Stanley Ogbuchi Posts

Author: Stanley Ogbuchi

Education In Crisis

By Reme Nicole Urubusi

In 2015, the United Nations member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This agenda established shared objectives and outlined a  plan of action to encourage peace and prosperity amongst nations, identifying 17 immediate social development goals necessary for social progress. Specifically addressing education, social development goal 4 aims to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning. 1(UNICEF)

 With a dedicated focus on education in Africa, it is important to highlight social barriers that currently prevent the progress of education and essential literacy. In Nigeria,   approximately 10.5 million children between the ages 5-14  are out-of-school, only 61% of 6-11year olds regularly attend primary school and 60% of those out-of-school children are girls. It is evident that this problem is in need of urgent attention. (UNICEF, 2018)

With patterns displayed in early childhood often reflective of patterns carried through to early adulthood, the idea that so many young children are deprived of what is considered a basic right is truly disheartening.

Photo: Adam Jan | Shuttershock

In 2009, Nigeria recorded an increase in the number of victims affected by terrorist insurgencies, most notably, the infamous Boko Haram group. Boko Haram, loosely translated from the Hausa language in the northeastern region of Nigeria, means ‘Western education is forbidden’. With the groups’ belief being built upon an opposition to British rule and Western secular education, a collective dismissal towards prioritization of traditional schooling has emerged.

Photo: Education in Bottles Initiative by AREAi

Northern states in Nigeria such as Borno State, in particular, have suffered considerable detrimental effects due to insurgency with the state having some of the lowest educational indicators in the country. Data presented by the national education data survey found that only 16% of the parents or guardians in the state were actually literate. This is highly problematic when raising children, as parents who are cognitively and personally involved in their children’s education are able to communicate more positively with their children about school matters, values and expectations regarding good achievement. However, poorly educated parents and guardians are likely to be more dismissive towards the importance of education for their children.

86% of teaching staff in Borno State witness violence themselves due to insurgency which has contributed to schools becoming increasingly difficult to manage. There is consequently a growing animosity amongst teaching staff who often suspect others of being involved in the violence, leading to frequent issues of subordination, particularly against women. 2(Akogun et al, 2018)

 Many non-Qur’anic schools have faced specific threats of bombing and violent attacks. With one of the most tragic attacks on an educational institution being a suicide bombing in a secondary school in Potiskum, Yobe State, Nigeria. Here, the attacker, disguised as a student, detonated a bomb killing nearly 50 young boys. When the attacker was asked by the school prefect why he was not wearing the appropriate school badge he proceeded to kneel and detonate the deadly explosives. 3(NY Times, 2014)

 It is evident insurgency is a huge issue with damaging consequences for the education of young people within Nigeria. However, this is only one of the many contributory factors to the educational crisis. For example, schools continue to be ill equipped, inadequate and yet overcrowded, with public schools often unable to provide the necessary resources and facilities present in private schools, such as laboratories for science, computers or adequate books. As a result of the lack of teaching aids provided in public schools, it becomes increasingly difficult for staff to teach efficiently. Therefore, poorer kids face extraordinary disadvantages when it comes to advancing in education.

In addition to this, there are concerns for teacher welfare. Many teachers are overworked yet underpaid, this impedes on the ability of public schools to attract qualified educators. Poor and irregular salaries discourage the progression of a stable education system.

Furthermore, children are walking long distances to attend school meaning their productivity is limited as many battle sleep during school hours due to the long travels they face early morning. 4(Olawoyin, 2019)

 All these highlight the poor state of education delivery in the country and calls for the Nigerian Government to make education a top priority. It is clear that governments at all levels must commit to delivering high-quality education throughout the country. Investments should be geared towards curriculum upgrade, improved learning infrastructure and an upward review of teachers’ remuneration to attract qualified and experienced teachers. 

PHOTO: St Francis of Assisi

PHOTO: DEVCOMS Network

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While DoGood.Africa aims to contribute to the achievement of the United Nations sustainable development goals in Africa, the organization places particular importance in delivering education to members of vulnerable communities in Africa. 

DoGood.Africa partners with education-focused organisations such as Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative (AREAi), Wadi Ben Hirki Foundation, Stem-in-Africa (SIA) amongst others to amplify their social impact initiatives.

DoGood.Africa recently partnered with AREAi to launch a nationwide rollout of its Education-in-Bottles initiative, aimed at providing quality learning opportunities to out-of-school children located mainly in Northern Nigeria. This project has commenced its pilot at Katampe, Abuja. The objective of this initiative is to build and operate 500 informal community learning centers across underserved communities in Northern Nigeria and educate up to 100,000 children currently out-of-school over the next 5 years.

