Tag: DoGood.Africa

Tag: DoGood.Africa

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