The Nigeria/Nebraska Partnership was born from the Council of Bishops' Hope for the Children of Africa. Conferences in the United States were asked to partner with conferences in Africa with the purpose of improving the lives of the poorest of the poor children.
A partnership team between Nigeria and Nebraska was formed in 1999. At the end of March and beginning of April 2000 a group from Nebraska went to Nigeria to assess the needs of the Nigeria Conference. Seristina Johnston was then a Missioner of Hope and told the group of her dream of an orphanage near Jalingo, Nigeria. This orphanage became the project of the Nebraska Conference. The initial goal was to raise $250,000 to build on property that was owned by the Nigerian Conference. In 2005 the orphanage opened with 28 children who had lost their parents and were living with guardians who were most likely extended family members. In the fall of 2007, 20 more students were added.
The partnership continues today, with the Great Plains Conference being the primary source of funding for the orphanage in Jalingo; it is currently home to 98 students. In addition to the costs of running the orphanage, approximately $2,000 per child, per year is needed to provide for the resident orphans.
That is why your contributions are so important — whether your church or organization adopts support of individual students or participates in Nickels for Nigeria, it all helps to ensure these young people have a future. A future filled with caring role models, a good education and support for their basic needs. For more information on how you can help, contact Nigeria Partnership Chair Kathryn Witte at 402-499-1009.
To donate to the partnership, make checks payable to "Conference Treasurer," put Advance 300 (or Advance 301 to donate to a scholarship fund) in the memo line, and send to the Great Plains United Methodist Conference Center, PO Box 4187, Topeka, KS 66604.
The hope is that many will be moved to embark on churchwide support of a student at the $2,000 level or that others will be creative in employing Nickels for Nigeria campaigns.
With the help of people like you, the Nebraska Conference is fulfilling this continued need and providing a quality life for 98 children, each and every one of whom is precious in God's sight. To meet some of the children, click on the link below.