Aug/Sept Affairs With EMCI

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Hello and welcome to another session with us, here at Education Must Continue Initiative. Our activities in the past month and a half since our last blogpost have taken us from the outskirts of the Sambisa Forest in the troubled Borno state, to Philadelphia and Washington D.C.  Here we go again…
Jos to Yola to Lassa and back Trip (Below is a detailed itinerary of the trip)
Aug 25, 2015 –    Departed Jos for Yola (Paul & Rebecca Gadzama, Paula the journalist from  Christian Science Monitor)

CSM Journalist interviews the EYN President Rev. Dr. Samuel Dali in Jos, the annex headquarters of the church as Beckie looks on, prior to departing for Yola
Aug 26, 2015 At EMCI School, Yola (Paul, Rebecca, Paula)

–   Met 29 teachers (word had gone out that the founders would be coming)

–   Over 100 students just playing at school

–   Had a meeting with the teachers and school administrators

Back where the school started, our founders in front of a portion of the thatch classes being supported with tarpaulin
In spite of their being on holiday, children of the EMC School came out in large number to welcome the directors and the Christian Science Monitor Journalists
Some of the school staff identify with the cry for return of the abducted Chibok girls
Some of the children who came out from the neighborhood to welcome us during the trip despite the holiday
Some of the children who came out from the neighborhood to welcome despite the holiday
More children in the newly built classrooms, contributed by Family Worship Center from Abuja from a few months ago (see previous blog post)
Children playing in their makeshift ‘playground’ using the free gift from mother earth

CSM Journalist interviewing EMC IDP school teachers
Aug 26, 2015 At Lassa (Paul, Rebecca, Paula, Raheema, Solomon – youth/vigilante leader)

Ruins of a military tanks used by the Boko Haram and bombed by the Nigerian Air Forcejust by the highway beside the ruined EYN Headquarters, Kwarhi
Ruins of a military tanks used by the Boko Haram and bombed by the Nigerian Air Forcejust by the highway beside the ruined EYN Headquarters, Kwarhi (2)

Some of the vigilante members in Lassa on duty.

Donations of EMCI Materials

o 2 small First aid boxes to vigilantes

o 2 large green medical bags

o 1 trauma kit § 2 small first aid kits

o 2 cartons of mana nutrition foods

* All handed over to the chief nursing officer of Lassa General Hospital

Presentation of some EU donated medical kits and drugs at Lassa General Hospital

–    Found hospital building completely destroyed by BH

–    Remains of those very sick patients who could not run, felled down barely outside the hospital were still lying around

–    There were only 3 staff

–    No office  

Lassa Town Destruction

The House of a former Military Governor in Lassa, ransacked and burned

–    Almost 2/3 of the town is burned and fallen to the ground

–    None of the 15 churches are standing!

Ruins of a church in Lassa

–    Lassa main EYN church recently expanded to include primary and junior secondary schools is gone

–    All of the missionary-erected buildings have been completely dilapidated

–    Very few people, mostly women and children

–    No school for the past 3 years!

–    No serious farming as no one can go far from home

–    High level of malnutrition 

Ruins of the Lassa General Hospital as the vigilante escort our team on a tour

The hospital ambulance
About Lassa

–    Produced hundreds of educationalists

–    Provide huge technocrats to the Borno state and Federal Government

Raheema’s Project: educationisforbidden.com

–    Expressed her desire to liase with EMCI

–    Promised her possible collaboration in the very near future

First Sighting of my Destroyed House and Compound ~ Paul and Rebecca Gadzama –    Paul, Rebecca, Paula, Raheema (Photographer), 3 vigilantes and Lassa Commander

–    Met step mother-in-law, Lydia Mele and 3 aunts

–    Shocked at the level of devastation

–    Shown some of our broken utensils

–    Prayed for God to heal our land

–    Made more commitment to build education and to pray for true religion of peace which is in Jesus

–    Took off for Yola at 5:30 pm

Frontage of the Gadzama house in Lassa as it stands
The Gadzamas family bed use to be at the spot being pointed at

Paul’s younger brother’s house in the same compound
Aug 26, 2015 For Yola

–    The BH bombed bridge, forcing all vehicles to go locally on wooden bridge

–    Arrived Yola at 9:18 pm

– Took off back to Jos the following morning

With the CSM journalist who accompanied our founders on the trip
1 Month in the New School for 5 Girls in the U.S.
We celebrated 1 month of being in the new school for 5 of the secondary/high school Chibok girls in the U.S. in Mid Septebmer.
Received Donations of Books from Several Different Sources 
Towards the end of August, there was a donation of hundreds of books, journals, and educational materials from three independent sources in Nigeria. Some of these have already been allocated and distributed to the IDP camp school in Yola.
Got Placement for 9 kids (2 boys and 7 girls) from Primary to Secondary School at 4 Different Institutions in Jos and Abuja Plus Additional Spots for 10 others
We have been given 3 spots at for 2 boys BH ophaned boys aged 18, 11 and a girl, 8 years. Another orphaned girl will report to a college in Jos to start Diploma in community health on Oct 5th. She has 6 credits prior to enrollment.
We are expecting 15 kids from Borno. Another college is is giving EMCI 10 spots .
We also conducted trauma and healing counselling sessions for the children that recently arrived from Northern Nigeria.
These three girls from Lassa Township recently got admission sponsorship to a school in Jos
Trauma healing session for some children who got the relocation and placement program of EMCI
Trauma healing session for some children who got the relocation and placement program of EMCI (2)
Handing over 2 girls to a shelter and school in Abuja

Donations of Toiletries and other Basic Items from “Project Aloe”

A fellow Nigerian American, Ms. Jumoke Dada, founder “Project ALOE” visited with and donated toiletries and shirts to some of the Chibok girls in the States. Project ALOE, along with its community partners, supports and encourages college bound girls by providing beauty essentials and education at a send-off event in honor of their achievements while modeling the importance of giving back to others.

Project ALOE was founded by Jumoke K. Dada, the creative director of Signature RED a marketing and communications company that specializes in women-targeted marketing. In 2010, Ms. Dada felt compelled to give back to young women and as a result, created Project A.L.O.E – Assisting Ladies by Offering Essentials.
We are grateful for the shared openness and commitment to paying to forward, in way or another to young girls whose futures we can positively impact.
Receving toiletries and shirts from Project Aloe
Receving toiletries and shirts from Project Aloe (2)
Celebrated 1 Year at School in the U.S. for the First Batch of Girls
The month of September also marked the 1 year anniversary of four Chibok schoolgirls’ entry to the U.S. This was more or less, where it all began for EMCI.
Another Denial of visa by U.S. Consulate in Nigeria to a Chibok Escapee
On a sadder note however, the Chibok schoolgirl who had previously been denied a visa to go and continue her studies in the U.S. was yet again denied a visa. This time, it was a visitors visa to attend an education event in New York sponsored by the U.N. in conjunction with several other NGO’s. She was meant to be an education advocate, but as circumstances beyond our control hindered this dream from becoming a reality.
We will continue to strive for her and ensure she is able to attain the quality education she deserves.
Another BH Victim got a Visa to the U.S.
Finally, on a much lighter note, we do have something to celebrate from the U.S. Consulate in Nigeria. The daughter of a high profile Christian leader from the Northeast whose father was murdered by BH has had her visa successfully processed to continue her education in the U.S. Her studies in the new town she was relocated to, Yola, was disturbed by bombings and a series of attacks from BH. She felt unsafe and feared going to school following the attacks.
Thank you for taking the time to share with us in this stage of the journey. Till the next one.
EMCI

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