An Update on the Nigerian Orphanage

The orphanage we support in Nigeria was recently destroyed by Muslim Fulani Herdsmen. Learn more about the attack here.

The metal roofs collapsed from the heat of the fire inside the dormitory buildings. The mattresses and all the children’s belongings were burned to ashes.

Most of the children at the orphanage had already been traumatized as they watched their parents being killed by Sunni Muslim gangs. Now they were once again the victims of Muslim violence. What’s next for them?

For many of the children this was the second or even third time they have been displaced because of the attacks of Sunni Muslims.

The damage is too extensive … the orphanage buildings are beyond repair.

A new orphanage must be built in a safer location

First, land in a safe location must be found. In Nigeria the word “safe” is relative. The orphanage was located in a “safe place” when it was opened. A Christian mission that is over 100 years old called the Miango Rest Home is very close and for many decades it has been used for retreats. The orphanage location was at one time in a 100% Christian area.

What now? … We rebuild in a “safer” place

First, we must provide for the children because the government is not going to provide for them. Nigeria is not a welfare state, particularly when Christians are in need.

I am working with the orphanage director and other Board of Directors members to find shelter and food for the children and then move them into an educational setting. This may haveto be done initially in different areas.

Foremost the children must have a roof over the heads.

The rented building has 15 rooms that will each house most of the children.

Building rented in Jos city: The Religious Freedom Coalition has transferred the funds to Nigeria to rent a 15-room building as a dorm for the children displaced when the orphanage in Miango was destroyed.

The building is within Jos City and is about 30 kilometers from where the orphanage was located in Miango.

I authorized the rent to be paid for one full year in advance.

The building is larger than the photo of the entrance shown and will allow us to house children temporarily. Other housing is being arranged for the older children from the orphanage.

At this point we will not be able to bring all the orphans back into one setting.

These beds will be cleaned and reused at the new site.

To save funds the metal bed frames from the burned-out dorm buildings at the Miango orphanage are being salvaged. The frames are being cleaned and will be moved to the new building.

The orphanage director is now working on obtaining new mattresses. Meanwhile the students are in very temporary housing in homes in Jos city.

Orphanage staff have been going through the destroyed buildings to see if anything else can be salvaged.

The workers miss the children just as much as the children miss them.

Some normal things are continuing despite the vicious attacks by the Muslims.

Before the attacks orphanage children were competing in a Bible quiz and recitation contest in the Miango-Jos area.

Four of the orphanage students became local champions and have advanced to the national level. Provided with donated clothing to replace what was burned up, they are on their way to compete next in Ilorin Kwara.

Four student “champions” have advanced to the CEM National Bible quiz and Recitation from the book of Isaiah, at Ilorin Kwara state. Their Bible teacher has driven them to the event.

The children continue to study and work on their Bible lessons. They haven’t given up despite the attacks and we shouldn’t give up on them.

What we have done so far!

So far, we have funded several projects to get the orphanage relocated in a temporary location. It may take up to two years for a permanent solution. These are the actions I have taken so far:

  1. Paid one year’s rent on a building in Jos to house children
  2. Paid for transportation and repairs on 52 iron bunk beds
  3. Purchased 150 mattresses for delivery to rented space
  4. Purchased mosquito nets, toiletries, and blankets for 140 children
  5. Purchased two bales of used children’s clothing
  6. Purchased new sandals and socks for 140 children
  7. Paid for all food stuffs needed for the children for one month

Next on the list to buy will be all the cooking utensils, coolers, and a deep freezer. We also still need to purchase the educational materials that were lost when the orphanage in Miango was looted and burned.

To save funds to use for the children I have decided not to travel to Nigeria this year. I already had a trip planned to the Middle East in September and did not want to spend funds on airline tickets to Nigeria that could be used for the children.

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