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YEDI – FOR A COMMON GOAL

Most of the problems facing today’s youth are not necessarily traced to any particular ethnic or religious groups but with a holistic observation, it can only be concluded that the aftermath of these problems affects the entire nation. Most discussions on youths have focused on issues such as drug abuse, crime, violence, sexuality, and poverty. In addition to these callous acts, today’s youths are afflicted by new challenges, which could be an identity crisis, low self-esteem and a sense of hopelessness.

With poverty eradication, good education standards, good governance, crime reduction, national growth, security, technological development, and employment creation, Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative sights and has thus geared to strive to improve the living condition of the less privileged in the society.

Founded in November 2011 with the main focus on education, empowerment, and inspiration to the youth and communities in Nigeria using sound and proven models that produce results through the use of effective and innovative development approaches, Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative (YEDI) is committed to introducing effective development approaches that have been proven to work on the continent of Africa and ready for adaptation in the Nigerian setting. YEDI is dedicated to introducing tried-and-tested solutions by adapting, building and expanding these methods for the Nigerian youth, communities, and organizations that would benefit from evidence-based solutions and finally empowered to contribute to Nigeria’s future. With offices in Lagos, Ogun and Akwa Ibom states, YEDI currently runs two life-transforming programmes – Grass root Soccer and Urban Achievers.

The Grassroots Soccer is YEDI’s first sport for development program that educates Nigerian youth about HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. Grassroots Soccer also empowers youth by providing important life and coping skills through participatory and fun activities in schools in disadvantaged communities, using two curricula – Skillz Naija and Skillz Girls for its community-based and in-school interventions.

Lucky Ihanza, YEDI’s communications officer said that SKILLZ NAIJA is a culture, mindset, and toolkit for educators for teaching young people about HIV/AIDS, malaria prevention and life skills. It creates simple but powerful connections between soccer and life skills. Helping youth to have the relevant and important decisions about life, take steps to achieve these goals, stay strong when faced with challenges, and protect themselves and others from diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria.

The second curriculum, SKILLZ GIRLS Program is a girls-targeted intervention program that combines activities-based HIV prevention and life skills curriculum with soccer and peer-led community outreach activities. It creates a safe space for adolescent girls to play non-competitive soccer, take action in their communities, and have vital conversations about HIV and AIDS and develop critical life management skills for their advancement.

Meanwhile, URBAN ACHIEVERS, the second programme, work closely with private sector employers to develop a cadre of youth, equipping them with skills and attitudes that meet the needs of the private sectors and assisting them to pursue economic opportunities and careers, while they serve as role models to their peers in their communities.

According to Lucky Ihanza, stated that since the inception of the foundation, YEDI has consistently demonstrated that football can effectively be used to mobilize and engage youth and communities for impacts and development. These interventions have reached over 50,000 people in different local government areas in Lagos, Akwa-Ibom and the Ogun States, equipping them with information to live healthily and make informed decisions in life, become change agents in their communities and broader range increase in knowledge about HIV/AIDS and malaria, sexual and reproductive health, and life-management skills.

Communities were not left out as they were provided with free HIV testing and counseling, free malaria testing and treatment, free insecticidal-treated bed nets, advocacy against stigma and discrimination on HIV/AIDS and gender balance. Amongst just a few, YEDI did not fail to develop role models by training over 400 Youths as Peer Educators to facilitate the Grassroots Soccer Programme.

Speaking on if NGOs can completely be independent of the government, YEDI’s communications officer opined that in cases where there is an overall national strategic plan in tackling issues of concerns, NGOs must work in alignment with the policies of the day especially when it is in line with achieving a national goal. She, however, concluded that NGOs should also advocate causes that will bring about change and save lives even when such causes are not popular.

Dewdrops Care Development Foundation – I HAVE A TOMORROW

Millions of children navigate through life every day without protection neither from deliberate nor non-deliberate harms or danger, unprotected, their plights ignored and their needs neglected.

