Category: International observances

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.

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.

Creating Awareness about Hepatitis on World Hepatitis Day

Creating Awareness about Hepatitis on World Hepatitis Day

                                                                                  LOVE YOUR LIVER

A major global public health challenge, endemic in many parts of the world, with the highest prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa and East Asia, the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infects more than 300 million people worldwide and is a common cause of liver disease and liver cancer. Viral hepatitis is the seventh leading cause of death globally, making it a silent killer and responsible for about 1.44 million deaths annually. Often times, many adults infected with the virus recover, but 5 to10 % are unable to clear the virus thus becoming chronically infected.

Hepatitis is an inflammatory condition of the liver, commonly caused by a viral infection. However, there are other possible causes of hepatitis; autoimmune hepatitis and hepatitis that occurs as a secondary result of medications, drugs, toxins, and alcohol. Autoimmune hepatitis occurs when the body makes antibodies against liver tissue while Hepatitis B is an infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. The virus is found in the blood and body fluids of an infected person and could be spread through unprotected sex with an infected person or sharing sharp objects with infected persons.

In 2015, hepatitis B resulted in 887,000 deaths, mostly from complications and 2,850,000 were recorded to be newly infected in 2017.  About two-thirds of patients with acute HBV infection sometimes have a mild illness that usually goes undetected, until the person becomes seriously ill from the virus. While the hepatitis B virus can survive outside the body for at least 7 days, it has an incubation period of up to 75 days and maybe detected within 30 to 60 days after infection which by then could develop into chronic hepatitis B with symptoms comprising, a general sick feeling, diarrhea, aches and pains, high temperature, loss of appetite, lethargy, abdominal pain, jaundice and dark urine.

The 5 types of viral hepatitis include hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis A is always an acute, short-term disease, Hepatitis E is usually acute but can be particularly dangerous in pregnant women. Causes of noninfectious hepatitis include alcohol and some toxins.

In Africa, chronic viral hepatitis affects over 70 million Africans; 60 million with Hepatitis B and 10 million with Hepatitis C. Sadly, the disease affects the most youthful and productive Africans, causing catastrophic financial liability in its treatment.

Nigeria is one of the countries with the highest population in the world; with children and young adults constituting the bulk of these numbers. It is important to note that the commonest cause of liver disease in Nigeria is Hepatitis B and although pregnant women are generally considered at a lower risk for HBV infection, the rate of infected pregnant women as high as 11%, have been reported in southern parts of the country. In 2016, the Federal Government affirmed that over 22.6 million Nigerians lived with Hepatitis, with about 30% unaware of their status.

It is most important that knowledge around the Hepatitis disease and how best to eradicate it is shared by everyone. World Hepatitis Day is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization and the theme for this year’s World Hepatitis Day is ‘Invest in Eliminating Hepatitis’, highlighting the need for governments around the world to take active steps towards combating the virus.

Coordinating a global response to hepatitis has paved way to finding cure for hepatitis C and treatment and vaccine for hepatitis B. Interestingly, vaccine against hepatitis B has been available since 1982 and the vaccine is 95% effective in preventing infection and the development of chronic disease and liver cancer, chronic hepatitis B infection can thus be treated with medications including safe and effective vaccines ensuring millions do not suffer anymore. Because Hepatitis affects everyone, everywhere and much closer than we think, as humans, let us begin to love our livers so we could have healthier and longer lives.

Although, Nigeria has embarked on a journey to finding a cure by registering hepatitis-related cases, adopting universal vaccination, screening all donated blood, implementing policies aimed at prevention of mother to child infections and ensuring that all infants receive the hepatitis B vaccine immediately after birth, preferably within 24 hours, there is still a lot more to be done.

For you to love your liver and be able to live longer, you must know, prevent, test and be sure to treat Hepatitis. While care is aimed at maintaining comfort and adequate nutritional balance, including replacement of fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhea, it is important to encourage prevention through vaccination.

Profiling CRAPI on Children’s Day

Profiling CRAPI on Children’s Day

Child’s Rights Advancement and Protection Initiatives (CRAPI) is committed to the cause of children. Strengthening social and emotional competence in children, CRAPI Foundation creates an enabling environment where children’s rights are upheld, the foundation helps children grow to their full potential so they can advance and in turn transform their families and the society at large.

