Month: August 2019

Civil Society Organization – COMFORT ZONE

As children’s plights increasingly escalate every day with perpetual groans and dismay and they seemingly feeling that all hope is gone, forever lost together with their comfort.

Rising from the phoenix from the ashes with blazing trail even as hope is rekindled and joy awakened, Arms of Comfort Foundation is thus leading and broadening the path of women and children to amazing choices and transformation leading many of them to make more sustainable goals especially on the part of the women.

More than seven thousand persons have been making resounding testimonies on the great graces they have benefited from this foundation that has given them value and true identity.

Arms of Comfort Foundation a charitable organization in the city of Lagos saw the need in 2006 to stretch forth its helping hands to the society.

The president of the foundation Mrs. Toyin Atilolari Afolabi who envisioned that every woman and child’s needs should be met by all means had the burning desire to ensuring that the dream sees the light of day.

Noting some of the foundation’s achievements, The Executive Director Mr. Kolawole Afolabi Sam Adeboye said that arms of comfort have indeed been extended to the poor,especially the women and children orphaned by various situations and circumstances in the society through the provision of rehabilitation and educational opportunities with a strong operational presence in Lagos and Ogun states in  South-West of Nigeria cum provision of microcredits, skill acquisition, scholarships,upkeep programmes and as well as counseling.

AOCF, Mrs. Afolabi said that she has been involved in the implementation of  ACCORD (Assistance and Care for Children Orphaned and at Risk) Project, which was sponsored by USAID through Hope Worldwide Nigeria from January 2011 to July 2013, in seventeen communities in Lagos State. Within this period, she stated that AOCF was able to serve a total of 7,522 vulnerable children from 2387 households.

Meanwhile, from February 1st to date, AOCF has been involved in a life-changing project as an implementing Civil Society Organization in the ARFH LOPIN-a project sponsored by USAID. The project which is tagged as LOCAL PARTNERS ON ORPHANS AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN IN NIGERIA (LOPIN) is meant to run for five years and implemented in Kosofe LGA, and other relevant stakeholders in the community continue to be partners, concluded the Executive Director.

NNNGO Newsletter on Understanding the Companies and Allied Matters Act – August, 2019

NNNGO Newsletter on Understanding the Companies and Allied Matters Act – August, 2019

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Nonprofit mergers are becoming a common trend in many countries and are now a topic of discussion among nonprofit leaders, board and funders. Mergers provide an avenue to preserve and strengthen needed service provided by nonprofits to diverse communities.

The Part F of the Companies and Allied Matters Act recognizes mergers; paving the way for nonprofits with similar objects and aims to merge under terms and conditions prescribed by the Corporate Affairs Commission. Lessons from studies and research have shown that mergers; improve image, reputation and public support for nonprofits, increases financial stability and efficiency of operations.

Merging might also help address issues of duplication of efforts and avoiding solvency especially with the difficult economic climate and the fact that the funding terrain for nonprofits is adversely affected.

With the passing of the amended Part F of CAMA, we anticipate an increase in the consideration for mergers by nonprofits to develop greater organizational efficiencies relating to programming, administrative capacity and financial sustainability.

Nonprofit considering mergers should ensure that they fuse with organisations that have similar mission and vision as them, make use of experts in the merger process and seek specialized knowledge on what the structure or emerging organisation, function and legal aspect of the merger would look like.

Nonprofits should also ensure that funders involved in the merger are given the opportunity to give input into the planning; the merging process should be seen as a collaborative one by identifying potential mutual gains that could be realized in the merger. 

This newsletter is supported by the Commonwealth Foundation. However, the ideas and opinions presented in this document do not necessarily represent those of Commonwealth Foundation, NNNGO or any other organisations mentioned. 

Biire Child and Maternal Foundation – BIIRE FOUNDATION

Due to the large population percentage of delicate gender, the health of women and children has thus become vital to creating a healthy world. Despite great progress recorded in this particular healthcare, there are still too many mothers and children dying mostly from causes that could have been prevented. Every day, approximately 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy, childbirth and HIV/AIDS. 99% of these deaths occur in developing countries while developed countries are on top of the game.

Beyond some of these issues being confronted by some particular environments, is critically analyzing if changes are often welcomed, appreciated and embraced.

