Learn & Serve: Birmingham Youth Support SIFAT Training Graduate in Nigeria!
Pastor Ogbatabo is a pseudonym for one of our SIFAT graduates and trainers in Nigeria. Because of his work in a violent area, we want to protect his identity for his safety. Pastor Ogbatabo submitted a proposal to SIFAT, which was approved as a SIFAT international project.
SIFAT’s Learn & Serve department pledged to help Pastor Ogbatabo fund his project through educating North American youth on the issue of smoke inhalation around the world and allowing them the chance to partner with SIFAT through financial contributions. Several L&S staff members and leaders from various participating groups have contributed. One inspiring story of a group committing to fund Pastor Ogbatabo’s project comes from Canterbury United Methodist Church of Birmingham, Alabama.
When students from Canterbury UMC met Pastor Ogbatabo while at SIFAT during Summer 2013, they decided they wanted to sponsor his project in Nigeria. After telling their friends and parents about Pastor Ogbatabo and his work, they decided to take up an offering once a month at their Sunday night youth program.
Canterbury UMC students are committed to raising $1200 for Pastor Ogbatabo and at their first Sunday night offering they gave $357! They held a party celebrating his project for their second Sunday night offering and raised $211 more, and after last week’s offering they have now raised a total of $728! The students get really excited about this and are inviting their friends and telling them, along with their parents, about Pastor Ogbatabo, the problem of smoke inhalation and the simple solution that rocket stoves provide!
Pastor Ogbatabo’s trainings have inspired both community leaders in Nigeria and youth in the States to action in the fight to eliminate smoke-inhalation related illnesses.