These children go with no formal identity, parental care farfetched, becoming prey to exploitation, trafficking, forced labor, domestic service, early marriage, ET all.

These children are the orphans of this world, they suffer the death, loss or absence of their parents and denied their first line of protection. They are burdened by sudden responsibilities or forced to fend for themselves and ultimately becoming less visible in the community. With an estimation revealing that one in every thirteen children is an orphan in the developing world and another estimation of seven million orphaned in 2003 here in Nigeria, indicates a huge need for this issue to be timely addressed and arrested.

In filling these identified gaps and serving as a shelter for these abandoned ones, Dewdrops Care Development Foundation was thus propelled to serve as an ointment to reduce the soreness of the less privileged in the society since June 18th, 2013.

Serving as a humanitarian organization Dewdrops Care Development Foundation is striving to better the standard of living of orphans and create a suitable platform that will build them spiritually, morally, materially and financially.

Evangelist Grace Bakare, the president of the foundation pledges to reduce the level of poverty among the children of the less privileged, obtain sponsorship for the orphans, plead for these orphans to find a loving home, find suitable long term placement in cases where adoption is not possible, support the best physical and emotional care for the children housed at the DEWDROPS FOUNDATION, maximize every donation received in order to benefit them, increase awareness of the orphans and the reality that each child, regardless of physical or medical handicap, is uniquely created, and lastly to facilitate an ongoing relationship with the local communities remains unrelenting in this humanitarian work even till date.

Although still very tender in this business of selfless service, Evangelist Bakare further pledges relentlessness in ensuring that orphans are off the streets in her community and given proper abode. She further noted that to date the scale of the national response has not been commensurate with the magnitude of the orphans and vulnerable children’s problems. She, therefore, urged the government and the community to be selflessly driven in helping and creating a much better life for the less privileged in the society.

Chike International Foundation – LOVE FOR THE WORLD

A child without education is like a bird without wings, and education, they say is the bedrock of any nation and its youth, the future. Education which is also fundamental to development and growth is no doubt one of the best things that have ever happened to mankind.

This shield and sword Chike International Foundation viewed and deemed fit to pass across to the teeming youths in the community believing that it would give a better tomorrow for them, their families and the society at large.

With the motto: ‘the voice of the unheard’, Chike International Foundation is focused on wiping out the inhuman and unjust treatment of women, children, and youths in the society. Some of these unjust treatments have been seen to have resulted in unusual and unruly behavior amongst the youth. The women are not left out either, their untold hardship, punishments and sufferings especially the widows cum the high mortality rate of children distinctively gave rise to this foundation.

In 2007, Apollos Elendu Chike and Florence Chike who are a down to earth Christian couple and pastors a church together with a group in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria found it needful to embark on this journey of rising to the plight of the less privileged in their  community and ensuring that hope is  restored to them.

Some of their visions include:  educating the children up to nursery, primary and secondary school level, improving the living condition of people on skill development and self-help, to form and facilitate women development empowerment skills, promoting health programmes for women and children, providing housing for the homeless and to arrange and give micro-credit for restoration of livelihood, together with their mission; which are to protect women from sexual exploitation and trafficking and to prevent them from contracting HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

In the heart of the city of PortHarcourt, Chike International Foundation so far has been able to make their impacts felt in their own little way. Parts of their achievements include computer training education, children and women development programmes, rehabilitation programmes, free education for the orphans and the physically challenged and regular widows’ meetings where cloths and food items are provided for them.

As a humanitarian organization, the founders lament over very tight finances which has been a major constraint from fulfilling most of their planned projects, but again a promise which has been made to render service to humanity is not about to be broken instead the foundation reaffirmed and reassured the less privileged that the foundation will forever remain true to this course.

It is on this note of credibility, a whole lot of impacts and love for humanity and most especially to the youths in whom they have a strong and an unshaken belief that in them lies unwavering greatness that will transform the face of this nation, the foundation vows to ride on with the selfless service.