Such is Biire Child and Maternal Foundation‘s testimonies which are being resounded through their numerous impacts particularly on women and children, while benefactors, relentlessly have continued to sing this NGO’s praises, commending them of the outstanding impacts they have made in the society. It has however been noted that NGOs’ regardless of the level of their impacts on the society always crave to do more selfless services.

Biire Child And Maternal Foundation a  registered and established in 2006 in response to the fight against HIV/AIDS  with particular focus on Maternal and Child  Health, aims to prevent of mother to child transmission as entry care and support to people living with  HIV and affected by HIV/AIDS including children.

According to Dare Ajayi, the executive director of the Biire foundation, HIV/AIDS is a major threat to Africa’s social, political and economic development, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Nigeria, it accounts for the leading cause of child & maternal mortality. The current figure reveals that over3millionpeople currently live with  HIV&AIDS,  making  it  the  country  with  the second-largest  number  of  People  Living  with  HIV/AIDS

 

To address these challenges, Biire and partners are currently carrying out high impact prevention, care and support intervention to reduce HIV  infections and to help support those adversely affected by using combinations of scientifically proven,  cost-effective and scalable interventions targeted at the right population which aims to reduce the impact of the disease. More importantly, he said that Biire’s aim is to foster general understanding of HIV/AIDS and hoping to prevent further infection.

 

In addition to so many other impacts, the executive director also made mention of the provision of a continuum  of comprehensive care comprising of nursing care, access to drugs, counseling and psychosocial support for the patients. There is also the provision of care  &  support  to  orphans  & vulnerable  children  by  facilitating education, good nutrition, counseling, healthcare, income-generating activities, HIV/AIDS education and also providing HIV/AIDS information to indigenes of rural areas

 

Mr. Dare also noted that Biire has been able to conduct home-based and mobile  HIV  testing through outreach programs using test kits in both urban and rural areas. He reiterated that due to the stigma still associated with HIV/AIDS, people are still very much reluctant to go for tests hence the need for this confidential test, he concluded.

 

Recognizing the importance of the Millennium Development Goals, Mr. Ajayi noted that there was the need for the foundation to integrate these components into its work which include: monthly Community Health Initiative which has helped in providing much needed medical care and nutritional support to hundreds of pregnant women, community  health fairs, HIV/AIDS awareness, campaigns, provision of medical and legal support for(PLWHA)and eradicating extreme poverty and hunger through its School Feeding Program.

The Executive Director did not fail to note that one of the key factors that also served as awareness and sensitization are the FELABRATION EVENT and THE LAGOS AIDS WALK. These two  platforms which  seek to advocate  for increased  political  will  and  corporate  support  for  HIV prevention, treatment, care, support and raising funds for Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of  HIV(PMTCT)campaigns; and finally a progress  towards  international  goals  of  universal  access  to  HIV  Counseling  and testing HCT services, Mr. Ajayi pledged the action will be a non-stop advocacy.

As these impacts toll continue to rise, the Biire Foundation with full force and relentless efforts pledges to continually rise to the rescue of several HIV/AIDS patients in the society and ensuring their plights are alleviated.

Advocacy for Widows’ Empowerment Foundation (ADWEF) – WIDOW’S WOUNDS

The plight of widows around the world reveals that there are an estimated 245 million widows worldwide, 115 million of who live in poverty, suffer from social stigmatization and economic deprivation purely because they have lost their husbands; according to the research presented to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on June 22nd, 2010.

In Nigeria, today, the phenomenon of widowhood is yet to be understood, across different cultures in Nigeria, there exist harmful traditional widowhood practices which have attracted the attention of the global struggle in general on violence against women. Sufficient evidence suggests that widowed women are severely affected financially, psychologically, sexually and socially and these are rooted in cultural and traditional practices as well as the socialization processes that condition women to dependence. These conditions have erected enormous difficulties for women to creatively initiate new robust relationships with both men and women in social and economic spheres upon widowhood. The debilitating conditions of women are worsened by societal factors that instrumentally feed into the situation ranging from loss of livelihood and the fact that widows are less likely to remarry than widowers. Widows rather than sympathized with are more often subjected to near inhuman treatment in traditional ritual rites and practices such as solitary confinement, defacement, disinheritance and a relatively long mourning period of limited socio-economic activities. The most obvious effects are deepening poverty, acute stress, depression, loss of identity and self-esteem. The widowhood conditions expose women to psychological and physical abuse as well as a whole range of health-related problems With these ranges of woes and some more befalling widows, spurred Advocacy for Widows’ Empowerment Foundation (ADWEF) in 2012 to come protect and advocate for human rights cum discovering and nurturing hidden entrepreneurial skills and providing a voice as a platform for action upon the concerns of widows.

