remote and rural communities, are the provision of clean water, and medical backpacks as first-response kits to provide emergency healthcare and health education in their rural communities. We are also bridging the digital gap by providing solar-powered internet hubs. These, together with an App we are developing, will make for easier communications between small-scale farmers to enable them to coordinate in selling their produce. Another digital project, especially aimed at traumatised young
people, focuses on creative arts content productions.

To continue helping the suffering Christian communities become more resilient, Barnabas Aid has been funding training in economic empowerment, trauma counselling, skills and entrepreneurial developments,  workshops and conferences and equipping community health volunteers to provide health services in very remote African villages.

A new health centre being built by Barnabas in Kaduna State, Nigeria where Christians are subjected to regular attacks by Islamists

Developing human capacity

Another vital aspect of Opportunity Africa is to work in partnership with local Christian communities in human capacity building. This will be an important part of developing greater resilience amongst suffering Christian communities. The initial focus will be on intellectual resources, practical skills, an ethical framework and spiritual growth.

“Whenever we have an opportunity …”

This is just the beginning. God willing, and with your help, we will extend Opportunity Africa to provide more clinics, schools, clean water, small businesses, human capacity development and however else the Lord leads.

The Bible clearly tells us, “Whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.” (Galatians 6:10 NRSV)

Through Opportunity Africa, you have an opportunity to work for the good of the family of faith in Africa in a very practical way during their time of suffering and desperate need.

“Whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.” (Galatians 6:10 NRSV)

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