Unveiling Africa Foundation – UNVEILING TEEMING TEENAGERS TO THE WORLD

Teens and their tight fits, yes their tight, childish and sometimes frightful fits especially when they get ‘walked up’ by their peers, teachers and oftentimes parents.

They could become resentful and if to the extreme, hateful and rebellious, declining every iota of advice given by adults hence the possibility of great fall into the unforeseen.

Quite a large percentage in many parts of the world today shows untamed, wild teenagers who in their world of fancy or fantasy tag themselves as adults BUT UNREADY TO DO THE ADULT NEEDFULL.

This youthful exuberance and carefree attitude more or less opened the sight of Chizoba Imoka to the wailing agony of teens especially the African teens in 2006 to establish Unveiling Africa Foundation at the University of Alberta for the purpose of creating a platform for Africans in Diaspora to take ownership for Africa’s development even from a distance.

Visions thus became clearer for UVA, UVA a foundation that has become a major voice for African teenagers (9 – 19 years) in matters relating to empowerment and social change. And so in the bid to give more meaning to teenagers’ lives, UVA provided a platform such that capacity in its five nation-building schemes would be developed, they include; Academics, Community Service, Leadership, Career skills, and Social Interaction.

With a strong belief in developing generations of Africans who are critical, creative, problem solvers and passionate about social change, UVA in 2010, thus narrowed its focus to Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria. Since then, UVA has worked with more than 2000 teenagers across twenty secondary schools and impacted over 3000 teenagers and young adults.

Going by Nigerian Secondary Schools, Chizoba Imoka said that UVA has transcended to being a champion for teenagers by providing a platform to develop and showcase their leadership skills through transformative civics, political and community building projects.

Through UVA’s school clubs called Transformers and UVA’s teen network, UVA teenagers have reached and impacted more than 3,500 Nigerians through various initiatives such as the annual Days of a Change leadership program. In addition to this feat, UVA has raised more than $30,000 for various social change projects like bus purchases for physically challenged youth, charity donation to internally displaced camps and construction of soup kitchens. Through UVA’s career development program – Pathfinder, UVA has guided JSS3 students to choose their academic specialization in senior schools, disbursing about $15,000 in academic scholarships to 20 students across Nigeria.

The founder reiterated that UVA engages with teenagers and advocates for critical inclusion and justice. In August 2015, UVA, Chizoba said began an advocacy campaign in Nigeria for the inclusion of history and indigenous culture in Nigeria’s education system. The foundation also organized a cultural leadership program that involved 150 Nigerian students learning about their pre-colonial history and taking action for social change in their communities. The culminating event in that month was a conference (Advocacy for Inclusive Education Summit) that became a platform for students to share their schooling experiences with policymakers, parents, teachers and school owners. The resolution from the conference was later presented to officials at the Nigerian Ministry of Education

Unveiling Africa, through a broader scope of knowledge thus included more programmes for the teens which were tagged (UVA’s School Club):

The first which is, I AM, WE ARE, is a civics focused program that educates young Nigerians about the Child Rights Act. Through the Act, students from public and private schools are brought together to learn about their responsibilities and rights as young citizens.

Days of Change is focused on personal and cultural leadership. Young Nigerians are given a platform to reflect on their lives as leaders in the span of 6-8 weeks, nurture their cultural identity and identify social issues they care about. This event always culminates with a summit where students get to present their learning to a cross-section of education stakeholders.

Back to School for Two: Upon returning to school in September, club members in the private school network are encouraged to bring back an extra bag of school supplies for students who may be prevented from going to schools due to poverty.

Step To Life Nigeria – A JUST COURSE

With the creepy ugly-looking walls, the bugs, the sour meals, the horrible re-sounding noise, the very hard labor, the early mornings and late nights and some more are some of the unending nightmares that abound in the 8-by-7 foot cell which is usually filled with bleakness and drudgery dressed with an unknown tomorrow cum a deafening solitude that leaves one thinking if there would ever be a rise to yet another setting sun and the imprisoned fervently looking forward to doing the ever wished and the ever longed-for long walk to freedom.