At DoGoodAfrica, our objective is not just to improve the current  state of education within Nigeria; but to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning’ in line with the UN social development goals. 

Photo: Education in Bottles Initiative by AREAi

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1UNICEF (2018) UNICEF Statistics on Education In Nigeria Infographic. Available online https://elearninginfographics.com/education-in-nigeria-infographic-unicef-statistics-on/

2Akogun.O et al (2018) Teaching in distress: An assessment of the impact of protracted violence due to insurgence on the primary school teaching workforce in Borno State, Nigeria.http://nigeria-education.org/literature/teaching-distress-assessment-impact-protracted-violence-due-insurgence-primary-school

3The New York Times (2014) Bomb at school in Nigeria kills nearly 50 boys. Available online https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/11/world/africa/nigeria-suicide-bomber-boko-haram.html

4Olawoyin Oladeinde (2019) Premium Times. Nigeria: Children Suffer as Lagos Fails to Meet Education Needs of Increasing Population. https://allafrica.com/stories/201912240115.html

DoGood.Africa: Response to the Food Crisis

In the last few months, many countries around the world have responded to the COVID-19 global crisis by restricting movement and enforcing lockdowns to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.  In low-income countries like Nigeria, where many households depend on a daily income to cater to their day-to-day needs, most families do not have the means to stock up on food and other essential items in preparation for the lockdown.

Now, communities in which no household has witnessed a coronavirus victim, find it hard to believe in the existence of COVID-19. They believe the idea of it is made up to stop them from going to make their daily bread. Practising social distancing in such communities becomes difficult since breadwinners are bent on going out in search of food for their families, therefore dismissing the lockdown guidelines. The risk of hunger inevitably affects curbing the virus in many ways, in addition to weakening their immune system, exposing them to nutrition-related sickness and the coronavirus itself.

In response to the hunger crisis faced by these communities before they are hit with the COVID-19 disease, DoGood Africa Foundation set up a fundraiser in order to provide relief to households in Shomolu area of Lagos State. A goal of NGN1.5million was set to provide emergency food relief to 120 households. The relief packages would contain Nigerian staple food items including rice, beans, gari, Semovita, palm oil, vegetable oil and other spices enough to feed a family of at least 4 members for at least a period of 2 weeks, assuming they had 2 full meals per day. 

The fundraiser ran for a period of 10 days and the NGN1.5 million goal was surpassed by NGN300,000, enough to provide for an additional 30 households to the 120 households initially planned. After raising NGN1.8 million in funds, the team procured food items for 150 households. To avoid the rowdiness that most programmes and other non-profits have faced in the distribution of relief packages, DoGood Africa foundation adopted a door-to-door delivery method, visiting houses within the Shomolu axis. To almost completely eliminate giving multiple beneficiaries from the same household, the distribution team decided to target women averagely aged 55 years as beneficiaries for their various households. This organized method was welcomed by the communities where the distribution took place within 2 days; 58 and 92 packages distributed respectively. The distribution of these relief packages to these communities in Shomolu will fight the hunger crisis faced in the community and will also enhance the communities’ ability to follow the lockdown and social distancing guidelines, enabling Lagos to flatten the curve in order for breadwinners to go back to work. 

Since DoGood Africa completed the COVID-19 Emergency Food Response, more attention has been drawn to the organization for partnerships on future social impact projects. This is a call to action to tackle hunger and address food security as a critical part of the response to end the pandemic.

DoGood.Africa’s sustainable approach to lifting underserved communities

Members of the DoGood.Africa team

Do Good Africa Foundation, a non-profit organization with a goal to accelerate the pace of sustainable development across Africa, implemented its inaugural project tagged #EmpowerMakokoFishingCommunity in Lagos on Saturday, 21 December 2019.

Nigeria is currently tagged the poverty capital of the world with more than 112 million people living in poverty, according to an Oxfam report. This is evident in locations like Makoko, known as the “Venice of Africa”, a floating slum located in the Lagos Mainland, and home to over 500,000 inhabitants. The community’s depressing economic and infrastructural state is further exacerbated by an overwhelming deprivation of adequate fishing tools – a sad irony, considering fishing is the major occupational activity of Makoko.

DoGood.Africa first visited Makoko in April 2019 to investigate potential intervention mechanisms in such an impoverished community and contribute meaningfully towards poverty reduction through sustainable and self-sufficient means. After several interviews with community leaders and members, youth unemployment emerged as a significant driver of household poverty. This led to the birth of DoGood.Africa’s inaugural social impact project tagged, “Empower Makoko Fishing Community”. According to Peter Oke, Co-Founder of DoGood.Africa, “this project seeks to equip skilled fishermen in the community with adequate assets and tools, in a bid to provide a sustainable means of livelihood for their households”.