 

Willie Workman Oga, founder of ADWEF said that the foundation’s roles in ensuring an assured life for the widows are in no small measure and that they very well include – educating widows on their basic human rights, cooperating with existing NGOs to educate men on the need to write their wills early in life and make their wives their next of kin in all insurance, employment and banking document in order to ease the accessibility of funds for use of their family in instances of their deaths and sourcing for funds through sponsorships and donations for the training of 100 widows annually. ADWEF also empowers trained widows to establish their own businesses, monitor their progress and also go all the way to celebrate widows who have excelled in their chosen fields.

 

Mr. Workman listed four main initiatives that are meant to train a hundred women yearly, which include; ADWEF WIDOWS EMPOWERMENT which is designed for the training and empowerment of widows between the ages of 25 – 60 years of age whom for whatever reason decided not to remarry since they lost their husbands.

 

The second initiative, he gleefully recounted in the FUNDRAISING and CHARITY 4 WIDOWS’ GRUV has always been a dinner-like event, which comes in as a concert and award night, solely designed to raise funds for the widows.

The third which is ADWEF SUMMIT ON WIDOWHOOD AND EMPOWERMENT is aimed at creating public awareness, sensitizing the society through speakers from the legal and medical professions about the plight of Nigerian widows and proffering solutions in form of communiqué to the government to legislate on it and reform existing laws that protect the fundamental human rights of widows,

 

The very last one, ADWEF HEALTH CHECKS 4 WIDOWS is a medical outreach event designed to enable widows to know their health status and at the same time issue medical advice that will enhance health and other related issues.

After all, said and still actively doing, Mr. Oga concluded that ADWEF will never relent in this core service to humanity to bringing the sorrows of widows in his community and beyond six feet beneath.

The Practice of Transparency and Accountability- Istanbul V (August, 2019)

The Practice of Transparency and Accountability- Istanbul V (August, 2019)

Transparency and accountability are pivotal to achieving an effective civil society. Transparency refers to being honest and open; by implication, civil society organisations are expected to be clear enough for private and public scrutiny. Accountability is the ability for CSOs to willingly answer and take responsibility for their actions (decisions, activities or policies) and results. This is central to discussions relating to problems in non-profits as they are the two main pillars of good corporate governance and generally guide the way NGOs are operated, regulated or controlled.

Inline with fostering transparency and accountability, there is the need for CSOs to put in place internal self-regulatory mechanisms that serve as a check to their various activities, this is reflected in their governance strategy and structure, human resource and management, project management, monitoring, evaluation and reporting, and their financial management and sustainability.

The measures include – complying with registration and reporting requirements, adopting a core vision, values and mission, electing a board to guide its mission and review its performance, publishing annual reports, documenting administrative procedure, documenting project work plans and budgets, having a monitoring and evaluation system in place, providing sound account of fund management(recording all financial transactions with relevant receipts and supporting documents); putting systems in place to prevent fraud -such as regular audits,two signatures to account; constituent/ stakeholder feedbacks; among others.

CSOs are accountable to the government, donors, beneficiaries (people), partners, mission, board, staff and their fellow CSOs. This fosters responsiveness to the needs of their communities, the people they work with and other stakeholders engaged in development. Hence, proper accountability measures facilitate increase donor and citizen support.

Through advocacy, CSOs have played a critical role in promoting transparency and accountability within the government and the general society which has yielded positive results. However, they have been encouraged to improve their transparency and accountability mechanisms especially due to the increased rate of money laundering and terrorist financing activities that CSOs can be vulnerable to. To maintain public trust, CSOs need to work on improving their level of transparency and accountability.