ACT – Working through partners in Africa (Part 2)

by ACT

  • Posted on Nov 9, 2018

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Yetunde Joseph at the Nigeria stand at the 20th Anniversary event

…. Yetunde Joseph (ACT-Nigeria)

Yetunde Joseph and Honoratus Ndaula travelled to the UK from Africa at the beginning of October to attend and take part in the ACT 20th anniversary celebration – they are two of our wonderful partners from Africa!

For both Yetunde and Honoratus, it was their first ever visit to the UK. They had travelled the thousands of miles to take part in the ACT 20th anniversary celebrations and were representing the twelve partner organisations that ACT partners with in 8 countries of Africa.  Despite being a little shocked by the British weather (cold, cold!), the pair were treated to the full tourist experience of London.

The visit provided a very special opportunity for Yetunde to personally tell us about her work with ACT in Nigeria. We interviewed her to find out exactly what ACT means to the many women and children that are supported in Nigeria. You can read about the interview with Honoratus Ndaula from Tanzania in our blog last week.

This week in Part 2, we report the interview with Yetunde Joseph, Director of Ipaja Community Link (ICL), ACT partners in Ipaja, Lagos State, Nigeria.

Sophie Lavelle, ACT Communications Officer interviewed Yetunde at the ACT (UK) Croydon office.

Q. Give us an insight into how ACT operates in Nigeria?

Yetunde:

There is a long process to select which orphans need help the most. We visit their homes to ensure they are truly vulnerable and need us. When support begins, we provide mainly nutritional and school support, providing food items and paying for books and uniforms and extra classes. We have monthly meetings on nutrition, to ensure that the children and their mothers/guardians recognise the importance of nutrition on learning and the ability of the children to concentrate in their classes. We give the children food packs including rice, beans and beverages. We also open bank accounts for the children and credit their bank accounts on a monthly basis for their food provisions. There is an evaluation process for each individual child to ensure their needs are always being met.

Q. What impact do you think ACT is making in your community?

Yetunde:

The ACT project really motivates the children! The fact that they receive funds regularly for their education and know that it is coming from abroad is a great motivation. The children think ‘Wow! Somebody from far away has me in mind!’ It certainly encourages them to do well at school. Some of the children receive emails, gifts and cards on their birthdays from their UK sponsors and it makes them feel so special! ACT funds is use to provide accommodation for some families, enabling them to live together rather than separately, with children sent to live with other relatives.

Most families in Nigeria barely have two meals each day. We ensure the children have at least two meals a day which is a huge relief for the family. This has a knock on effect on their school performance as they are better able to concentrate and not go to classes hungry or worrying about their next meal.

I think I will be correct in saying almost all school children in the UK can use computers. This is not the case in Nigeria. ACT is changing this for our supported children who are in their final year of high school. They are enrolled to attend a computer and graphics course, so that when they go on to tertiary education they are already computer literate.

Q. Do you have any specific projects planned for the future?

This year we provided business skills training to 69 widows in the community. We’ve helped them to set up a cooperative savings and loans scheme, into which ACT has donated a start-up fund. This enables the women to take out small loans at zero interest to start up their small businesses!

Our aim is that all the women will be able to generate income in a sustainable way to support their families.

To find out more about our work in Nigeria click here.

To make a donation or to sponsor a child in Africa click here.


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