In Nigeria, Mission 21 focuses its efforts on promoting peace. Mission 21 also supports the population through numerous projects aimed at improving education and healthcare. Great emphasis is also placed on agriculture and livelihood security.
Our focus on peace promotion is due to the situation in the country: the Boko Haram terrorist militia has caused unspeakable suffering in the north-east of Nigeria. Enormous social and economic damage has been inflicted. The crisis has claimed well over 40,000 victims to date. According to UN estimates, about two million people in Nigeria are afflicted by acute and moderate malnutrition. This number includes about half a million infants.
Mistrust among religious groups
Around 2.6 million people have been driven from their homes and have been on the run inside the country, sometimes for many years.
The Nigerian armed forces drove the Boko Haram terrorist militia back to some extent in 2015. Many people have returned to their homes again, often only to find that they are left with nothing. Houses and infrastructure have been destroyed; stocks and supplies have vanished. Mistrust prevails among the religious groups and many people are traumatized.
Aid for displaced persons
Mission 21 joins with the EYN (its partner church) and other partner organisations to support returnee families with rebuilding infrastructure and the basis for their livelihood. Trauma work plays an important part here. Psychosocial support for traumatized individuals is a field of work that is tackled by only a few of the organisations involved. Services to meet the enormous demand for assistance are in very short supply. The conflict is having a particularly severe impact on women and children, and Mission 21 accords high priority to supporting these groups.
Dialogue between Christians and Muslims
Mission 21's partner organisations work with people regardless of their origins, ethnicities and religions. Interfaith dialogue is a crucial factor in promoting peace. Peace work activities include numerous opportunities for encounters between individuals from different religious communities.
Working for peace
The conflict region in the north-east of Nigeria is home to the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN), Mission 21's partner church. Over 8,000 members of the EYN have lost their lives due to terrorism. In spite of this, the church's members are pressing on with their work to promote peace. Our partner church is firmly rooted and accepted in the region – an important requirement for it to become actively involved in this complex situation.
Education for children and young people
Lifeline Compassionate Global Initiatives (LCGI), an interfaith NGO, is another of Mission 21's partner organisations in Nigeria. LCGI promotes access to education and vocational training for children and young people. In addition, this organisation offers interest-free loans and training in vocational skills to provide support for families impacted by the conflict.
Action against HIV
Healthcare is another area where the church is at work: Nigeria has the continent's largest number of people living with HIV. Our partner church is working to reduce the number of new infections and to improve living conditions for people with HIV.