Month: October 2019

World Food Day- Fixing the Food System in Nigeria

Held annually on 16th October, World Food Day is a day of action dedicated to tackling Global Hunger with global awareness on the near epileptic global agricultural system, thus calling the attention of all to know that zero hunger can indeed save the lives of more than 3.1 million children every year.

Every day, soils, freshwater and oceans rapidly lose value, while climate change is putting even more pressure on available resources, increasing risks associated with disasters such as droughts and floods

Research reveals there is enough food production to feed inhabitants of Planet Earth, yet, about 800 million suffer from hunger still. That is one in nine people.

Consequently, wiping out malnutrition is one great challenge that cries for change yet reports show that one in nine still go to bed on empty stomachs every night. Even so – one in three suffer from malnutrition.

Meanwhile, mal-nutrition is estimated at 2.7 million child death rate annually. The first 2 years of a child’s life are particularly important, as optimal nutrition during this period lowers morbidity and mortality, reduces the risk of chronic disease, and fosters better development. However, many infants and children do not receive optimal feeding. According to UNICEF only about 36% of infants aged 0–6 months worldwide were exclusively breastfed in 2007-2014.

It is sad to know that while malnutrition exists; overweight also poses threat to the growth and development of children. UNICEF, WHO and World Bank – 2016 estimates reveal that the number of overweight children in Africa increased by more than 50 percent between 2000 and 2015.

While the Planet continually needs food, the world also needs to know that Agriculture is the single largest employer of labor in the world, providing livelihoods for 40 per cent of today’s global population. The largest source of income for poor rural households.

 

FOOD INSECURITY

Humans need food. But the complexity of delivering sufficient food to world’s population shows why food security should be a top priority for all nations, whether developed or developing.

  1. Population Growth – This varies considerably across countries. Africa is expected to double its population from 1 to 2 billion by year 2050, hence the need for food chain
  2. Climate Change– Currently, about 40% of the world’s landmass is arid, and rising temperatures will turn yet more of it into desert. At current rates, the amount of food grown will feed only half of the population by 2050.
  3. Water Scarcity –This is another impending crisis: 28% of agriculture lies in water-stressed regions.
  4. Small Scale Farmers – In developed countries, less than 2% of people grow crops and breed animals for consumption. In developing countries, even fewer people are choosing farming as an occupation. Meanwhile, food prices are rising, arable land continues to be lost to urban sprawl.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, records reveal that the Continent remains the only region with the highest prevalence of hunger, with the rate increasing from 20.7% in 2014 to 23.2% in 2017. The number of undernourished people increased from 195 million in 2014 to 237 million in 2017

(UNICEF 2017) tells us Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa with almost 186 million people in 2016. By 2050, Nigeria’s population is expected to grow to a staggering 440 million, which will make it the third most populous country in the world, after India and China (Population Reference Bureau 2013).

According to the World Bank (2017), Nigeria’s economy is the largest in Africa and is well-positioned to play a leading role in the global economy already. Despite strong economic growth over the last decade, hunger dwells in the country still.

Currently, Nigeria ranks 145th out of 157 countries in progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is quite unfortunate though to know that 37% of children under 5 years are stunted. While stunting prevalence has improved since 2008 (41 percent), the extent of acute malnutrition has worsened, from 14% in 2008 to 18% in 2013.  (National Population Commission and ICF International 2009 and 2014).

The causes of malnutrition and food insecurity in Nigeria remains: Poor infant and young child feeding practices, which contribute to high rates of illness and poor nutrition among children under 2 years; lack of access to healthcare, water, and sanitation; armed conflict, particularly in the north; irregular rainfall; high unemployment; and poverty – (Nigeria Federal Ministry of Health, Family Health Department 2014). Although food insecurity spreads throughout the country, with the impact of conflicts and other shocks which have resulted in food insecurity particularly in the North East zone; an estimated 3.1 million people in the states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa received emergency food assistance in the first half of 2017.

For sustainable food security, Nigeria launched its “Zero Hunger Initiative as outlined in the National Policy on Food and Nutrition and National Strategic Plan of Action for Nutrition ahead of the AGENDA 2030 deadline of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. It is therefore imperative to ensure that the country and the world at large continue to take necessary measures to prevent and reduce hunger and under nutrition by creating sustainable agriculture. Addressing hunger and which requires improvements in the agricultural sector thus need all stakeholders to come together facilitating partnerships at all levels, and encouraging the exchange of knowledge for growth and development through healthy consumption

 

 

 

Profiling Food Basket International Foundation on World Food Day- FOOD FOR ALL  

Profiling Food Basket International Foundation on World Food Day- FOOD FOR ALL  

Without balanced diet, medications become ineffective and even dangerous to the sick. Without food, children cannot learn well in schools; without food, the labor force can never be productive and effective, and without food on the table, several tasks will definitely be left undone.