Ensuring this transformation sees the light of day, CRAPI designs, monitors and implements policies and programs which are meant to foster the growth and personality development of these children. For children in Lagos and Abia States, CRAPI sensitizes them through enlightenment programmes, making them aware about their various rights.

Some of CRAPI’s achievements include:

  • Parents Stand Up Against Child Sexual Abuse Project in collaboration with Ministry of Women Affairs, Abia State.
  • Combating Child Human Trafficking and Child Labour: This project is implemented in collaboration with NAPTIP and Ogunbela Avenue/Fola Ojikutu Residents Association in Lagos.
  • Production and Distribution of hand Books
  • No Baby In Prison Project: It targets the release of pregnant women and nursing mothers in Prisons- with a total of 40 pregnant women and nursing mothers having benefited from this program in Lagos and Abia State
  • Advocacy and Litigation of non-implementation of child’s rights Law in Abia state.
  • Girl Child Project: Safe & Sound Transition to Womanhood 1& 2.
  • Workshop on girls handling developmental changes and challenges. This workshop has resulted in the publication and distribution of the handbook, The Red Affairs, Every girl’s handbook in collaboration with LadyCare and MOWA (Lagos and Abia State).
  • SPEAK UP and SAY NO TO BAD TOUCH Projects: At implementation, these two projects has enabled visitations to about 10 schools in Lagos state by experts and the CRAPI foundation with the aim of reaching out to schools to sensitize school children about sexual abuses and the need to break the silence among victims while providing support that is required for rehabilitation.

Other programmes embarked upon by CRAPI include;

  • Zero Tolerance for Babies in Prison in Imo and Abia States.
  • Bracing up to the Fight against Sexual Abuse.

 

Profiling Boigedacha Literary Initiative on World Telecommunication and Information Society Day

Profiling Boigedacha Literary Initiative on World Telecommunication and Information Society Day

Established to reform, restructure and revitalize the reading culture of students from primary to tertiary level through mass literacy campaign by building of libraries and reading clubs, Boigedacha Literary Initiative (BLI) was founded in Enugu State in 2010 with a mission to remain committed to effecting Sustainable Development Goal 4.

Acting as a defined positive factor in the development of educational sector in Nigeria through her literacy campaign such as building free libraries for Government primary and secondary schools, a move which thus far has birthed positive behavioral changes amongst students, BLI in the spirit of literacy campaign, collaborates with educational stakeholders and other interest groups in the development of reading culture in Nigeria.

BLI together with partners provide counseling, organize seminars and workshops for students on career guide, the foundation organizes and fosters educational programs in primary schools, colleges, higher institutions and several communities while assisting students whose parents cannot afford payment of school fees.

The foundation also engages in community development projects for socio-economic advancement of communities at large like the Reading Culture Platform which creates literacy centers in primary schools, colleges, higher institutions whileaccommodating school drop-outs and adults in the process.

Amongst BLI Activities:

*Mentoring, counseling and coaching of students in becoming the total child.

*Hosting reading and spelling competitions while teaching students how to learn using the scrabble game.

*Advocacy for the girl child education while campaigning against early marriage and championing good health as well as well-being.

*Engagement in peaceful, non-religious and non-political campaigns for national peace.

Since inception, Boigedacha Literary Initiative has organized about five reading competitions while several books have been given out to more than a hundred schools in five states including FCT Abuja, all with the aim of encouraging reading culture amongst students.

Profiling DFRHCE on World Telecommunication and Information Society Day

Profiling DFRHCE on World Telecommunication and Information Society Day

Located in the heart of Olodi Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria, Dako Foundation for Rural Healthcare and Education (DFRHCE) is a humanitarian organisation  established in 2008 and focused on improving the living conditions of disadvantaged communities in Nigeria through advocacy, education, public health measures and direct medical interventions. DAKO’s target groups include, under 5 children, women of reproductive ages, youths, People with Disabilities, People Living with HIV/AIDS and the society at large.

The Foundation’s works cut across Lagos, Edo and Imo States of Nigeria with relentless focus on rural and extremely hard to reach areas. Some of the projects implemented by DAKO foundation include:

  • Ibienafe’s School Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Project:

At Ibienafe community, South-Ibie, Edo State, Nigeria, Igebo primary school and Ibienafe community secondary school,  were most fortunate to be beneficiaries of the Information and Communication Technology project which championed the donation of ICT tools to the two community schools. Through this project, hundreds of students in Ibienafe, South-Ibie, Edo State are now computer literates while about ten primary and five secondary schools in adjourning six communities would also ultimately benefit from the laudable ICT project.

