MCC

MCC connects with supporters through digital media

Nadine Ens and her daughter Jenice tie knots in a comforter at the Great Winter Warm-up in Saskatoon on Jan. 18, to kick off MCC’s centennial. MCC is using a webinar series and new podcasts to share stories about its work in Canada and around the world. (MCC photo by Myriam Ullah)

Corinne Narine, left, her daughter Jaden Narine, and Ting Terrazas, all of Winnipeg, are tying their first comforter of the day at the Great Winter Warm-up, a comforter-tying event that was held across Canada, the United States and Europe to kick off MCC’s centennial on Jan. 18. In total, MCC received 9,504 comforters, exceeding the goal of 6,500. (MCC photo by Emily-Ann Doerksen)

Volunteer Gord Friesen helps load 210 completed comforters into a truck at the end of the Great Winter Warm-up event at North Kildonan Mennonite Brethren Church in Winnipeg, on Jan 18. An MCC webinar episode, called ‘From hearts to hands: Material resources,’ describes meaningful volunteer opportunities for people to make and pack comforters and relief kits. (MCC photo by Emily-Ann Doerksen)

“One bar of soap isn’t just a drop in the ocean of need. The ripples keep moving out in ways we may not even be able to count.”

Former Ten Thousand Villages stores in Alberta rebrand

Assistant manager Alexandra Ketchum, left, and manager Roberta Taylor pose in front of the newly rebranded fair-trade store in Edmonton. The former Ten Thousand Villages store is now called Village Goods. (Photo by Joanne De Jong)

Villages Calgary manager Laura Pederson, left, and Maeva Kouakou, summer and marketing intern, stand next to their store’s mural painted in 2018 by local artist Daniel Kirk, son of store volunteer June Kirk. (Photo courtesy of Laura Pederson)

“What would it take to stay open?” asked members of the Edmonton Ten Thousand Villages (TTV) Society after the organization announced its closure in early January. Independently owned stores across Canada held emergency meetings to decide what to do next.

MCC responding to explosion in Beirut

The city of Beirut, Lebanon, shown here in this panoramic view before the explosion, was damaged extensively Tuesday by an explosion thought to be caused by improperly stored ammonium nitrate. (Photo by dasMaddin/iStock)

Mennonite Central Committee is responding to the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, that caused extensive damage throughout the capital city on Aug. 4. 

The blast is believed to have been caused by large quantities of ammonium nitrate, used for fertilizer and explosives, stored unsafely in a warehouse at the city’s port.

EU grant helps MCC support peacebuilding projects in Middle East

A presenter with Peace Organization, a Syrian non-profit organization, stands during a peace dialogue in Damascus, Syria. (Their name is withheld for security reasons.) At these sessions, held last fall, youth discussed the definition of peace, the role of young people in building peace, and how to start a peace initiative. (Photo courtesy of Peace Organization)

Representatives from 17 Middle Eastern non-profit organizations participated in an August 2019 conference in Broumana, Lebanon, hosted by MCC and its partner organization, Development for People and Nature Association. The conference kicked off a European Union-funded initiative intended to empower the organizations to promote peace. (MCC photo by Garry Mayhew)

With a 994,000-euro grant (C$1.5 million) from the European Union, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is empowering organizations to implement peacebuilding projects across four Middle Eastern countries.

Coins count, and so do bottles

Rosthern (Sask.) Mennonite Church members meet in Brian and Delilah Roth’s farm shop to sort and crush bottles donated through their bottle drive. Pictured from left are Brenda Isaak, Brooklyn Isaak, Denise Epp, Jeanette Hanson, Todd Hanson, Lloyd Schmidt and Cheryl Schmidt. (Photo by Delilah Roth)

Four pick-up trucks laden with bottles and other refundable items prepare to leave the Roth farm for the recycling depot in Rosthern, Sask. (Photo by Delilah Roth)

Brenda Isaak, Ashtyn Isaak and Larry Epp carry bags of bottles to the recycling depot in Rosthern, Sask. (Photo by Delilah Roth)

Every Saturday in May, Rosthern Mennonite Church members drove the streets of Rosthern, picking up bottles and other refundable beverage containers.