Agriculture in Nigeria is a branch of the Nigeria’s economy that provides employment to about 30% of the population as at 2010 and contributes to over 25 percent of its Gross Domestic Product. Prior to the Nigerian civil war, the country churned out agricultural produce that sustained its population, however, but after the discovery of crude oil, agriculture unfortunately transformed to a neglected statue.

With core values of compassion and love for humanity, Food Basket Foundation International (FBFI), the very first indigenous nutrition-focused foundation in Nigeria founded in 1989 with the singular mission of helping low income families, particularly the vulnerable. FBFI through the years has provided interventions and services with the aims of alleviating the effects of poverty, promoting nutritious practices geared towards food security, and providing means of developing secured sustainable livelihood to the hungry.

FBFI continues to work, at the grassroots, alleviating the effects of poverty on vulnerable populations in a sustainable way; providing nutrition, education and acting as a bridge between those who need the assistance and those who can make the requisite changes to the policies that will make nutrition, food security and sustainable agriculture achievable for healthy lifestyle.

FBFI, going all the way to mitigate the effects of poverty, malnutrition, poor health and disease conditions in Nigeria through innovations is also in total readiness to assist low income families within the sub-Saharan African region to obtain a sustainable livelihood system, which would reduce poverty, malnutrition, disease and infant mortality rate.

With a focused target audience who randomly fall in the range of women, children and youths, these groups are currently provided with small-scale farming at Community-Based Technology Transfer Centre (CTTC), with the sole purpose to gaining access to new and innovative technologies for increased production and provision of nutritional services.

FBFI has provided nutrition education services to several communities – including Aremo community in Ibadan. FBFI organizes feeding programmes in Kaduna, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, Osun and Oyo States. The Foundation, at some point also facilitated the implementation of the Case Study on the Efficacy of Nutrition on Infants and Young Children.

Despite the numerous humanitarian projects, some other achievements include: Implementing Gender Informed Nutrition and Agriculture (GINA) project; the use of integrated agriculture and nutrition interventions to improve the nutritional situation of vulnerable groups, particularly children under age five; Accelerating Vitamin A supplementation (VAS) through Child Health Weeks in Ogun and Osun states in collaboration with Micronutritient Initiative (2006-2011); Developed HIV/AIDS and Nutrition training manual for agricultural extension workers in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture; Capacity building via Nutrition Education in Nutritional Care and Support for caretakers of OVCs and PLWHA in Plateau, Edo, Kaduna, Nassarawa, Kogi States and the Federal Capital Territory; Adaptation of curriculum modules focused on improving nutrition through home gardens for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); Community-Based and Participatory poverty reduction planning, programe.

The Food Basket Foundation International supports the international community towards achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and has been able to successfully complete a large number of field studies and publications focused on nutrition, maternal-child health, agriculture, sustainable livelihoods and poverty reduction in Nigeria, facilitated training of street food vendors; provided water through deep wells and toilet facilities in several villages in the Akinyele local government area of Ibadan, Oyo State.

COMPLIANCE GUIDE ON PART F OF COMPANIES AND MATTER ACTS (CAMA)

Nonprofit governance has been in the spotlight in the last few years with increased interest in regulatory compliance. The Part F of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) is the law guiding the formation and governance of nonprofits in Nigeria. This document is our attempt to provide a framework for improving nonprofit compliance with the Part F of CAMA. Our theory of change is centered on the assumption that good nonprofit governance serves as a strong foundation for an efficient nonprofit sector. In this document we have placed strong emphasis on how nonprofits can achieve each clause in the law, rationale for meeting them and key outcomes for the nonprofit sector.

Download a copy here  CAMA LAW A4 – Complete Part F

GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable.

GirlForce: Unscripted and Unstoppable.

In spite of the numerous efforts by stakeholders to promote the girl-child education especially in Africa, Nigeria is still ranked among one of the countries with the highest number of girls with no access to formal education. In the instances when girls do get into school, a good number do not have the opportunity to complete primary education.

Increased efforts and initiatives of individuals and organisations advocating for the education of the girl child in any society transcends just personal development for the female gender; such investments ultimately position the society for positive transformation and change.