Facilities provided:

– 7 desktop computers with accessories.

– Computer desks and chairs for students.

– 5000-watt century stabilizer

– 5KVA generator for power.

–  A trained resident ICT tutor

–  Quarterly technical maintenance.

  • Biomedical HIV programmes

As part of efforts to achieve the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) on the 90–90–90 targets aimed at diagnosing 90% of all HIV-positive persons, provide antiretroviral therapy (ART) for 90% of those diagnosed and achieve viral suppression for 90% of those treated by 2020,  DAKO foundation has through a line up of activities ensured the implementation and realization of this goal in Lagos and Edo States.

Activities Include:

–  HIV Counselling and Testing

–  Referrals and contact tracing for Positive individuals

–  Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials on HIV/AIDS

– Condom (Male and Female) demonstrations and distribution

– Advocacy on HIV prevention.

  • Medical Missions/Outreaches

General health sensitization, medical consultations and treatments, referrals/follow up, free drugs, free eye checks and glasses, vitamin A supplementation and deworming (chewable albendazole) for school children, provision of Insecticide Treated Nets, referrals and medical procedures particularly for cases requiring surgery are also part of activities embarked upon by Dako Foundation in recent times. These activities have reached well over 10,000 rural dwellers in Lagos, Edo and Imo states.

In the process, there was a record of 90 dewormed children: 90 free eye glasses; 273 general treatments; 38 distributed water treatment units; 2 distributed wheel chairs and a clutch.

  • Post Flood Disaster Intervention for Victims of Flood

The aim of this outreach which reached over 5,132 people was to alleviate the pains inflicted on flood-ravaged areas of Anegbette, Osomegbe and EkperiUdaba, Etsako Central Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria.

Impacts: Distributed antifungal drugs; Distributed easy to use water sanitizing units with storage; Distributed food items;Distributed clothes to community dwellers; Distributed lifesaving prenatal and post-natal multivitamin supplements to pregnant and lactating women; Vitamin A supplementation for children; Medical consultation, prescription and treatment of local prevailing diseases.

  • Free Medical Surgery

During a medical mission in Edo State, Nigeria in 2016, DFRHCE came across little Amira aged 18 months who was born with brain tumor. For four years now, Amira has been under direct sponsorship by DFRHCE with free medical care at Dako Medical Centre, Lagos, Nigeria. So far, two surgeries have been done on Amira. The first surgery was conducted in the Emirates with the aim of removing the brain tumor followed by a second surgery carried out in Nigeria to repair Cleft palate and Cleft lip.

  • Water Project

An estimated 13,000 people were reached at the construction of a 40 feet high scaffolding to carry 10,000 liters of water reservoir with underground water extension pipes and taps in two communities(Iyerekhu, South –Ibie) Edo State, Nigeria.

PRESS FREEDOM: A PRINCIPAL PILLAR TO GOOD GOVERNANCE

PRESS FREEDOM: A PRINCIPAL PILLAR TO GOOD GOVERNANCE

As the world focuses on development media, its obvious control especially on the corridors of power cannot be overlooked. For the grand health of any democracy, access to information is most essential and press Freedom, a most effective instrument for a functional democratic system acts as a foundation, a resounding expression, too important to be ignored in a democratic society.

The United Nations’ 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference, and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers”. Freedom of the press is the freedom of communication and expression through various media; as seen in the modern day electronic media and publications. Such freedom implies the absence of interference from over-reacting leaders. Hostility expressed by leaders towards the media incites violence, in fact it fuels fear for journalists which does not give room to act as watchdog of democracy.

So many theories have defined press freedom, the Libertarian theory, however stands as theory-friendly to the modern-day freedom of the press, it argued that media does not need to be controlled because people would naturally follow their conscience, engage in public debate and create a better life for themselves.

According to Lyman Tower Sargent an American professor of political science, he opined that the seven types of liberty that compose a democratic ideology are: The right to vote; Freedom of speech; Freedom of the press; Freedom of assembly; Freedom of religion; Freedom of movement and Freedom from arbitrary treatment by the political and legal system.