What is nature to you?

The shortest route from Wopisa-Gabriyèl to get medical assistance requires descending this waterfall. (MCC photo by Ted Oswald, 2017)

If you’ve ever invited me to go camping with you, you’ll know I’m not exactly what you would call “outdoorsy.” I enjoy nature, but I don’t really see the need to sleep in it, much less in a stuffy tent with sticks and rocks poking into my back. I feel the same about hiking—I’m just fundamentally unable to understand the appeal of walking for hours through the woods, tripping on rocks and being pestered by insects, just to turn around and walk back again, having accomplished nothing but getting myself exhausted and sweaty?

MCC announces program cuts, changes due to COVID-19

Tha Thi Ke stands in her family’s first cornfield in Vietnam’s Phu Tho Province. In 2001, MCC encouraged farmers to grow winter corn crops and find other ways to supplement income from their rice yields, helping them remain on their land rather than being forced to migrate. (MCC photo by Jack Leonard)

Mushiya Christine, Kayaya Lulula and Veronigue Lumba Misenga took part in a support group for older refugees in 2017, run by MCC partner Refugee Social Services in Durban, South Africa. These elders can feel isolated and stressed, but home visits and support groups help them feel connected. (MCC photo by Matthew Sawatzky)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has scaled up its work to respond to the global crisis, increasing projects related to water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH), local health initiatives and food relief.

The gift of giving time

After 46 years, Margie Steingart still works at the Christian Benefit Thrift Shop in St. Catharines, Ont. (MCC 100 stories for 100 years photo)

Many people have given their time to volunteering, but few have a record of volunteering for the same organization for 46 years. Margie Steingart has that distinction. She has volunteered for the Christian Benefit Thrift Shop in St. Catharines, Ont., since it opened in January 1974, making her, at the age of 93, the oldest volunteer there.

MCC set to address COVID-19 threats

Thiciano Pareja Saucedo, 8, washes her hands at El Comedor de Niños, an after-school program for children in the Montero area of Bolivia, about an hour from Santa Cruz. One of its main goals is to improve nutrition and health outcomes in the community by teaching children about healthy eating, gardening and hygiene. (MCC photo by Matthew Sawatzky)

Middle East Council of Churches, an MCC partner, distributed MCC relief kits, which contain hygiene supplies, to the most vulnerable displaced people and host community members in a neighbourhood in the Syriac Orthodox diocese in Aleppo, Syria, in 2016. This year, MCC’s partners in Syria and Lebanon will distribute individual hygiene kits and food to help people protect themselves from the novel coronavirus. Names are withheld for security reasons. (Photo courtesy of MECC)

As COVID-19 spreads and worsens, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) continues its worldwide work while attending to the health and well-being of its staff. 

We need more Peters!

Kayel Truong, centre in white shirt, and crew cut hair for free every Saturday for homeless people living in downtown Calgary.

Peter Worsley

“We need more Peters! He’s only one man,” exclaims ex-offender Kayel Truong, when asked about the Bridges Ministries program run by Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Alberta to help prisoners of faith successfully reintegrate into the community.

Four ways MCC is responding to COVID-19

Angela Bifuko Bahati (centre, orange dress) and her family live in the Mubimbi camp outside of Minova in eastern DR Congo. They have access to a clinic supported by MCC. (MCC photo by Matthew Lester)

Things like frequent handwashing and social distancing have become the new normal. This is life during the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures help reduce the spread and keep everyone safe. We’re all in this together.

MCC invites community to participate in day of prayer

Kitchener, Ont.—In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mennonite Central Committee is inviting supporters to join the organization in a day of prayer on Wednesday, March 25. “Times of uncertainty call us to reach out to the most vulnerable in our community: those locally and globally who will be most affected by this crisis,” MCC Ontario said in a statement. “We believe this is a time to recommit ourselves to caring for our neighbours and acting generously—whether in our own homes, across the street or around the world. We invite you to join us... as we come together for #MCCdaytopray.

