SCC Hull Support Worker Dimas Coston has travelled to villages in north Nigeria to deliver vital medical supplies, food and support to people in desperate need of help.
Dimas, who went as part of the Shalom Global Missionary Outreach team, was helping to distribute deworming medication to school children, second-hand clothes and food.
He described the trip as ‘a truly humbling experience’ and said that the villagers ‘welcomed us with open arms’.
Dimas was given a donation of £145 from his Swanton colleagues to fund some of the supplies as he ventured out into treacherous territory to reach the villagers to provide life-saving help.
Dimas said: “Getting to these villages is hard – there is lots of mud and stagnant water, and cars can’t get up some of the narrow paths.
“We can only take vehicles and motorcycles for a short part of the journey, and we completed the rest on foot.
“When we arrived, the villagers welcomed us with open arms and their joy at our presence was inspiring.
“Due to recent flooding, the access to their neighbouring communities is blocked, and their farmlands and livelihoods have been badly damaged.
“We were all deeply motivated by their resilience and determination.”
During the trip, Dimas and the mission group provided deworming treatment to over 1,005 adults and children and administered medical care to 250 people.
They also fed over 180 children with bread and tea after the effects of malnutrition in some of the kids meant urgent intervention was required.
Dimas said: “The bread and tea brought immense joy to their faces, many of them had not enjoyed such a meal in the past year.
“It was heartbreaking to see many children in these communities being neglected and suffering from malnutrition.”
During the mission, Dimas met with many people who are living without basic necessities in the most gruelling conditions.
He said: “The most significant challenge we observed in these communities is the lack of access to clean and safe drinking water, especially for the children.
“The village, situated in a muddy area with lots of clay in the ground, relies on contaminated creeks and stagnant water sources.
“During our visit, the village chief urgently appealed for assistance, asking if anyone could help them install a borehole to provide clean drinking water for their children.”
Now he’s back in the UK, Dimas has been reflecting on the trip and the people he met.
Dimas said: “By volunteering with this charity, I’ve learned the true meaning of compassion and the impact of even the smallest acts of kindness.
“Reaching out to these people, offering support and raising awareness for their plight is all in the hope we can help them live longer lives.
“I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to the entire Swanton community who has supported us on this journey.
“Your contribution has been instrumental, and together we can continue to make a lasting impact by addressing the crucial needs in these communities.”