Taking Makoko’s fishing hub status into consideration, DoGood.Africa explored initiatives around fishing empowerment to maximize value creation for Makoko indigenes. The Foundation engaged several service providers through the implementation process. According to Ezekiel Alabi, Projects Lead at DoGood.Africa, “we were able build and brand all the fishing boats within Makoko, whilst utilizing resources available within the community”.

Fishing boats built and branded in Makoko Fishing Community (Photo Credit: Busayo Sunmonu)

Ten beneficiaries were selected through a process aimed at identifying capable youths who lacked boats and fishing equipment and were considered to be vulnerable. This selection process involved engagements with community and religious leaders and subsequent interviews with those nominated. The beneficiaries were presented with boats and other

fishing equipment at the project commissioning, which was well attended by community leaders, stakeholders and members of the DoGood.Africa community. Baale Hungevun Jacob

of Abamisimeho Makoko Community speaking at the commissioning commended the Foundation’s efforts in providing fishing equipment for the community. According to Baale Hungevun Jacob, “we want to thank DoGood.Africa for coming to help our youths and providing them with fishing equipment to help them start their lives”. He went on to appreciate the sacrificial gesture shown by members of the DoGood.Africa community who are not directly part of the community. “We know that DoGood.Africa did not have to come to help us in Makoko, but have done all these sacrificially, we pray that God will continue to bless them and meet them at the point of their needs”. Stanley Ogbuchi, Co-Founder of DoGood.Africa, also speaking at the same event said “DoGood.Africa was set up by like-minded youths who want to use the skills and resources available to them to improve the standard of living in underserved communities, one project at a time”.

Beneficiaries of Empower Makoko Fishing Communities (Photo Credit: Busayo Sunmonu)

DoGood.Africa will continue to monitor its intervention in Makoko, as it seeks impact investment opportunities that foster sustainable development and reduce poverty within the community.

There remains lots of work to be done in communities with similar fundamentals across Africa. DoGood.Africa’s mandate is to provide technical and fundraising support to social impact organizations to ensure successful project implementation, whilst ensuring these projects meet 3 essential criteria: Economic impact, Scalability and Sustainability in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. This has led to partnerships with REES Africa in their project tagged “Light Up Kaduna”, to eradicate energy poverty in Kagarko Local Government by providing a mini-grid solution and connecting c.100 households in Oboi, Madaki and Sarki communities.

L-R: Members of DoGood.Africa Community – Ezekiel Alabi, Oghenekaro Ebarighe and Adewunmi Salami at the project commissioning of Empower Makoko Fishing Community (Photo Credit: Busayo Sunmonu)

The Foundation is also partnering with the Aid for Rural Education Access Initiative (AREAi) in launching a nationwide rollout of its Education-in-Bottles initiative, aimed at providing quality learning opportunities to out-of-school children located mainly in Northern Nigeria. This project has commenced its pilot at Katampe, Abuja. These efforts represent DoGood.Africa’s increasing contributions in the social impact space, as part of a concerted action to end poverty by 2030.

By Adewunmi Salami

Do Good Social Impact Foundation Succeeds in GlobalGiving’s Accelerator

Do Good Social Impact Foundation Succeeds in GlobalGiving’s Accelerator, Becomes Recognized Partner of GlobalGiving

(October 2, 2019) Do Good Social Impact Foundation announced today that they have graduated from the GlobalGiving Accelerator program, gaining entry into the GlobalGiving marketplace and becoming a recognized partner of GlobalGiving. As part of the Accelerator, Do Good Social Impact Foundation successfully raised $6,038 from 99 unique individual donors to support their project, “Empower Makoko Fishing Community.”

“We’re thrilled to have Do Good Social Impact Foundation as part of our community. Do Good Social Impact Foundation has met our rigorous vetting standards for trust and community support, and we’re committed to providing tools, training, and support as they learn, grow and become more effective,” said Alix Guerrier, CEO of GlobalGiving. “GlobalGiving donors value the opportunity to support nonprofits like Do Good Social Impact Foundation, knowing that they’ll get regular updates about how their donations are put to work.”

“Makoko is a huge slum in the heart of Lagos, Nigeria. It is also a fishing community, this project would empower the fishing community in the area with better equipment to increase their fishing yield and boost their income. Equipping these fishermen with better equipment would boost fishing and thus stimulate the local economy. Helping the Makoko Fishing community would alleviate poverty, provide food, and increase decent work and economic growth”, said Stanley Ogbuchi, project leader at Do Good Social Impact Foundation.

