Posts Tagged ‘Oasis Education Center’

Backpacks from America, by Theresa Reed, Back2Back Nigeria Staff

September 30, 2011

Children in Jos, Nigeria are overjoyed to receive new backpacks!

Generous supporters of Back2Back donated backpacks a few months ago. Because the students will be starting school next week, we passed out the bags to them on Thursday. I wish we could have captured their excitement in a bottle! Their grins were ear-to-ear as they received the backpacks. Most of these children have never owned a backpack. Most of them have spent the past few years walking over an hour to school and carrying all of their books in a plastic bag along with them. The fact that they were receiving not only a backpack, but a new one from America made them ecstatic! It is so neat to see how many people God uses to bless these beautiful children from a village in Africa. I have no idea who all was involved in sending these bags, but the students felt loved and blessed because of it. Please continue to pray for the children, as they start their new school year at the Oasis Education Center.

Back2Back Nigeria provides academic assistance and tutoring to children in the Kisayhip Village outside Jos. Last fall, we opened our doors to the Oasis Education Center to expand educational opportunities for the local orphans and impoverished children.  By improving education and providing sponsorship, the children of Jos will have a brighter future.

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A Brighter Future, Back2Back Nigeria

August 26, 2011

Last fall, we opened the Oasis Education Center in Nigeria, to expand the educational opportunities of the local orphans and underprivileged children like Happy. New Back2Back staff member, Theresa Reed, and a local teacher hold classes each day, leading a supplemental tutoring program, enabling children to learn the basics in reading, writing and math during after-school hours.

This summer, we launched our child sponsorship program in Nigeria, giving the children at the Education Center an opportunity to benefit from the support of a sponsor.  Thanks to the generosity of Back2Back supporters who believe in our mission, within weeks, almost all of the children had sponsors within weeks of launching the program in Nigeria.  Through the care of Back2Back and the support of loving sponsors, each child has health care, balanced meals, a safe place to learn, and ultimately a brighter future.

Children at Back2Back's Education Center are now benefiting from child sponsorship.

This week, several new children joined the Education Center.  If you could like information about sponsoring one of these children, please email claire@ back2backministries.org

Neighborly Love, by Nate Gangwer, Back2Back Nigeria Intern

July 11, 2011

 

A few weeks ago we began our first project with another team.  We spent the entire day doing projects at the Oasis Community Center in the Kisayhip Village of Jos, Nigeria.  The majority of the team painted the community center with a primer coat to get ready for the Back2Back team next week.  The rest of the group split in two and some worked on clearing the roadside gutter to prevent flooding during the rains and the rest of the group moved a significant amount of gravel, rock, and sand for concrete mixing an building to the other side of the compound to make it easier for future deliveries and a more central location for work. In the midst of the pounding heat we were able to completely prime the building, move all but a handful of the big rocks, and dig out a majority of the roadside.  Feelings of accomplishment ran high as we finished out the day sitting on the porches watching a thunderstorm roll by.  These types of achievements not only help boost our moral, but really help to show the community the importance of taking care of facilities and thinking a few steps ahead of the current problem.

Nigerians are a wonderful people with a tremendous sense of community and perseverance, but have been trampled and pushed down by exploitation, which turns into a terrible foundation of traditions.  A large part of community development lays in finding pride not only in your neighbors and family, but also in the actual land and buildings.  Loving your neighbor does not always entail saving them from a horrible plight or devastating circumstance, but more frequently, and perhaps more importantly, loving your neighbor means literally doing the small things that you desire for yourself for them.  If I want my yard or my house to be clean then how I love my neighbor is also desiring (and acting upon) their yard or house to be clean.  The motivation moves from being self-centered to community centered and Biblically obedient.  By partnering together and serving those around us who are incapable, either by a lack of resources or a lack of know-how, we are not only serving them we are serving Christ and following the model of love He exhibited for us and commanded of us. Oh, how wonderful it is to worship in work and service!

An Empty Stomach, by Theresa Reed, Back2Back Nigeria Staff

March 11, 2011


Theresa Reed, Back2Back's education center teacher, reads with the students

A little over a year ago, students from the Vineyard  Community Church decided to “Sacrifice Christmas” by giving up gifts for themselves, and encouraging their parents and others to donate money to the development of Back2Back’s new education center for children in Jos, Nigeria.  Their sacrificial gift provided the new students at the Igmin Kibe Education Center with the incredible gift of an education. Back2Back worked with SSE and the community leaders from the Kisayhip Village to decide which children should be first to attend the tutoring that we will offer at the center.  The decision was made that they should focus on those in the most need, those children whose fathers have died and their mothers are now widows.  These ten students will receive after school tutoring and the focus will be on learning English.  In Nigeria, most of the public schools offer poor education and often times the schools are closed due to teacher strikes or the government not being able to afford to pay their   teachers.  Consequently, less than 50% of children are able to read a simple sentence at the age of eleven.

Theresa Reed, our Back2Back teacher, and Esther who just graduated as a teacher in Jos, have had great success.  For these initial students, they are taking the first steps towards breaking the cycle of poverty that have plagued their family for generations.  It is the hope of Back2Back, SSE and the village of Kisayhip that these students will become self sufficient and be able to provide for their future families.

