Charles Kwuelum Archive

Reinvigorating trust in the midst of displacement

November 16, 2018 Charles Kwuelum

As the dry season set in, Modibo Ado* migrated from his home in Bauchi State, Nigeria, leading his herds of cows and sheep to neighboring Plateau State. There the grass is still green, and water is available for his livestock. In Plateau State, farmers like Emmanuel Davou* tend their crops and wait to harvest them for food and income. For migratory herdsmen like Ado, growing his herds necessitate a search for vegetation and water. Encroachment into grazing routes for farmers like Davou often become a cause for conflict and violence. Such encounters break down relationships and trust among farming and […]

Counting down in faith

July 20, 2018 Charles Kwuelum

By Charles Kwuelum On June 30, the Democratic Republic of the Congo celebrated its 58th anniversary of independence. Instead of celebrating landmark democratic achievements as a nation, the country faces the unpleasant challenge of multi-layered conflicts including political and ethnic violence. Militarized responses from DR Congo’s armed forces and rebel groups continue to shake its stability. In December 2016, President Joseph Kabila’s second and last term ended according to Congolese constitution. Elections have been delayed and the president has since remained in office. This has led to countrywide protests from citizens to demand elections. The peaceful protests were met with […]

Nigeria: Rebuilding lives

May 4, 2018 Charles Kwuelum

By Charles Kwuelum Displaced from her home by Boko Haram attacks at Madagali, Nigeria and the Nigerian military’s response, Christy and her family fled to the area of Girei in Adamawa State. As the family of seven tried to escape the violence, Christy was abducted and forced into marriage with a Boko Haram member. She was lucky to escape in 2015. While sharing the story with a care giver and faced with trauma and almost in tears, she said, “I was 24 in 2014 when it happened, but thank God that I am able to partake in an opportunity for […]

“I will not forget you”

November 16, 2017 Charles Kwuelum

“I will not forget you” By Charles Kwuelum Amidst all of the headlines these days, little attention is being paid to the crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo). In August 2016, violence broke out in the Kasai region when the Kamuina Nsapu, a local militia group, engaged in a clash with national security forces. The clash was partly due to the local appointment of a traditional chief, seen by many as a way to influence land rights and traditional values. The Kasai region is the birthplace of the Mennonite Church in DR Congo. The violence displaced […]

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 […]