MCHENRY—In January, 14 ImaBridge team members made the organization’s 12th mission trip to Nigeria.
The charitable organization based in the Rockford Diocese (see box, below right) delivered supplies and visited several Nigerian villages to fulfill its mission of providing health, education, clean water and improving the economy in rural areas.
What is ImaBridge?
ImaBridge Africa is a faith based 501(c)3 charitable organization that was founded in 2008 by Father Godwin Asuquo while he served at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Maple Park. He is now pastor of St. Patrick Parish in McHenry,
The name derives from the word ima, which means love in Father Godwin’s native dialect. Adding the English work bridge to form ImaBridge Africa means “Building a Bridge of Love to Africa” or “I am a Bridge of Love to Africa.”
The organization’s goal is “building a bridge of love” through service, love and prayers.
Info: www.imabridge.org, email@example.com, ImaBridge Africa on Facebook
The group also met and distributed supplies, shipped in October, that were collected by parishioners of St. Patrick in McHenry, St. Mary in DeKalb, Montini School in McHenry, and other donors.
Medical equipment including hospital beds, wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, and other supplies were distributed to hospitals and clinics throughout Akwa Ibom state.
Health is the major area of focus of ImaBridge, as most rural villagers receive little or no health care.
The team assisted volunteer Nigerian doctors, nurses, and others to provide medical missions in seven rural villages.
Approximately 3,000 villagers were screened and treated for diabetes, hypertension, malaria, malnutrition and other medical conditions. There were 27 surgeries performed at the ImaBridge Community Health Care Center. In addition, 500 pounds of medications were administered and 400 pairs of reading glasses were distributed.
The group is raising $40,000 to expand its clinic and surgical theater, which will include a prenatal clinic with ultrasound services, as well as labor and delivery care.
ImaBridge has helped rural communities by drilling solar powered water wells that include water purification systems to provide access to free and clean drinking water to serve thousands of rural villagers.
This year, a new solar-powered borehole was installed on the recently acquired land for the ImaBridge clinic and surgical theater.
Another solar powered borehole was installed in the village of Ikot Etobo, Mkpat Enin LGA., an area that had acute water scarcity and contamination.
ImaBridge distributed uniforms for 300 primary school children. A Montini School project provided the uniforms, which are required but difficult for some parents to provide.
The ImaBridge team also funded scholarships for 20 qualifying students and seminarians to attend university and/or polytechnic schools in a variety of majors.
Other activities included a donation to St. Andrew Primary School at Ikot Okure, Ibesikpo, to help build a new roof. ImaBridge also shipped a 12-passenger van, which was donated to Archbishop Usanga’s International School.
Through microfinancing, ImaBridge moved and refurbished a press to process palm oil for sale. ImaBridge also made a donation to a women’s organization that helps widows who need to provide for their families.
The donation will help fund training the women in areas such as making soap, air-freshener and beads, and learning fashion design and tailoring, catering and other business skills.
Plans are underway for ImaBridge’s next mission trip to Nigeria in late December.