Hannatu, one of the children benefiting from the new Education Center in Jos, Nigeria

Hannatu could not concentrate. It was only the second day of class, but I could tell that she was not acting like her usual self.  Her eyes seemed glazed over and she was un-responsive when we asked her a question. Finally, Esther, the Nigerian teacher who works with me at the Education Center, asked Hannatu in Rakuba, “What is the matter today?”Hannatu responded by saying that her stomach was paining her because she was so hungry.

It is basic psychology that humans cannot learn to their fullest potential if their basic needs are not being met. Hannatu was hungry and therefore, could not concentrate. I have no idea when the last time that she had eaten something substantial was or the last time that she actually had protein, but all I knew was that she was hungry. If she was hungry, the other students (who are from her same village) were most likely hungry as well.

Because of Hannatu’s honesty with us on the second day of class, we have now started providing a healthy snack for the students every day at the beginning of class. I cannot explain how much Hannatu’s (and the other students’)  face light up the first time we gave them a snack during class. They were so excited and are now even more motivated to come to class. They love snack time and are more responsive for class once it is over.

Hannatu is now a totally different student. Once shy and timid, she is now all smiles and quick to laugh. She brought an important need to our attention and I believe that by meeting that basic need, we have built trust and confidence in a once reserved student.


Ending the Cycle, by Jason Munafo, Back2Back Nigeria Staff

August 27, 2010

Jason (left) and Emanuel (right)

The other day I was talking with Emanuel who is from the village and is helping us run the Oasis Community Center. He is twenty-three years old and is well-educated. I asked him what he feels is the one thing that would most help this community.

He replied, “Education”.

So, I asked him how he became educated. He told me it was not easy. His parents, who both are still living, divorced when he was very young. His father is an alcoholic who happens to be a doctor and his mom, as he says, is a very difficult person. His parents would not continue to pay for his education.  So at the age of fifteen he left home to live on his own. He started working at the local carwash and made enough money to build a small one-room house (shack), buy food, and pay for his schooling. He said every day was hard.

Emanuel still works at the carwash and says many of his friends who work there with him were in the same situation as he was. The only difference between Emanuel and the other boys is that Emanuel knew the importance of education. He said most of those boys can not read or write and that as a result, the carwash is a dead-end for them. The money they make does not go toward things that last. Alcoholism is a big problem in this community.  When young boys have an education, but lack education, they often end up heading down that path. Emanuel is sad because this is an endless cycle. If education is not a priority for one generation then it is not going to be for the generation to follow.

“We need to break this cycle,” he said.

I agreed.

Every Christmas Emanuel buys all the children in the community a small pad of paper and a pen.

“It’s not much,” he said, “But I want to do all I can to encourage the children to push for an education.”

In January, we are opening the Oasis Education Center to help the children by brining a tutoring program to the village. We will start off small by teaching the basics. But in the end, our hope is to make a life long investment in every child in this community to end this generational cycle.

Infrastructure and Ministry, by John Guckenberger, Back2Back Nigeria Staff

August 20, 2010

In mission work, all the things that have to be done in order to actually minister or care for someone can be overwhelming.  Within Back2Back, we often talk of our personal bullseye, or our unique focus within the ministry.  Obviously Back2Back’s bullseye is to impact and care for the orphan, but that does not mean that everyone involved with Back2Back is “directly” involved with the orphan.   Many people are “indirectly” involved in impacting the orphan, serving in critical ways.

When developing a site in construction, the first thing we often start with is the infrastructure (ie: roads, underground, utilities, sanitary lines, property walls, etc.).  Although all these things are crucial in supporting the finished product of the building, many times they are not readily apparent once the building is completed and occupied.

Recently, I have been thinking of all the people and things that support the ultimate goal of impacting the orphan. I’m grateful that God’s plan is for us to be a body of believers, each person utilizing their unique gifts and talents for His kingdom, whether this is the people in the mission field or the people sending the missionaries.

In Nigeria, I am constructing the Oasis Education Center, where new Back2Back staff member, Theresa Reed, will spend time tutoring underprivileged children in the Kisayhip Village.  She will be “directly” impacting the orphan, but to make this possible, there is a great deal of upfront development of an infrastructure required.

I want to break it down to show all the people who are involved in making an impact on the orphan – the many parts affecting the orphan child as a whole.

-Back2Back US staff member, Brian Bertke, shares the vision of the Education Center to the youth at the Vineyard Church and the Daniels family in Cincinnati.

-This church and family caught the vision and they were able to raise the funds for us to begin building the Education Center.

-People in the US are supporting the Back2Back staff members, enabling them to live and minister in Nigeria.

-Back2Back staff serve in Nigeria and begin to build the Education Center.

-Back2Back US staff communicates the ongoing need, keeping supporters and advocates updated, and helps with continued fundraising efforts in the US.

-Back2Back support staff, such as drivers, assist in getting materials to the site for the building.

-Supporters donate money to buy a block machine to help make quality blocks for the project.

-Back2Back employs local block makers, masons, and carpenters from the village to construct the Education Center, providing the people in the village with an opportunity to earn an income.

-The building is completed and Theresa Reed will directly impact the orphan by helping supplement their education as a teacher.

-The orphan child in the Kisayhip Village will have a brighter future by receiving “care for today, hope for tomorrow.”