These days, prisons are not fine places. They are not friendly-looking either, a place one never wishes to pay a friend nor foe a visit. Like the free who never dreams to lose her liberty while the captive forever prays, longs and awaits total freedom.

The prison, more often than not, house innocents that are unfortunately tagged criminals and become victims of circumstance, through no faults of theirs find themselves behind bars and often times waste away. These ugly situations gave rise to Step To Life, a foundation that is ready to give back to humanity and ensuring that human rights are not infringed upon.

Established in 1997, Step To Life Nigeria envisions building a sustainable Human Rights Culture and good governance in Nigeria and Africa assisting its citizenry to live in dignity and with a mission to contribute to the overall quality of life of Nigerians through proper education, youth and socio-economic development and an holistic approach to the wellbeing of families as the building blocks of the society through the promotion of physical, mental and spiritual health programmes.

The president of STLN, Mr Fela Bright with well over 24 years experience as a strategic behaviour communicator and several interactions with inmates in prisons opines that life is too short to be wasted away without achievements or impacts, stating that for whatever reasons any human spend in the four walls of a prison does not make him less of a being, citing the likes of Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela, that even though they were locked up for years and not criminals, the beauty, Mr Bright said was that they did not wallow in the predicament and at last freedom came to them and they became heroes at the long run.

 

On impacts and achievements of Step To Life Nigeria, Mr Bright had a list which includes: advocacy for the inauguration of the statutory Three Publishing Houses supporting GCE/WASC Preparatory Classes for inmates and provisional approval for the prison being used as an examination centre by JAMB pending the request being formalised by the Prison authorities. STLN worked in several prisons – Aba, Agodi (Ibadan), Olokuta (Akure), Oke-Kura (Ilorin), Kuje (Abuja) and others as Consultants and became fully involved in HIV/AIDS cases even for the inmates.

STNL went ahead to initiate, implement and evaluate programmes and services on Human Rights; conducted training, seminars and workshops on human rights as it relates to good governance, gender and other related issues; initiated and promoted advocacy on prison reforms, gender and other human rights issues; collaborated and built networks with local, national and international agencies and organisations on programming services for the enhancement of human rights and education especially among the youths.

According to Mr Bright, he said that working with some of the prison inmates and security agents to combat crime was a huge success which gave rise to the active involvement of the foundation with the Nigeria Prison Services and the National Human Rights Commission which in turn gave birth to free services from lawyers.

The president of STNL further stated that the sponsored TV programmes for female in 2007/2008 also recorded another huge success which had a positive influence on several women and young girls.

Not failing to mention STNL’s joy that knew no bound when the foundation appealed and won the death sentence case passed on a convict, Saka, who was on death row at the Federal Court of Appeal, Ilorin in 2007. HE WAS RELEASED. Mr Bright in this euphoria gladly stated that this came as a major victory for the lawyers that provided the free services and stated further that STLN as a consistent human right foundation will not relent but continue to fight for and serve humanity.

Sickle Cell Advocacy and Management Initiative (SAMI) – OVERCOMING SICKLE CELL ANAEMIA

In a world where the next best buddy is the multifaceted crisis, and multi arms awakened always to the everyday excruciating pains that even the world’s own very best are yet to find lasting solutions, the thoughts of the patients easily discerned, “the world is gradually closing in”.

These thoughts are often present in the circle of these very special people. From childhood and unto adulthood they are seen spending better parts of their lives in and out of hospitals with very few living normal lives.

