PROJECT NEHEMIA

An initiative of BYF, EBCC Delhi

Genesis

Over the years there has been a mass exodus of our people from Zoudawn* towards urban settlements, especially Lamka**, primarily with the hope of finding better means of livelihood and the promise of a better future. Unfortunately, for the many that are unable to pursue this dream, life continues to be plagued with untold hardships. Since jhum cultivation, which is a subsistence and primitive form of agriculture, is their mainstay, our beleaguered brothers and sisters have neither regular nor alternative sources of income and, therefore, continue to live in abject poverty. In the absence of the most basic health care facilities worth the name, many lives have been – and continue to be – lost to the most benign illnesses. In short, everyday is a struggle for survival for them.

Lest we forget, there would be no land to call our own if our impoverished brethren do not continue to live out there in those remote villages. They, who keep on maintaining some semblance of life even under the bleakest of circumstances, are the true and worthy custodians of our land. We, who have moved to the towns and cities and have the luxury of pursuing our dreams and are often wont to patriotic jingoism and rhetoric today, must not even momentarily forget our roots and the foundation on which our society stands. We must strive to make our growth inclusive, for this is the only way to ensure the safety and prosperity of our people.

One way to achieve this goal is to empower the less privileged among us through education. And through education, we can gift them the hope of a better tomorrow. It is said that investment in human capital is the best investment there can ever be. Educating our young boys and girls is a means of securing our future.

In this context, it is common knowledge that the State-run schools, which are supposed to dispense free education, are in complete shambles. Their deplorable condition, especially at the primary level, cannot simply be overemphasized. While many of them are mere buildings with absentee teachers who have no moral qualms about getting paid where they do not work, many others exist only on paper. More often than not, various schemes and funds meant for these institutions never make it to the intended beneficiaries, as every rupee is systematically absorbed by corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and the powers that be in connivance with each other. We cannot afford to be callous and try to abdicate the responsibility of nurturing our future generation in the hands of those who do not care.

In contrast, the mission schools, especially the ones run by the Evangelical Baptist Convention (EBC), have been rendering yeomen’s service in trying to make a difference in the lives of the underprivileged children. The salary offered to the teachers is a pittance but they live frugal lives and devote themselves to nurturing those young dreams entrusted to their care. They stand for hope where there is little to be hoped for. It is true that the first generation of educated Zomis, particularly those in the early part of the 20th century, owe their accomplishments to the zealous efforts of such mission schools and their teachers. However, it is disheartening to know that after a century of Christianization, our mission school teachers still have to fill the vacuum left by unscrupulous agents, including the new breed of educated Zomi government ‘teachers’.

The least we could do to show our gratitude to these dedicated teachers for the untold sacrifices they make on a daily basis is to confer on them the dignity they so deserve in terms of respectable pay and better working environment. Further, these Mission schools, being managed with financial constraints, perpetually find themselves in need of even the most basic resources. And we who are more fortunate than our brethren in so many ways, have the responsibility to give something back to our society.

This is the conviction behind the genesis of Project Nehemiah, a humble initiative of the Baptist Youth Fellowship (BYF), EBCC Delhi. The Project, which was formally adopted on April 2, 2009, is an endeavour to financially support the imminent needs of the existing mission schools in the interiors of Zoudawn.

Progress

The Project in its year of inception managed to raise a sum of Rs 1 lakh with the blessings of the Almighty, our Provider. Since then, Project Nehemiah has been continuously able to achieve its targets year after year and thereby filling the various needs of our schools through the same. With the wholehearted cooperation and moral support of EBC Headquarters through the Director of Institutions, the Project has given financial assistance for construction of new school buildings and staff quarters as well as repairing of old ones, purchase of library and laboratory equipments/materials, provision of dictionaries for teachers, besides sponsoring training programmes for them with a view to ensure maximum capacity enhancement.
As on date, the Project has managed to raise over Rs 8 lakhs and more than 15 (fifteen) schools located in the interiors of Thanlon and Singngat sub-divisions of Manipur as well as parts of Mizoram have benefitted from the same. The beneficiaries also include all teachers of the 54 odd schools run by the EBC. It is also worth mentioning that the Project in its third year had incorporated an afforestation programme as its component to highlight the issue of ecological degradation and inculcate in the students a sense of stewardship towards protection of the environment.

The Project is in its seventh year now. For the current financial year (2015-16), a target of Rs 2,20,000/- has been set, which is sought to be achieved mostly through contributions to the Project Nehemiah Box by the youth of the Church, fund raising programmes by the BYF Committee as well as donations from likeminded members and individuals.

Constantly uphold our humble efforts in your prayers and continue to contribute generously to meet the needs of our people in Zoudawn.


* refers to the hill areas and, in this case, the southern District of Churachandpur, Manipur mainly inhabited by the Zomi communities.
** officially known as Churachandpur.

 

Project Nehemia - A Project of Hope

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Church Address & Pastor Qtr.:
Plot No 16, Pocket 6
Dwarka Sector 1A
New Delhi - 110 045

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Pastor N Tuang Lang - +91-9811343689
Pastor H. Biakson - +91-9711864037
Email: pastor@ebccdelhi.org

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Personal Counseling: 9:30am - 10:30am
First Service: 11:00am - 1:00pm
Second Service: 2:00pm Onwards

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