Samaru Widows' School Development (96708)
To be a widow in Nigeria can mean losing your home, your primary means of support and retirement, and perhaps your children to your deceased husband’s family. Some widows lose their husbands because of their Christian testimony, and many of these are missionaries with the Evangelical Missions Society (EMS), the national mission agency of ECWA, SIM’s primary church partner.
The ECWA Women’s Fellowship of the Eastern Zaria District Church Council saw the plight of young women who lost their husbands who had been posted as peacekeepers in other African nations, and felt the church needed to bring change to these destitute widows. The school was founded in 1979 in Samaru-Kataf where ECWA already had some property and a few buildings.
Samaru Widows’ School is a safe and nurturing place where widows can live with their young children and attain basic education, biblical studies, life skills and vocational training to equip them to support themselves and their children for the long term. Vocational skills include knitting, sewing, jewelry-making, making pomade vaseline, making mentholatum Vicks Vapour Rub, and making a chocolate drink called bournevita.
Annual enrollment is between 80 and 100 widows, as well as their young children.
Two SIM missionary sisters, Cheryl and Donna Pridham, live, train and teach at the school. It’s not an easy location, especially when civil unrest erupts in nearby towns.
Project backgroundOver the past years, the school facilities have deteriorated due to aging and to rain. This project will help to repair and replace decrepit student dormitories and staff housing. An administration and classroom block needs to be finished. Another classroom needs two new walls and a roof. Cement blocks have been made to replace the walls in the classroom that fell down last year.
Water shortages have also been a problem for several years. A water survey has now been completed with plans to drill a borehole. However, the drilling company is awaiting parts to arrive from overseas. Cement blocks have been made to build a water tower. Water storage tanks and outdoor taps are also needed. If a good supply of water is obtained, the widows' school community and many neighbors will greatly benefit.
The project is to update five existing staff residences which are on the verge of collapsing. Two homes have thus far been replaced. Another single family home and either two more homes or a duplex are still needed. Two new dormitories have been built in recent years, one replacing the one that fell down, and the other being a new dorm. All six of the old dormitories need serious repairs—roofs, new doors and windows, painting, drainage ditches. Also a classroom block containing three classrooms was started several years ago and is not completed. The roof is now added, but much work remains--doors, windows, plastering, floors, painting, and electrical wiring. With the increasing enrollment, all these facilities are needed.
When one woman returned to school from summer break and saw the new dormitory, she said, “I see a miracle! Now the rats won’t eat up all our grain.” The building is newly painted and ready for occupancy. Those who aren’t chosen to live in the new dorm will be disappointed.
Six main projects:
Project UpdatesUpdate Mid-Year 2011
Personal stories of widows: True Religion in Samaru
Project Number: 96708 Current Funding Progress:
Note: Financial information is updated quarterly and therefore may not reflect the data reported in a more recent article.