While poverty remains the most important factor for determining whether a girl can access education, studies consistently reinforce that girls who face multiple disadvantages such as low family income, living in remote or under-served locations or disability — are farthest behind in terms of access to and completion of education.

The Purple Girl Foundation (PGF), provides educational support, health coverage, as well as leadership and peer learning opportunities to under-served girls from indigent families to improve their prospects for the future. Borne out of a desire to provide opportunities for enhancing education for the girl-child, the foundation’s main function is; providing educational support to female children from indigent families at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

For future offerings, the foundation will focus on female children from indigent families in Lagos, Delta and Akwa-Ibom states. With this, PGF seeks to improve future prospects and opportunities for the girl-child through the following activities:

  • Full scholarships for young girls at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels with benefactors selected across public and low-cost schools for full academic sessions.
  • Provision of financial support to cater to feeding, stationery, examinations, uniforms and other miscellaneous expenses for the period of their education.
  • Provision of health coverage for all beneficiaries across primary, secondary and tertiary school levels.
  • Partner with training institutions to facilitate sessions on character development and peer learning for young girls.

TEACHING: The Past, Present and Future

On World Teachers’ Day (2019), UNESCO has adopted the theme: “Young Teachers: The Future of the Profession.”

The day provides the occasion to celebrate the teaching profession worldwide, to take stock of achievements and to address some of the issues central for attracting and keeping the brightest minds and young talents in the profession.

According to a new UNESCO Institute for Statistics’ paper, several developing countries are struggling to recruit, retain and train enough teachers to keep up with a large and growing school population. The paper further states that globally, about 263 million children and youths are out of school, including 25 million children of primary-school age. Meanwhile, in developing countries, just about 14% of youths complete upper secondary education; a disheartening percentage.

Teaching, according to some professors, is a conscious behavior that makes learning more probable and efficient such that teachers become and remain architects of all professions. It is estimated that to achieve the goal of universal primary education by 2020, countries will need to recruit a total of 24.4 million primary teachers and 44.4 million secondary teachers over the next 12 years, an important step towards quality education and sustainable society.

Education, a fundamental human right which is indispensable for the achievement of sustainable development requires quality teachers. Quality teachers who per time can transform their students to scientists, doctors, engineers and several noble professions regardless of relatively low income.

The noble profession combined with their qualities should not be ignored nor undermined for they are essential to the achievement of professionalism and sustainable development. Teachers are known to shape the minds of youths, making significant differences in their communities such that lives become more impacted even at limited speed.

While teaching is a special occupation, few do it effectively, playing pivotal roles in the school of transformation. While many are most incompetent, poor teaching of some peculiar subjects have shattered the hopes of many students who could not comprehend the tutorials, hence the need for educated young minds.

The ‘Born Teachers’ insistence on perfection has shaped many lives tremendously, acknowledging their pupils’ needs and addressing them albeit their challenges. Their compelling guidance to obey parents, respect elders, leaders, and to fear God, are golden teachings forever treasured, coupled with the established fact that teachers should show exemplary leadership skills in the upbringing of every child which also emphasizes on another fact that teachers either make or mar the end product of the noble profession.

They play pivotal parental roles and continue to do so even in the lives of their pupils. Taking care of one or two children is never an easy task in homes, let alone a teacher to about 30 pupils or more. It is recognized that teachers are not only a means to implementing educational goals, they also are keys to sustainability and national capacity in achieving learning and creating societies based on knowledge, values and ethics. They however continue to face challenges of poor training, low income and staff shortage.

Added to the challenge of numbers is one quality all too often, teachers are found working without resources or proper training. According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the quality of education in many countries is undermined by a deficit of teachers. About 1.4 million teachers are missing in classrooms which are needed to achieve Universal Primary Education, the fourth goal being quality education.

For the future of this noble profession, researches reveal that teacher shortages in sub-Saharan Africa is the highest worldwide, it reveals a growing need of about 17 million teachers to achieve universal primary and secondary education by 2030. According to Teachers Registration Council Of Nigeria, Nigeria has just about two million qualified and registered teachers, with recorded statistics that the country will always be in need of 250,000 teachers annually to cater to the growing population of pupils.

While it is noted that some government owned schools can only boast of very few qualified teachers. Statistics reveal that West Africa has a growing need of about 7 million school teachers; unfortunately, Nigeria carries a massive chunk of that number. This is because the country has the largest out of school children, thus the urgent need of large number of qualified teachers.

Global Thematic Consultation on Education states several essentials for supporting teachers’ effectiveness which include: good conditions of employment, appropriate contracts and salaries, prospects for career progression and promotion; good conditions in the work environment, creating school contexts that are conducive for teaching and quality training for teachers.

