Mission to Mele-Muku 2017
Bridge Haven Care Home, Home Manager Mary recently took part in a three week mission to Mele-Muku in Nigeria.
Mary joined Avante Care & Support as Home Manager at Bridge Haven in December 2016. Mary has always wanted to take part in a mission so in May 2017 she set off for her first Mission in Nigeria which was arranged and supported by her local church the Endtime Evangelical Church based in Chatham, Kent. Below is Marys story on her recent mission.
Mission to Mele-Muku 2017
Endtime Evangelical Church
Endtime Evangelical Church is based in Chatham, Kent. The church is involved in various community work such as feeding the homeless and singing Christmas carols at residential homes or hospitals in Medway. We annually visit rural communities in Nigeria to educate, support and encourage the locals. This year we went to Mele- Muku a small village in Ibadan. Our church not only provides religious teaching but also educational workshops and health related services. All participants in the mission are volunteers who found their travel in the hopes of being a positive impact around the world.
Preparing for the mission in the UK
Members of the church all got involved in contributing, donating and assisting towards the mission. We had food sales for a few months before the mission and all proceeds went towards funding the mission. We also donated money, clothes, shoes and toys for the locals. We worked alongside local pharmacies which donated painkillers, blood sugar strips and ensure shakes. All the donations were shipped and cargoed to Nigeria.
Arriving to Nigeria
Two weeks prior to the mission we began preparations. The cargoed items were sorted according to gender, size and age range. We also prepared health and hygiene packs which included Paracetamol/ Ibuprofen, sanitary towels, deodorants, toothpaste, toothbrush and cotton buds. We visited the local market to buy books, colouring notebooks, sweets and treats for the school kids in Abese primary school. It was a very fun experience as we had to bargain with the locals for good deals. We also ordered printed bags for all the students attending the school. For the widows we bought local food such as cassava, beans, rice and food seasoning.
Prior to the medical health checks volunteers were trained on their roles during the checks. It was essential to ensure that they were clear on the importance of confidentiality and data collection. They were briefed on the schedule for the health checks and what was expected of them as assistants. I also trained the volunteers on how to take blood pressure and blood sugar readings, what the results meant and the interpretation.
On the 1st May we visited an orphanage in Nigeria called Gideon Orphanage. On our arrival we were greeted by the children and we sang with them. They all spoke to us about their experiences and we were told about some of their heartfelt and emotional stories. We spoke to them with encouraging words and encouraged them in realising that they are special and their future can be so much brighter.
Abese Primary School
Last year during our visit at Abese primary school they requested for a computer because the children had never used or seen a computer before. The school was given a computer and school uniform for all the students. This year when we visited on 5th May the children were beaming with joy and singing and hugging us. We provided each child with a brand new printed bag and watched some displays they prepared for us.
Mission in Mele-Muku Rural Community
The mission took place from 4th -6th of May. It begun with a forum for the ministers that lead Mele and surrounding communities. We discussed the importance of family and striking a balance between work and family time. We discussed issues within their communities and brought forth potential solutions. In the afternoon, the ministers were given the opportunity to get a free healthcare check-up. We noticed that many had high blood pressure or high blood sugar results so we spoke to them on possible lifestyle changes they could make on their diet and daily activities.
Free health checks for the locals took place in the morning, over 200 adults attended eager to have free health checks. To many this is a rare opportunity because they cannot afford to pay hospital bills. They were all so grateful and thankful for the services we provided.
Many women are left to fend for their children and themselves due to the loss of their husband. We hold sessions for the widows to support them with goods and encouragement. There were 160 widows to whom we each gave money (1,000 Naira) and food such as rice, beans, cassava and food seasoning.
There were approximately 130 youth. We had sessions on hygiene, health and mental wellness. We spoke to them about puberty and the stages they should expect to go through. Many of the young girls had never seen sanitary towels before so we demonstrated how to use it and its advantages. We taught them how to use a shaving stick when required and how to use deodorant sticks and sprays. At the end of the session we gave them the hygiene packs.
A day filled with singing, dancing and performances from choirs and a drama group. The atmosphere was vibrant and we prayed and ended the mission with a love feast. We paid for caterers to cook large portions of a traditional meal of Jollof rice and beans with chicken of fried fish.
Our future plans
- Sponsoring orphans to private schools
- Supporting the children at Abese school with equipment and their school fees
- Reaching other parts of Nigeria to offer our services
This was a life changing experience for me and we look forward to continuing in this adventure. For further information and details please visit the website eeczionhouse.com or visit the youtube channel eeczionhouse.
Thank you for reading,
Bridge Haven Home Manager
To find out more about Bridge Haven care home please call us on 01227 831607 or use the contact form below. We look forward to hearing from you and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
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