This year’s global theme for World Press Freedom Day is “Media for Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation”. Information is power, hence it must be timely, concise, clear and reliable. As powerful as information is, it must be curtailed to some point such that false information does not degenerate to Hate Speech or related offences. Currently in Nigeria, any person who publishes defamatory matter is liable to one-year imprisonment, where the person who publishes the defamatory matter and aware that it is false is liable to two years imprisonment.

In line with goal 16 of the SDGs which aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies based on respect for human rights, the rule of law, accountability and transparency, the United Nations General Assembly hence declared May 3rd as World Press Freedom Day to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press and remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression enshrined under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights with a close reminder to the entire world that in dozens of countries, several publications still remain censored, fined and suspended; while investigative journalists, editors and publishers are continuously harassed, attacked, detained and even murdered in extreme pursuit of stories.

According to the World Press Freedom Index, released by Reporters Without Borders, every year, RWB (2019) establishes a ranking of countries in terms of their freedom of the press. Norway remains still the country with the best press freedom in the world followed by Finland and Sweden ranked second and third on the index, respectively. Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, New Zealand and Jamaica also ranked top. Several authoritarian regimes have fallen in the Index.  The countries with the least degree of press freedom are China, Eritrea, North Korea and Turkmenistan.

Since the inception of this index in 2013, many African countries have struggled to climb up the ladder. In 2016, Nigeria recorded a decline on the world ranking, falling from 111 to 116; 2018 was no better, the country recorded another fall, moving from 116 to 119 out of 180 countries, year 2019 records 120 on the Index. This is indeed sad.

New record shows that eight journalists have been killed across the world in 2017, while more than 193 are currently imprisoned. Although Nigerian journalists are not so included on death lists. However, Journalists continue to face harassment without protection of the law even in Nigeria. Journalists are often times threatened, subjected to physical violence and even denied access to information by government officials, police officers and sometimes even the public.

Need we be reminded that if the press is constantly controlled, its ability to investigate and expose corruption, bribery, mismanagement, waste, embezzlement and other vices in democratic societies might just be truncated.

Yet again, according to libertarian theory on press freedom, the theory prescribes that an individual should be free to publish what he likes, holding and expressing his or her opinion freely. Obviously, libertarian theory advocates that the press must be seen as partner with government in search of the truth, rather than a tool in the hands of government, a good guide for media practitioners in their quest to helping nations, particularly developing nations grow. While The Social Responsibility Theory opines that the media have obligations to the society, owing them truth and objectivity, the media must ensure to religiously follow agreed codes of ethics and professional conducts to safeguarding public interest.

“Press freedom is the cornerstone of democratic societies. All states, all Nations, are strengthened by information, debate and the exchange of opinions. At a time of growing discourse of mistrust and delegitimization of the press and journalism, it is essential that we guarantee freedom of opinion through the free exchange of ideas and information based on factual truth” Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO.

 

 

THE PASSION THAT CONNECTS- Celebrating Sports for Development and Peace

THE PASSION THAT CONNECTS- Celebrating Sports for Development and Peace

In the last two decades, there has been a concerted effort to re-mobilize sport as a vehicle for broad, sustainable social development, especially in the most disadvantaged communities in the world.

According to WIKIPEDIA, sports include all forms of competitive, physical activity which through casual or organized participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing entertainment for spectators.

The UN system also defines sports in the context of development and peace as all forms of physical activity that contribute to physical fitness, mental well-being and social interaction, such as play, recreation, organized or competitive sport, indigenous sports and games for the attainment of specific development and peace objectives.

For centuries, the role and impact of sports in the society has been a subject of debate. For some observers, sport is a physical activity always associated with competition among teams or nations for the pride and glory of winning, while for some it is a sort of pure entertainment.

Sports; games and physical activities are present in virtually every society, its popularity transcends political, national and ideological borders. While it remains the most unifying and networking tool for peace in the world, sport is a passion shared by women and men world over. It is a force for physical well-being and social empowerment. Research reveals that since the advent of Olympics in 1896, more athletes have come to agree that sports unite the world.

Football for instance, the most popular game in the world, is estimated by FIFA in 2007 to be played by about 2 billion people, while other games such as cricket, basketball and baseball, attract the interest of millions more worldwide.

2005 saw the establishment of the United Nations Office for Sport, Development and Peace (UNOSDP), with an objective to raise awareness about the use of physical activity, sport and play as powerful development tools in the advancement of development and peace.