Sickle-cell disease (SCD), also known as sickle-cell anemia (SCA) and drepanocytosis, is a hereditary blood disorder, characterized by an abnormality in the oxygen-carrying hemoglobin molecule in red blood cells. This leads to a propensity for the cells to assume an abnormal, rigid, sickle-like shape under certain circumstances. Sickle-cell disease is associated with a number of acute and chronic health problems, such as severe infections, attacks of severe pain (“sickle-cell crisis”), and stroke, and there is an increased risk of death.

Sickle-cell disease occurs when a person inherits two abnormal copies of the hemoglobin gene, one from each parent. Several subtypes exist, depending on the exact mutation in each hemoglobin gene. A person with a single abnormal copy does not experience symptoms and is said to have sickle cell trait

Recognizing all these existing painful facts willed Miss Oluwatoyin Adesola even stronger and more resolute in her call to serve the sickle cell patients.

“You may have a sickle cell but sickle cell should not have you”. This motivating statement Miss Oluwatoyin Adesola a sickle cell advocate, a motivational speaker and an author who is fondly referred to as STILL STANDING utter always to allay her fear and reassure herself of life in abundance. She further voiced that “my greatest fear was that I would just die without achieving anything…”

Today, Miss Adesola’s decision to confront her deepest fear and who is also intensely passionate about absolute health care delivery went ahead to establish her foundation stating the need for accurate information, diagnosis et all for sickle cell patients. She further explained that doctors are increasingly finding it difficult prescribing the right medications due to different cases of crises of patients.

The crux of the matter according to Miss Adesola is that patients need to be well informed about their drugs, food, vegetables, water, and so many supplement intakes. According to her, she said that the bodies of these patients are quite different, hence “what works for A might not work for B” she added.

Recognizing this fact, she enjoins sickle cell patients to put social media into good use for much easier access to beneficial information which can help provide emotional and health stability.

She noted that ever since she became her own small doctor by going on line to learn more about this disease, she has been able to embrace it and love her life more. Although no fault of hers born with the disease, she advised carriers who intend to be coupled to think it through before subjecting their unborn children through pains.

As part of the effort in giving some of these patients some sense of belonging, Miss Oluwatoyin Adesola saw the need to establish a foundation in 2006.

Sickle Cell Advocacy and Management Initiative (SAMI) which believes in making life possible has gone all out to make meaningful impacts through their awareness, edutainment  and support programmes  which include the extra care clinic ,club still standing, touch a cell dance-a-thon, red umbrella walk , touch a cell with Toyin Adesola and still standing publication.

By the sheer size of Nigeria, she remains one of the most affected countries in the world, it is estimated that the prevalence of sickle cell disease is 2-3% of its population and that 150,000 babies are born every year with sickle cell anemia. She, therefore, enjoins other NGOs to rise to the occasion of creating more awareness and ensuring that adequate treatment is being given so much so that these patients would enjoy however short their lifespan may be.

With this prevalence, there is a great and undeniable need for children and young adults to know their hemoglobin genotype status Miss Adesola concluded.

IWEF – IWEF TO THE RESCUE FOR FEMALE EMPOWERMENT

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, there are 126 million women operating new businesses and another 98 million at the helm of established ones this millennium. Ever before now, in the earlier centuries, it had been unusual for women and girls to work alongside husbands and brothers in the family business, they were to be seen and never heard.

Globally, no country has fully attained gender equality. In some places, women still lack rights to own lands or to inherit property, obtain access to a credit facility or even earn a living. To date, girls still make up a higher percentage of out-of-school children than boys. Approximately one-quarter of girls in the developing world do not attend school while an educated girl is more likely to postpone marriage, raise a smaller family, have healthier children, and send her own children to school.

Guaranteeing the rights of females and giving them opportunities to reach their full potential is critical not only for attaining gender equality but also for meeting a wide range of international development goals. Empowered women and girls contribute to the health and productivity of their families, communities, and countries adding to her sense of self-worth, her decision-making power, her access to opportunities and resources, her power and control over her own life inside and outside the home, and her ability to effect change.

