|TWIN CITIES — A team of refugees from Somalia will soon begin training to translate and broadcast gospel-based messages to their home country as part of Project Hannah. The initiative includes six Somali refugees living in neighboring Ethiopia and three staff members of Project Hannah. The training will begin this summer.
Project Hannah is a ministry that aims toward “meeting the needs of the whole woman with practical advice, spiritual guidance and an international prayer movement,” according to a media release from the group.
The Twin Cities is home to tens of thousands of Somali refugees, making it one of the largest concentrations of Somalis in the United States.
Ruth Mbennah, the Africa coordinator for Project Hannah, recounted a recent letter she received from a Somali woman indicating the situation many face in the war-torn country.
“She was explaining how she was very much hurt because in the refugee camps they don’t have food,” Mbennah said, via the release. “So she was going to look for food, and she left her girls in the tent. And she went to look for food a long time, many hours, and she came back with very little. When she was coming back, she found her daughters had been raped by soldiers. So those are the shocking stories we hear from all over Africa, especially the ones that have war like Somalia.”
Currently, Project Hannah’s “Women of Hope” program is broadcast in nearly 60 languages. The program offers “a life message and a soul message focusing on a common theme, from nutrition to mediating arguments to sexual abuse.”
Since the Somali government doesn’t allow Christian programming, the “Women of Hope” program will originate outside the country’s borders.
Mbennah, who was in the Twin Cities recently visiting her children, said finances are one of the biggest challenges Project Hannah faces.
“You’ll find that most of our teams, their life is very poor where they live,” Mbennah said. “And when you talk about bringing them together and being trained, we can support them with the little funds that we have. But keeping them together and focused on their programs and coming together to record the programs is very hard because we don’t have the funds to do that.”
Mbennah will also join the team training to translate and broadcast the gospel message in Somalia.
ACTIONPOINT: For more information about Project Hannah, visit www.projecthannah.org. For more information about TWR, visit www.twr.org.