At this juncture, action calls for international communities, governments and individuals to unite to produce and support teachers who can qualitatively teach and motivate students, especially in countries where the highest numbers of out-of-school children exist, while capacity building is also needful for the enhancement and sustainability of the quality of teachers in line with global best practices of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Teachers have proven to be pupils’ angels and of all very challenging professions, one of the hardest is being a good teacher. Safe to write that if students have not learned then the teachers have not in any way taught, therefore for optimum teaching to take place there is need for teachers to be well trained, equipped and very well paid.

Neighborhood Environment Watch Foundation (NEW) – SOCIETAL SERVICE

Neighborhood Environment Watch Foundation (NEW) – SOCIETAL SERVICE

No nation is immune to the impacts of non-governmental organizations have been making around the globe and the states in Nigeria have not been left out of these impacts. These humanitarian outfits previously, presently and forever will remain on the pages of societal provisions.

With the motto “Committed to Environmental and Human Health” Neighborhood Environment Watch Foundation,(NEW) has thus far inspired positive change by creating sustainable human and environmental development for the benefit of communities, young persons, households and vulnerable population at the same time running advocacy for the development of equitable, sustainable human, environmental health systems and empowerment programmes that deliver services improving human developmental outcomes.

Founded in September 11th, 1998, NEW is committed to the development of equitable and sustainable health systems, creating values and empowerment programmes amongst youth, women and promoting the human rights of children. NEW, moving ahead has contribute to the reduction and the burdens of HIV/AIDs, Malaria, Tuberculosis and Viral Hepatitis infection, promoting access to water, sanitation and hygiene practices, building capacity and promoting activities that reduce climate hazards, poverty, unequal access to resources, food insecurity and social segregation and the same time conducting research, advocacy, and evaluation with a focus on innovations in youth development environment and health systems.

The founder of the NEW foundation, Hon. Dr. Okezie Kelechukwu who continues to be a humanitarian said that agonies in his state spurred the establishment of the foundation to giving to the communities. Dr. Okezie added that 80 acres of reforested lands, 30,000 tree seedlings raised and planted, 200 community trained farmers on agroforestry, 7 trained youths on tree nursery operations and over 5000 members are now direct beneficiaries to one of the lord able projects tagged Reforestation of 80 Hectares of Degraded lands at Enyigba / Edda communities in Abakaliki LGA in Ebonyi state.

Dr. Okezie also recounted that 6,585 persons were reached with HIV prevention Interventions using the MPPI under the project called Comprehensive HIV Prevention and Behavioral Change Intervention for OSYs, TWs, PIs and women in Ebonyi State.

The third project which is community Awareness and practice of malaria control and prevention went round 84 communities all in the bid to reduce malaria-related morbidity and mortality amongst the most vulnerable target groups sensitizing them on the need of the usage of nets which has proven to cause a drastic reduction in health facility visits, reduction in maternal and placental malaria and low birth rate in Ebonyi State. This marked a massive turning point for the people of Ebonyi state as resounding testimonies were made by the beneficiaries.

It is should also be recalled that a hundred and five persons were drawn from various local government areas in Anambra South Senatorial District trained on budget processes at the grassroots, participatory budgeting, budget monitoring and tracking at the grassroots. This was solely observed to make people especially the youth become more inclusive in decision making in the society and the nation at large.

Hon. Dr. Okezie Kelechukwu who still remains in the school of humanity stated that Neighborhood Environment Watch will not stop watching the backs of members of the society, ensuring that lives are touched through the services NEW will continually render in every neighborhood in Ebonyi state.

KETURAH SPEAK

In the role she plays as a woman humanitarian, NNNGO’s correspondent, Olaife Ilori met with Keturah Shammah, Executive Director – Girls Education Mission International. A development practitioner with immense value in promoting the social, physical and economic development of the female gender. She has a global mandate of eradicating poverty as well as promoting and creating a sustainable impact for the female folks through quality education.

For more than a decade now, Keturah has been promoting girls’ rights for quality education such that they reach their potentials. A Leading Advocate for the achievement of the GLOBAL GOALS – AGENDA 2030, Keturah Shammah was involved in the just-concluded SPEAK CAMPAIGN, a Global Campaign launched by CIVICUS – World Alliance for Citizen Participation.     The SPEAK GLOBAL CAMPAIGN helps give a voice to everyone, everywhere. The campaign was created in response to the current global context in which people around the world are facing increasing attacks on their basic freedoms causing many to turn against each other. SPEAK! in one day of global action on September 20th represented the evolution of the Global Day of Citizen Action.  #TogetherWeSpeak

 

Follow the conversation:

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Your Foundation is GIRLS EDUCATION MISSION INTERNATIONAL; could you intimate us more on the kind of work your Foundation is involved in?