For most well-grounded self-worth of women to in the society propelled late Prof. Jadesola Akande establish Iyalode Wuraola Esan Foundation (IWEF) on March 2006 in memory of her late mother, Iyalode Wuraola Esan, the first female Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She was the first educated Iyalode of Ibadan land in Oyo State and the proprietress of the first privately owned girls’ secondary school in Ibadan and she, throughout her lifetime fought for the good and advancement of female gender in the society.

Envisioned to change societal attitude which perceived successful female in public as exception and aberrations, the foundation ensured to catch girls young by empowering them through education, sensitization and skills acquisition, boosting their self-confidence to seek and actualize their potentials to the fullest, training students (mainly out of school girls and ladies from poor background) and making English Language, Computer studies, health education and small scale business studies compulsory for them. Various skills such as fashion designing, hairdressing, make -up, catering, decoration, arts, photography and video coverage, beads stringing, tie and die, petroleum jelly, nylon production, and hat-making are some of the numerous skills to be learned.

Aside from the skills acquisition for young ladies, housewives are constantly trained on gene maintenance, small scale business studies, health education, tie and dye, beads stringing, soap making, drinks making, decoration and petroleum jelly production.

IWEF has proudly trained 176 females since its inception. While the yearly training has seen participants receiving lectures on the importance of saving and the need to open an individual account.

The coordinator of IWEF said that constant follow up on graduates and training them on the best way to maintain and sustain their businesses is one huge goal the foundation has been able to achieve. Stating further that a woman is human and that girls must risk everything for freedom, equality and passion, a passion that would transform to a desire to make her life into poetry, that would become distinct, beautiful and meaningful, which would create a life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in her imagination which will, in turn, transform the society around her.

Speaking on if NGOs can completely be independent of the government IWEF’s coordinator said that it is very possible in as much as advocacies are pushed successfully and both parties ensure to work hand in hand to achieve their common goals.

Freky Andrew Essien Care Foundation – A HEAD START

In 2012, an estimated 1.6 million people were living with HIV and roughly 57,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses.

Until 2002, various organizations and international institutions yielded different estimates of children orphaned by AIDS and various sicknesses around the world.

Almost every day buildings lie in rubble, water is scarce, food miles away, parents indisposed and the children, are among millions of youngsters in need of humanitarian aids following different devastating disasters.

Yet these challenges seem not to inhibit children in the pathway of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria many thanks to Freky Andrew Essien Care Foundation who in the year 2013 made all necessary steps in giving to the society most especially the vulnerable children.

Miss. Andrews, the Executive Director objectives are; to enhance the wellbeing of children, youths, women and persons living with disability, empowering vulnerable groups, to assist and provide support and services education, nutrition, psychosocial support, health to the targeted vulnerable groups, advocating for better life policies for these vulnerable groups and creating a platform of expression for children, youths and persons living with HIV/AIDS.

“Our vision is to add value to target vulnerable groups” This statement was made by Miss Andrews emphasizing on their huge need and ensuring the needs of these special groups in the society are met.

FAECARE’s Executive director further stated that in spite of some challenges they have faced as a foundation, some achievements have also been recorded which are the integration of children from different backgrounds and status to creating an enabling environment to pass values and morals, provision of basic support services, educational and psychological support.

Mrs. Andrews who made mention of an excellent start in life for children said the motivation and sensitization campaigns were largely meant for the youths, the aim which is to engage them  in having confidence, self-worth, making smart goals and developing value systems that would guide them in right decision making as regarding their education and lifestyle choices. Medical services to children and their mothers in the community, (malaria, ITNs, treatment, free medical consulting, drugs, HCT, Deworming, etc.) and welfare materials services to the people of the community, all these have been freely given and she hopes there would be positive transformation through these laudable acts, she concluded.

Joint Statement by African Civil Society Leaders on Xenophobic Attacks on African Foreign nationals in South Africa.

(Lagos, September 5, 2019) Civil Society actors across Africa have expressed deep concern and condemned the ongoing violence against African foreign nationals in South Africa.

