Charles Kwuelum Archive

Pursuing what makes for peace in Nigeria

September 8, 2017 Charles Kwuelum

Pursuing what makes for peace in Nigeria By Charles Kwuelum According to the Global Peace Index (2014), 500 million people live in countries at risk of instability and conflict, and 200 million of them live below the poverty level. One of those countries, Nigeria, is facing the catastrophic consequences of both violent extremism and militarized responses to “counter violent extremism.” This has resulted in a humanitarian crisis, human rights abuses, and as many as 100,000 deaths. In northeast Nigeria, 1.7 million people have been displaced from their homes, and 8.1 million people are in dire need of humanitarian and emergency food […]

Doing more than just assisting

June 2, 2017 Charles Kwuelum

Doing more than just assisting By Charles Kwuelum Martina Talatu Garba was looking forward to becoming a mother, in a culture that highly values having children. Unfortunately, her hopes were dashed when she died at childbirth due to complications from malaria and a lack of adequate medical care. Since Refawa, her hometown in Nigeria, lacks a primary healthcare facility and is 15 miles away from the nearest public hospital, many women, newborn babies and children do not have access to skilled care and life-saving medicines. About 303,000 women worldwide die annually during childbirth, as a result of health conditions that […]

Love in the midst of famine and suffering

April 7, 2017 Charles Kwuelum

Love in the midst of famine and suffering By Charles Kwuelum Conflicts around the world, particularly in Nigeria’s northeast, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen, have exacerbated a growing humanitarian crisis. More than 20 million people are facing the threat of historic famine. There is a need for urgent action by the human family, especially wealthy nations. Unfortunately, so far the U.S. has not responded adequately. In March President Trump requested $54 billion more in overall military spending, while proposing deep cuts to international assistance and the State Department. If the cuts happen, humanitarian and development assistance, as well as […]

The greatest act is love

January 6, 2017 Charles Kwuelum

By Charles Kwuelum The U.S. government has been an integral leader in the fight against extreme poverty globally, investing in life-saving humanitarian and development needs. The needs remain enormous. About 65.3 million people are forcibly displaced worldwide by violent conflicts and natural disasters like drought and famine. Among them are nearly 21.3 million refugees, more than half of whom are under the age of 18. More than 795 million people lack sufficient food and 3.1 million children die each year due to malnutrition. According to UNAIDS, in 2015, there were 36.7 million people living with HIV. The new president is […]

Empowering girls in South Sudan

October 7, 2016 Charles Kwuelum

By Charles Kwuelum  Could you imagine a world where all children have the same rights and opportunities? A world where school-age children, boys and girls, receive adequate education? According to the United Nations, about 57 million children do not attend school globally, with half from sub-Saharan Africa. The lack of opportunity and infrastructure in education is a hurdle to human health, growth and sustainable development. Access to education at all levels, particularly for women and girls, is an indispensable antidote to poverty. In South Sudan, UNICEF estimates that more than 50 percent of children between the ages of 6 and […]

Rejected and stigmatized, but saved by your love

June 10, 2016 Charles Kwuelum

    By Charles Kwuelum In March, I met with Hannatu Anthony* one of the beneficiaries of free medications, treatments and socio-economic empowerment programs made possible by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) support for the Faith Alive Clinic in Jos, Nigeria. Hannatu Anthony was pregnant and receiving free prenatal services and medical care at the Faith Alive Clinic. The clinic offers free health care services (prevention, treatment and control) to people with HIV and AIDS, making health care accessible to the most vulnerable, especially youth, infants, pregnant women and mothers. More than 250 patients are diagnosed daily by the doctors and […]

Democratic Republic of Congo’s electoral hope

May 13, 2016 Charles Kwuelum

By Charles Kwuelum When Laurent Kabila was installed as president of Zaire in 1997, he changed its name to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After he was assassinated by one of his body guards in 2001, his son Joseph Kabila succeeded him 10 days later. At the time that Joseph Kabila became president, there were lingering historical challenges related to rebel and ethnic violence that the Lusaka ceasefire agreement had attempted to address in 1999. A United Nations peacekeeping mission was formed in 2000 to monitor the ceasefire. Following years of economic and political decline, the war of 1998-2002 […]

Defeating hunger

May 29, 2015 Charles Kwuelum

By Charles Kwuelum In a recent conversation with some friends, we got into an argument about the relationship between extreme poverty and hunger. “There is malnutrition and hunger because of extreme poverty,” argued one friend. Another retorted, “Even if extreme poverty is eradicated, over 800 million people will remain malnourished and hungry.” The argument points out the need to address both the accessibility and the availability of food. In the end, extreme poverty and hunger are inseparable. People need to have the resources necessary to buy food for their families. At the same time, food production needs to keep up […]

2015: A year of heightened expectations

February 5, 2015 Charles Kwuelum

The need for food assistance has been exacerbated by violent conflict in places such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The violence has led to farmers being evicted from farmlands.