A Community Pulling Together

John Dada gave the UK team a huge boost at the latest online meeting with our Nigerian counterparts when he spoke of the generosity being displayed by local Zenith bank workers.

Fantsuam Foundation
banks with Zenith and John had earlier been asked to speak to their staff about the enterprising and vital work undertaken by our sister organisation.

Members of the bank's staff were kindly able to pledge their support this month to 10 grandmothers on the Foundation's The Kakas Programme (Kakas translates as ‘grandmothers’ in Hausa). My understanding of this vital programme is that it serves grandmothers who have taken on the role of care-giver to their grandchildren. The majority of these youngsters' parents have fallen victim to AIDS and had nothing to leave behind for the care for their offspring. No other members of the immediate or extended family have been able to support the family - and there is no Government support available. So you can imagine the problems they face.

The Foundation aims to provide basic welfare for these families through a monthly stipend to feed and clothe the children, along with free medical care in Fantsuam’s health clinic, payment for school registration fees and the gift of a ‘wrapper’ (traditional clothing) for each grandmother during the Christmas holiday. Once a month the children (over 300 in total) are given a nutritious meal of jallof rice, kunu and yogurt.

For further details about the Kakas please click here.

In addition to their financial support of the grandmothers, the young bank workers also made a donation to FF's Children's Nutriton Programme. To view the photos please click here. In addition to this support hey have also offered scholarships to the Fantsuam Academy for two adolescent girls.

It is wonderful to hear of a local business offering real and valuable support to help the most vulnerable members of their community. The Zenith staff and readers can rest assured that John and his team will ensure that every Naira is carefully spent.

Other matters covered during the meeting:

  • A Winrock volunteer has been working on FF's internal communications system. To date  the volunteer has provided a template for Microfinance data, and work is still going on looking at the IM (instant messaging) programme.
  • Sickle Cell Disease: The monthly support group met on Saturday and Photos have been sent to the UK.
  • Fantsuam were expecting a visit from representatives of the American Embassy, Abuja
  • Fantsuam Foundation reported that they were having some power maintenance on the compound with their consultant from Jos
  • The implications of Ning withdrawing its free service were raised. It was agreed that further discussions will take place in due course.