From hailstones to child protection

Skype delays tried to de-rail our weekly online meeting between rural Nigeria and the UK. However, one of the benefits of using typed skype messaging is that when there is a time lag the participants are able to write up their input for the various agenda items (which is emailed to us a few days before the meeting). The information is then eventually posted and can be read by everyone. The delays which were intermittent meant that the meeting overran by 40 mins but the format meant that those who needed to ‘leave’ on time could do so.

The Meeting: Comfort was unable to attend the meeting this week as she was being interviewed by the local TV station. I was surprised to hear from the Nigeria team members that many homes do actually have a TV and that the issue is one of electricity supply. The real problem being the unreliability and cost of NEPA. As a result most people choose to use either a car battery or a small diesel generator which they then switched on for an few hours in the evenings to watch TV programmes.

It was arranged during the the meeting that on Comfort’s return to Fantsuam, Frances would ‘interview’ her about the interview.
Frances duly did this and sent me her write up later that day which can be seen here.

John then went on to inform us that Edi's department (Health and HIV/AIDS Department I believe) does in fact have  free, weekly spot on the local radio. Fantsuam Foundation are now looking at asking for a weekly TV spot as it will be a useful way of engaging with a wider audience. However, they will need to raise the finance to enable this.


  • The office/ conference structure has now reached the height to enable the next floor to be laid. The plan is to now halt until further funds become available.
  • One of the reasons for Attachab is the availability of a river that runs year-round, so that FF can provide dry season farming opportunities.
  • RE: The use of clay pots for irrigation it is too early for John and the team to comment on the pros and cons of this method.
  • Climate Change: On Tuesday (22nd) there were hailstones in Kafanchan. Hailstones are common with the early rains in April, May.  John remarked that this was his first ever experience of hailstones in February.

Photo Printing Project: Passport photos and Pictures being purchased (numbers not obtained yet). Costings still being looked at to see if this is a variable SME.

With the Skype time delay issues it was not until after the meeting when I looked at the archive that I read that John was preoccupied  “with a child in need of protection” and that “We have a rescue mission for a child today” Without being sensationalist about this I fear that after my three years of being involved in these meetings that this probably means that a child has been accused of witchcraft and their life is in real danger. I hope that the rescue mission was successful and that my fears are not warranted.