Projects in Nigeria
Support that is targeted, managed on the ground, and able to demonstrate a path to hope and success
Friends of Nigeria has a long history of supporting development projects in Nigeria. From 1999 through 2019 we have raised and distributed more than $290,000 as grants to 12 organizations. All membership dues not required for operational expenses go to development projects. 100% of donations go to development projects.
VSO (Volunteer Service Overseas)
VSO is a British nonprofit, formerly a government agency, that deploys volunteers to Nigeria and other countries. FON's support of VSO began in 2004 and until 2015 we had a major relationship with VSO Nigeria. Due to changes in the program, we have not received applications from VSO since 2015, and all small projects sponsored by FON have been completed. From 2008 to 2015 FON supported 15 individual projects sponsored and administered by VSO volunteers in the field. FON support for VSO since 2004 totals nearly $52000. This commitment of support for the VSO Nigeria organization, and VSO itself, facilitated our links to the projects, and fostered communication with the VSO volunteers in the field.
Volunteers posted to Nigeria, usually for one or two years, have come from a variety of countries including England, Canada, India, Philippines, Malawi, Uganda, South Africa and more. All VSO Nigeria volunteers were invited to request grants of up to $2,000 each from FON for the purpose of carrying out a project that they otherwise could not do without some funding help. The applications required that the local communities contribute their own funds, or at least in-kind support, and that the project be sustainable once the volunteer leaves. Here are highlights of some projects, many of which were designed to demonstrate innovative technologies or planning that could be adapted once shown to be successful.
Lukas Partzsch of Germany, and later Adubango Collins of Uganda, introduced new modified maize varieties in Mangu, Plateau State. This maize is higher yielding and more resistant to pests, disease, and drought. Early feedback was positive.
Michael Mawambi of Uganda proposed a community resource/recreation center for at-risk youth in Calabar, Cross River State. The project used locally donated land, including a building in need of rehabilitation.
Peter James Okoyo of Uganda provided better quality rice seed to replace that of victims of ethnic violence in Bukan Sidi, Lafia, and Nasarawa State.
Stephen Kyalibulha of Uganda developed tree nurseries both to provide shade for schools and also to teach students at the schools some entrepreneurship skills. This project will ultimately benefit 14 schools in Nasarawa State.
Al Razon of the Philippines and Abdul Ahmed helped women farmers in Jacaranda, Kaduna State. The women are now using bullocks for more efficient plowing, and use improved soya bean seeds for higher yields.
Lilly Mwaniki of Kenya rehabilitated an old oil palm processing mill in Ikpem, Imo State, providing employment and oil palm for local households.
Moses Nwatu of Uganda provided a private changing room for girl secondary students in Ubbe so that they felt empowered to continue attending school while menstruating -- a serious obstacle to attendance, especially among girls in the predominantly Muslim north.
Brian Kahuni from Zambabwi helped farmers raise rabbits, a quick source of protein and farm income at Lafia in Nasarawa State.
Rabbit hutches were provided to farmers in Nasarawa State
Since 2008, our donations have supported The Fantsuam Foundation, our long-time NGO partner near Kafanchan in Kaduna State. As of 2019, FON had donated nearly $68,000 to Fantsuam. The most recent donation is helping with the construction of a sewer system in Banyan Loco to help combat disease caused by lack of good sanitation.
African Community Health Initiative (ACHI)
From 2012 through 2019, FON provided $46,700 to the African Community Health Initiative to continue rehabilitation of an old school into a lab/resource center in Imo State, and to support health-related programs of ACHI. ACHI was founded by Queen Obasi, a nurse who emigrated from Nigeria to St. Paul, MN, where she works with medical colleagues and members of the Nigerian diaspora in the United States to help provide basic health services to communities in Nigeria and Namibia.
American University of Nigeria (AUN)
The American University of Nigeria (AUN) provides assistance to hundreds of thousand of Boko Haram refugees in Yola, Adamawa State. $2,000 was approved in early February, 2015, for food aid for Boko Haram refugees. Since 2011, FON has provided $19,000 in grants to AUN.
WE CARE Solar
In 2010 Berkeley, California physician Laura Stachel carried suitcase-sized solar generators to Nigeria and elsewhere so that the operating rooms where she worked would have necessary power. FON was among early supporters with grants totaling $6,000 at a time when solar packs were essentially homemade by Laura's husband and WE CARE co-founder Hal Aronson. WE CARE Solar has expanded in recent years as word of its success has spread to nearby Silicon Valley and elsewhere.
Maternal Health, Fistula Prevention
A recent focus for FON is maternal health and interventions to prevent or cure fistula. Fistula is a perforation of the vaginal wall as a result of prolonged labor, causing either urine or feces to leak uncontrollably. Often the result of pregnancy before the woman's body has fully developed, the prolonged labor often results in the loss of the baby as well. Women with fistula are often shunned by their families, and find it difficult to adjust to normal life. Friends of Nigeria has donated to EngenderHealth and DOVENET, organizations that specialize in addressing maternal health and fistula repair.
Nominate your favorite organization
Members should nominate other organizations doing good things in Nigeria that we might support. Simply contact any board member and provide the details. Note: the FON board has chosen to support concrete projects with on-the-ground results, but will not support ill-defined projects.