This comes in the wake of recent xenophobic attacks reportedly perpetrated by South African citizens against other African foreign nationals who reside and own businesses in the country’s largest city, Johannesburg. The recent attacks which allegedly began between September 1 and 2, 2019 have been described as inhumane acts of violence in which lives and properties of many African foreigners, resident in South Africa have been lost.

In a statement signed by 10 civil society organisations and coalitions from across Africa, the actors led by the Executive Director, Nigeria Network of NGOs, Oyebisi B. Oluseyi, describe the attacks as criminal, as they contravene the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, stating; “…these attacks regress our common economic and development agenda as Africans as enshrined in Agenda 2063 and stands in the way of attaining the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) recently put in place by our governments to ensure that as citizens of mother Africa, we become prosperous.” They also noted that the xenophobic attacks which have been prevalent over the years challenge the continent’s common heritage and value systems.

In commending the efforts of many global civil society organisations who openly condemned the attacks, they commiserated with victims of the attack while calling on Governments of Nigeria and South Africa as well as the African Union to “develop a comprehensive plan to address this issue and use diplomatic routes to launch a joint-national campaign against crime and xenophobia by tapping into the expertise of civil society and the private sector in these regards” Oyebisi reiterated the commitment of civil society organisations to using their organisational platforms in raising awareness on the need for Africans to remain united especially in the context of Ubuntu.

A final call was also made to the media, leaders of thought, clergy, public servants, politicians, business and civil society in and out of South Africa to use their platforms in educating and sensitizing citizens on the ills of xenophobia and its implications for unity and social cohesion of Africans.

See full statement below 

 

Joint statement made by African civil society leaders on the xenophobic attacks on African foreign nationals in South Africa.

 

5 September 2019

 

We the undersigned leaders of civil society across the African continent are deeply concerned about the ongoing xenophobic attacks on African foreign nationals residing in South Africa. We deeply regret these unfortunate incidents that have claimed the lives and properties of our African brothers and sisters and led to the destruction of their properties and businesses.

 

We are worried that these attacks regress our common economic and development agenda as Africans as enshrined in Agenda 2063 and stands in the way of attaining the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) recently put in place by our governments to ensure that as citizens of mother Africa we become prosperous.  More than this, the spate of violence undermines our common heritage and value systems as the African people.  These actions negate the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, are inhumane and undermine progress that have been made to advance human rights across the continent.

 

We condemn in its entirety these barbaric acts and call on the government of Nigeria and South Africa, and the African Union to take decisive steps and develop a comprehensive plan of action to address this issue while encouraging our brothers and sisters affected by these attacks to remain calm and continue to remain safe.

 

We welcome the steps already taken by some governments, including the South African and Nigerian Government and further encourage the use of diplomatic routes and launching of a joint-national campaign against crime and xenophobia by tapping into the expertise of civil society and the private sector in these regards.

 

We further commend the calls of our civil society colleagues globally, and particularly in Africa, who openly condemn these attacks.  We encourage them to work with the government and the good people of South Africa in developing plans and actions capable of bringing these attacks to a halt.

 

We are convinced that those who perpetrate these heinous acts do not reflect the values that South Africans cherish and uphold, hence we call on leaders of thought, clergy, public servants, politicians, business and civil society in and out of South Africa to speak up against these attacks; which no doubt could reverse gains already being made on attaining the sustainable development goals across the continent.

 

In order to bring an end to these acts and ensure they don’t recur, law enforcement agencies should act in a timely manner and bring the perpetrators to justice.

 

We call on the media as an integral part of the civil society community to use their platforms in educating and sensitizing citizens on the ills of xenophobia and its implications for unity and social cohesion of Africans.

 

As we continue to monitor the situation and follow up on government interventions to address this crisis, we commit as civil society to using our organisational platforms in raising awareness on the need for us as Africans to become more accommodating and to see each other as one within the context of Ubuntu- I am because you are.