About Do Good Social Impact Foundation
Our mission at DoGood.Africa is to improve lives in underserved communities across Africa one project at a time.

About GlobalGiving
GlobalGiving is the first and largest global crowdfunding community that connects nonprofits, donors, and companies in nearly every country around the world. GlobalGiving makes it possible for local organizations to access the funding, tools, training, and support they need to become more effective and make the world a better place. Any registered nonprofit is welcome to apply for the GlobalGiving Accelerator Program: GlobalGiving.org/accelerator/

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DoGood.Africa Launch

Press Statement – DoGood.Africa Launch

Lagos, Nigeria, August 1st, 2019 – Digital platform, DoGood.Africa launches today to connect African people (and diaspora around the world) to not-for-profit and social impact projects in Africa that are in need of funding and technical support. All projects showcased on the DoGood.Africa platform are committed to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Launch

With an endless number of deserving causes that need support, many donors in Africa and the diaspora find it challenging to ascertain which cause to donate to and offer voluntary service to. DoGood.Africa is utilizing technology making it easier for people to find projects and causes that they align with, to support them with donations and volunteer hours.

The Genesis of DoGood.Africa

In September 2015, the UN adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that includes 17 SDGs. Built on the principle of “leaving no one behind”, the Agenda emphasizes a holistic approach to achieving sustainable development for all. In the wake of this, many NGOs and social enterprises have been set up in Africa to achieve these milestones and many preexisting organizations and projects shifted their focus in order to meet these goals.

Though there has been clear progress in certain areas, we are still very far off the mark for achieving these goals globally and particularly across the African continent. In a survey conducted by DoGood.Africa with some African Non-Profit Organizations, 98% of the respondents confirmed that a major challenge is sourcing funds to carry out their groundwork.

Relying on government funding and international aid is not a sustainable model, DoGood.Africa believes crowdfunding is the key to bridging the funding gap for Non-Profits and Social Impact Organizations. Regardless of how many volunteers a project may have, in most cases, the availability of funds determines the success of a project.

How the DoGood.Africa Platform works

DoGood.Africa lists vetted projects from verified and credible Non-Profits and Social Impact Organizations on the website.

  1. Donors back these projects with funding and support.
  2. Funds raised are remitted to the organization to implement the project and we provide relevant support along the way.
  3. We seek regular feedback, updates and reports of project impact and progress and we share to the wider community of donors and other relevant stakeholders.

About DoGood.Africa

DoGood was born out of a desire to make a difference and change the narrative around Africa as an underdeveloped continent. DoGood.Africa has therefore been created to provide funding and technical support to social impact projects in Africa to ensure sustainable and seamless project implementation. 

Starting from Nigeria where DoGood.Africa was founded, the platform is launching with some of the following projects:

  1. Empower Makoko Fishing Community: Makoko is a slum in the heart of Lagos, Nigeria. It is also a fishing community; this project plans to empower the community with better fishing equipment to increase their fishing yield and production working towards 1,2 and 8 of the UN SDGs. To find out more, visit: https://dogood.africa/project/empower-makoko/.
  2. Light up Kaduna: Under the initiative REES LIGHTS AFRICA, the project light up Nigeria is aimed at providing electricity access to rural and marginalized areas across Nigeria with no prior access, working towards achieving Goals 1, 7 and 13 of the UN SDGs. To find out more, visit: https://dogood.africa/project/light-up-kaduna/.
  3. Love In The Midst of War (LITMOW): Project LITMOW helps in rehabilitating survivors of the insurgency in Northern Nigeria by giving them food, clothing and other necessities and providing some children with access to free and quality education, thus achieving Goals 4 and 16 of the UN SDGs. To find out more, visit: https://dogood.africa/project/litmow/.

Get Involved:

Power lies with the people. DoGood.Africa sees a future where all Africans and the diaspora join together and participate in making in building, growing and developing our local communities, countries and our continent. Join DoGood.Africa, in developing Africa and killing the media narrative of Africa being a poor continent incapable of internal development.

Becoming a volunteer takes hard work, dedication and a real commitment of time and resources. DoGood.Africa is committed to improving lives and communities and volunteers are a key component for ensuring that projects run as smoothly as possible. To become a volunteer, visit: https://dogood.africa/volunteer/

To make a donation, visit the DoGood.Africa launch page at www.dogood.africa/launch

For more details on how to sign-up as a Social Impact Organization, Partner, or Volunteer, contact:

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Email: [email protected]