Girls Education Mission International helps girls in reaching their potentials. We focus on defending, protecting and promoting the right to education of girls through various activities such as Policy advocacy, supporting girls in school with school fees, sanitary pads, Uniforms and as well provide mentoring and relevant services to build their life skills.

 

I hear you are a SPEAK CHAMPION, was this Campaign your INITIATIVE? And if NO, how did you come by this laudable INITIATIVE?

SPEAK! The campaign was not initiated by our organization, it is a Campaign coordinated by CIVICUS- World Alliance for Citizen Participation. There was a call for application by CIVICUS for SPEAK Champions, we applied and fortunately after review of over 260 applications from 66 countries across the world, our organization was selected as 2019 Champion to mobilize and coordinate the activities of interested organizations to hold SPEAK Event in Nigeria.

 

So are you the only SPEAK CHAMPION in Nigeria?

No! There are Five (5) SPEAK Champions in Nigeria. SPEAK! is a Global Campaign. It cuts across countries of the World. In Nigeria, it is a nationwide Campaign. Our organization mobilized and coordinated the Campaign in the Northern Part of the country alongside other four Champions from the East, West and Southern parts of the Country.

 

How many organizations/individuals was your organization able to mobilize for the SPEAK CAMPAIGN Project in Nigeria?

We were able to mobilize over eight (8) organizations that held over 10 events and reached over 200 persons.

 

In response to the current global context, As a SPEAK CHAMPION, do you think the SPEAK CAMPAIGN can indeed speak and address the increasing attacks/issues/challenges faced by people world over?

For me SPEAK! Campaign is the answer to increasing attacks/issues and challenges faced by people world over. This is because, over the years, the female gender is particularly looking for answers to social issues affecting them and seeking opportunities to speak about their unheard challenges. The SPEAK Campaign hence provides such opportunities for them to come together with experts who are in the position to provide solutions to these struggles.

 

As a SPEAK CHAMPION, you created several events for the success of this Campaign and I am well aware that your Organization’s thematic function is on GILRS’ EDUCATION, my question is: do girls really have a future as regards education particularly in this part of the world?

The future of girls in line with education is the reality that educated mothers are more likely to send their children to school as uneducated mothers while helping their families break out of the cycle of Poverty in the process especially in developing countries. In order words “Better educated women tend to be healthier, participate more in the formal labour market, earn higher incomes, have fewer children, marry at a later age, make better health decisions and education for their children should they choose to become mothers”.

 

How sustainable is the future for young girls of this generation as regards the SPEAK CAMPAIGN

The sustainability for young girls of this generation as regards the SPEAK Campaign is guaranteed because; the Campaign aims at solving social issues surrounding the female gender. Through the SPEAK Campaign, issues regarding the girl child is addressed and plan to build girls future are well underway. For instance, our SPEAK Events this year focused on tackling the issues of GENDER VIOLENCE in Nigeria. The event brought together young girls and their male counterparts (boys whom they consider to be one of their distractions) from various locations and backgrounds to discuss issues affecting the girls and provide possible solutions to those problems. The girls were inspired to SPEAK their Possibilities against any form of violence they might face; hence – an advocacy Campaign was known as #IamPossible to be formally launched soon as one of our lined-up plans to sustaining the future of girls in Nigeria.

 

Did you think the CAMPAIGN was able to reach its GOAL?

Of course! Together, we have staged almost 180 events across 55 countries bringing together people across lines of division to have powerful conversations that create real change. And that’s the Goal of SPEAK! Campaign.

 

In what ways do you plan on ensuring the Campaign engages people to continue speaking even after it is well behind us?

The #IamPossible Campaign is one of our innovative ways of engaging the girls to SPEAK their possibilities and engage relevant stakeholders to advocate for nurturing and safeguarding the Possibilities of Girls. The SPEAK Campaign T-shirts provided for each participant SPEAKs more than a thousand words. The SPEAK Event Participants have resolved to carry out the Campaign and share an impactful version of the event to not less than 3 persons. May I end with this quote “SPEAK! Is not just a one day Campaign, it is a step by step process to solve several social issues” Frederic Adou, SPEAK Campaign Consultant CIVICUS.