 

Signed

 

  1. Nigeria Network of NGOs, Nigeria
  2. African Monitor, South Africa
  3. Civicus, South Africa
  4. West African Civil Society Institute (WACSI), Ghana
  5. Africa Platform, Kenya
  6. RESOCIDE, Burkina Faso
  7. JOINT Liga de ONGs em Mocambique, Mozambique
  8. Concertation Nationale de la Société Civile du Togo (CNSC-TOGO), Togo
  9. Afrikajom Center, Sénégal
  10. Collectif Contre l’Impunité et la Stigmatisation des Communautés (CISC), Burkina Faso

 

For further information email nnngo@nnngo.org

Flock Foundation – LIVING THE LIFE

In the age range of 14 and 15 most girls are thinking of clothes, parties and having mad awesome fun. For many girls, teenage pregnancy comes with a lack of parenting. Some girls lack this knowledge hence misbehaving all the way while some feel that they are neglected or abandoned by their loved ones. Hence they go off doing the abnormal which later spans to a huge regret and life becomes pretty difficult for them.

The average number of births for every 1,000 girl aged 15 to 19 is approximately 15 in European Union countries. The United States with 64 births per year for every 1,000 girls aged 15 to 19 also has a high rate.

While Africa having the highest rates of adolescent pregnancy, a factor that affects the health, education, and earning potential of millions of African girls, according to United Nations Population Fund’s report investing in them today should become a high priority for the society in order to shape humanity’s future.

Becoming pregnant at too young an age can distort a young woman’s development, limiting education and lifetime opportunities. For infants born to teenage mothers, the years of early childhood may be marked by poverty, poor care, and instability, which could heighten problems from one generation to the next.

Teen pregnancy has reached massive consequences both for mother and child. Mothers face higher risks of complications in childbirth and their infants are at greater risk of prematurity, low birth weights, death in the first year of life, and developmental problems.

Linking the best possible ways in ensuring the lives of teens and their babies are well protected, nourished and cherished, this life-giving impact propelled the ED of Feed The Flock Foundation, a graduate of Analytical Chemistry to dedicate her service to these wearied teenagers while travelling around the country as an editor.

 

Thus in 2007, she diversified into majorly caring for pregnant teenage mothers, which would lead to a reduction in mortality rates amongst infants, youths and mothers.

 

This unfriendly issue practically led to the establishment of Feed the Flock Foundation to go out of their ways to care for teenage pregnant mothers, their babies, youths, children and women.

 

Feed The Flock Foundation, going by statistics which shows a high rate of infant mortality is committed to the restoration of destinies of teenage mothers in the society: socially, educationally, emotionally, and spiritually.

 

The foundation is en-burdened to take over the responsibilities of girls’ rights from their pregnancy states to deliveries.

 

With the visions and missions of restoring hope for teenage mothers and commitment to the upliftment of destinies of Teenage Mothers in the society through spiritual and total welfare package, Feed the Flock Foundation has thus far ensured that teenage mothers are well taken care of from pregnancy to delivery, baby care, back to school for the mothers, development and training of the babies to University levels hence the provisions for: distribution of educational handbills, translated into major Nigeria languages, housing for teenage mothers and their babies, provision of medical facilities as needed, orphanage system to receive abandoned babies and single mothers, educational development and training of the children.

 

Mrs. Oluwafemi moved ahead to organizing talks in Primary and Secondary Schools, Market places and Worship centers, organizing seminars on Sex Education with emphasis on Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD, HIV/AIDS and other plagues, organizing free training on skill acquisition, both indoor and outdoor thereby and empower the ambitious ones, visiting government-owned hospitals, especially pro- and prenatal wards, organizing talks and rendering other assistance required, organizing extra teaching for students preparing for examination into Tertiary Institutions and lastly Feed the Flock Foundation who is also engaged in subsistence farming has done a great deal in putting food on the tables of the teenage mothers and their babies.