Water from stone

Aïchatou Hamidou sits with the women who make up her WASH team after finishing their morning errands in Kobiteye, a government camp supporting around 6,000 refugees. (MCC photo by Colin Vandenberg)

With a series of quick, practiced strokes, Aïchatou Hamidou clears the area around a newly built latrine with a long broom made from dry grass.

Compelled by Christ to serve

An interior view of a refugee train with a family of Mennonites from Schoenwiese, southern Russia (present-day Ukraine). (MCC photo by A.W. Slagel)

Mennonite refugees leave the harbour at Bremerhaven, Germany, on the Volendam in 1947. The group, led by Peter and Elfrieda Dyck, was the first of three groups of Mennonite refugees transported by the Volendam to South America in 1947 and 1948. Throughout the 1930s and ’40s, MCC helped resettle thousands of Mennonite refugees from Europe. (MCC photo)

MCC U.S. executive director Ron Byler and MCC Canada executive director Rick Cober Bauman stand in front of the former Jakob Dyck lumber mill, the site of MCC’s first relief kitchen in Khortitsa, Ukraine. (MCC photo by Matthew Sawatzky)

“At the railroad stations, the sight was appalling. The moment the train halted it was besieged by living skeletons. From out of the rags were lifted bare arms, the wasted fingers extended toward the car windows in entreaty for food. 

“‘Bread, in God’s name, bread!’ ”

Sharing stories that spell MCC

Kathy Braun, left, tells the children at Osler Mennonite Church that it takes a lot of people to do the work of Mennonite Central Committee. (Photo by Adeline Cox)

Holding up letters that spell Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), members of Osler Mennonite Church demonstrate that the work of MCC is a group effort. (Photo by Adeline Cox)

During the Sunday school hour, Jake Buhler recalls the 20 years he and his wife Louise, spent under MCC in Vietnam and Thailand. (Photo by Adeline Cox)

Loretta Sawatzky reflects on her year of service under the Intermenno Trainee Program with her husband Lloyd in Switzerland. (Photo by Adeline Cox)

This year marks the 100th anniversary of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), and one Saskatchewan congregation got off to an early start in celebrating it.

Osler Mennonite Church chose Jan. 26 as “MCC Sunday,” inviting MCC Saskatchewan executive director Eileen Klassen Hamm to be its guest speaker. 

Watch: Dispatches from a SALTer in Colombia

Victoria Callow is currently living and serving in La Mesa, Colombia. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

Victoria Callow entered the SALT program after graduating from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, with a degree in English education. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

Our recent Focus on Education issue featured a reflection by Hannah Larson, a young woman serving in northeastern India with Mennonite Central Committee’s Serving and Learning Together program. 

Their stories showed me how to be brave

Hannah Larson of Vancouver, Wash., serves with SALT in Siliguri, India, with the West Bengal Voluntary Health Association. (Photo courtesy of Hannah Larson)

In the last few months with Mennonite Central Committee’s Serving and Learning Together program, I have thought often about how we all use stories to communicate. And how sometimes I have found myself wishing I could politely use a bookmark to pause someone’s story when I wasn’t that interested in it. 

Join ‘The Great Winter Warm-up’

Aleksandr Dmitriyenko holds MCC comforters he received in Zhytomyr, Ukraine, in 2016 during distribution to people displaced by violence in the eastern part of the country. (MCC photo by Colin Vandenberg)

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) will kick off its 100-year anniversary celebration in 2020 by bringing together volunteers in Canada, the United States and Europe to make 6,500 comforters in one day.