UNESCO also indicates that to achieve the goals of peace and development, it is important to recognize the cultural dimensions of sport. Additionally, several agencies within the UN system (UNDP, WHO, ILO, IOM) also use sport as a factor in their projects for peace and development, hence the declaration of 6th April as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace, to celebrate the contribution of sports and physical activity to education, human development, healthy lifestyles and a peaceful world.

The international Day of Sport for Development and Peace is a day when some of the world’s sports’ finest work together with community sports with the aim of enriching the lives of children and youth world over.

In more recent years, the use of sport to tackle issues related to equality and social justice emerged as a response from different sectors to even instances of violence and intolerance especially in most disadvantaged communities in the world while promoting good education, quality health-care, development and peace in its wake.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development further reveals and acknowledges sport’s role for social progress: it clearly emphasizes the need for developed countries in aiding developing countries to achieve a “global partnership for development” and sport is definitely one good source of this partnership.

Further studies conducted by The Population Council and Harvard School of Public Health, evidenced the importance of sports through development and its positive effects on children and youth. These studies have also documented grassroots soccer model’s effectiveness in significantly improving students’ knowledge, attitudes, communication and decision-making skills.

This progress so much so influenced FIFA to launch the Football for Hope initiative in 2005 to help improve the lives of youth world over.

WHAT SPORTS CAN DO FOR YOU

  • Playing sports helps reduce body fat and controls body weight.
  • Sports can help you fight depression and anxiety.
  • Sports allows you to challenge yourself and set goals.
  • Sports help aid coordination, balance and flexibility.
  • Sports can help improve stamina and concentration.
  • Sports allow you to experience the highs and lows of winning and losing
  • Sports are a great way of bonding with families and friends.
  • If you are into sports, you are more likely to have a healthy life.

Every year, physical inactivity leads to an estimated 3.2 million deaths. This is why UNESCO joined forces with the World Health Organization to combat sedentary lifestyles, starting with quality and inclusive physical education for all youths which has considerable benefited children and youth in several countries.

In many countries, opportunities to participate in sports are limited by significant infrastructural, social and political barriers. For example, people with disabilities are marginalized in many societies, thus preventing their active involvement in sports.

And so as the world stays true to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the world must do all to support sport to ensuring no one is left behind. Sport leaders and lovers must be ready to demonstrate commitment to creating a better world, despite shortcomings like geographic and social barriers.

Regardless of age, gender or ethnicity, we cannot take away the special love the world has for sports, it is enjoyed by all and sundry, sports build self-esteem, physical and mental health and nurtures positive connections with many.

The rights of every person to engage in sports must be respected and should be enforced worldwide. Government, Corporate Bodies, public and private sectors must all come together to create a world for sports which must not only be considered as a form of entertainment but rather an important investment in our present and our future for a lasting peace and development.

 Jaldhaara Foundation on World Water Day

At Jaldhaara Foundation, it is everything freshwater. Jaldhaara Foundation’s slogan ‘Quenching A Bigger Thirst Nigeria’ speaks volume on the essential need of water for all Nigerians.

With the foundation’s 5-point Agenda, JF aims to make available fresh water for left-behind communities in Nigeria.

Incorporated to remediate the problems in the areas of Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), JF has been able to streamline the percentage of those who are short of fresh water while vigorously working on a quick and effective impact as regards clean water.

By 2020, Jaldhaara Foundation plans to drive the WASH objectives in a large number of communities by implementing sustainable WASH solutions in over two thousand (2,000) communities and by building preference for safe water, sanitation and hygienic practices in unaddressed, isolated and marginalized communities.

By virtue of expansion and in the bid to make fresh water accessible to all, Jaldhaara Foundation together with an established strong partnership with Water Health Nigeria and other related organizations intend to have a structured phase approach which is meant to address the life cycle of water management (i.e. water provision, purification and waste water management) to the marginalized communities, which include: communities and habitations that are underserved and face significant water contamination.

*Jaldhaara Foundation will provide safe drinking water access to these communities through the conventional model i.e. a WHC.

*About 140 communities will definitely have safe water access.

The intention also extends to installation of 140 WHCs across various communities in Nigeria which would mean that more than 4 million people will have safe water access which would automatically result in the reduction of waterborne disease with an increase in annual savings in households due to reduction in medical expenses.