Understanding the impact of Agent Orange

This image, from the War Relics Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, shows the devastating effects of Agent Orange on the Vietnamese countryside. (Photos courtesy of Garth and Claire Ewert Fisher)

Garth and Claire Ewert Fisher travelled with MCC British Columbia executive director Wayne Bremner to Vietnam, where they were met with MCC Vietnam staff and volunteers. Pictured, from left to right: Nikolai Mazharenko, MCC Vietnam co-director; Beth Kvernen, MCC volunteer; Eva Mazharenko, MCC Vietnam co-director; Ba Vinh, Vietnamese reference group; Co Mai, MCC Vietnam staff; Wayne Bremner; Ba Bai, Vietnamese reference group; Claire Ewert Fisher; Josh Kvernen, MCC volunteer; and Garth Ewert Fisher.

Garth Ewert Fisher sits with a Vietnamese man during a home visit.

Children who are impacted by Agent Orange receive physical and occupational therapy at a rehabilitation centre supported by MCC.

Decades after American military forces used Agent Orange to further their efforts in the Vietnam War, this deadly chemical continues to impact the lives of Vietnamese people.

Learning to farm with droughts and deluges

Soba Bika Sunchiuri shows some of the vegetables she is growing in a plastic house provided by MCC, which helps her to grow plants in spite of irregular rainfall and deluges caused by climate change. (MCC photo by Luke Reesor-Keller)

With the technical help of Brethren in Community Welfare Society, Hulai Rishidev’s cabbage field is thriving. (Photo courtesy of BICWS/Mahendra Yadav)

Sunita Tamang holds her child, Emma Tamang, 2, in front of her newly built plastic house and the drip irrigation system she will use to grow vegetables in South Lalitpur, Nepal. (MCC photo by Avash Karki)

The weather patterns in Nepal used to be regular about 15 to 20 years ago, says Durga Sunchiuri, who grew up helping his parents farm their land in the mountainous terraces of Nepal’s Terhathum District. Not anymore.

Watch: MCC is 100

Mennonite Central Committee has helped people around the world since 1920. (Photo courtesy of YouTube)

Mennonite Central Committee is gearing up to celebrate its centennial next year, and the relief organization has started producing a number of articles and videos to mark the occasion.

You can watch one of those videos—a three-minute-long piece that covers MCC’s history from 1920 until the present day—below.

Politics and paper cranes

'I still make paper cranes often...' (Image by Anke Sundermeier/Pixabay)

As the policy analyst for Mennonite Central Committee Ottawa, I’m constantly engaging with Canadian politics. I mostly love politics, but it’s also so easy to get drawn into toxic and fruitless debates and arguments. In order to stay grounded, I’ve discovered that I need to regularly reflect on the roots of my political passion—so much of which involves peace and human dignity, specifically the human impacts of political decisions, the stories of people and communities, the inherent dignity of all.

Watch: "The Story of MCC Thrift"

The women who opened the first MCC Thrift Shop in 1972 are portrayed in a new video. (Photo by Paul Plett)

The story of Mennonite Central Committee’s (MCC) thrift shops is given a unique retelling in a new video.

Filmed in one camera shot, the video starts with the creation of the first thrift shop in Altona, Man. in 1972 and traces its growth into a North American-wide network of more than 100 shops that bring in millions of dollars annually to support MCC’s work.

MCC celebrates, serves where its work began

Vladimir Kozlov of New Life, an MCC partner, distributes relief kits, school kits, comforters and canned meat in Nikopol, Ukraine, on June 21. (MCC photo by Matt Sawatzky)

MCC Ukraine staff Anna Proshak, left, and Olga Litvinenko serve corn grits, rye bread and warm cocoa—a 1920s MCC “relief-kitchen dinner”—at a symbolic picnic on June 16. (MCC photo by Matt Sawatzky)

Mary Raber, left, a Mennonite Mission Network worker in Ukraine; Peter Wolfe of Langley, B.C.; Catherine Enns of Winnipeg; and J Ron Byler, executive director of MCC U.S., read from 1920s testimonies of aid recipients and MCC workers at the picnic in Khortitsa on June 16. Behind them is a memorial to Mennonite victims of Stalin’s repression. (MCC photo by Matt Sawatzky)

Under shade trees in a city park on June 16, about 40 Anabaptists shared a picnic of corn grits, rye bread and warm cocoa.

 

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - MCC