I am sad to report that this week’s online meeting between thIe UK and Fantsuam Foundation brought some distressing news. We have long been aware of the type of local community responsibilities that John Dada shoulders, and yet again this became apparent during our latest session.
In the past three years, John has been obliged to leave meetings abruptly due to a variety of urgent reasons. These have included:
- Giving his own blood to save a young mother who had suffered complications during childbirth. Unfortunately she did not survive.
- To intervene to protect children from accusations of witchcraft - often attempts had been made on their lives
- To provide leadership and condolences when a FF neighbour, a disabled young man took his own life leaving behind a baby just a few weeks old
- And, more recently, to return urgently to the compound as there had been reports of gunfire during the post-election troubles.
This week John was actually able to remain with us. But we were sorry to learn from him that the previous day had seen the death of a three-month-old baby due to diarrhoea. John was also concerned about a former member of his staff (who has two boy dependents) whom he had visited in hospital and was critically ill needing parenteral feeding - a treatment which was unavailable to him.
Fantsuam Foundation already is offering some support in the form of feeding and schooling as the patient's children are included in the orphans and vulnerable children programme. However, John is now looking to see whether a member of their extended family can care for them. What is remarkable is that the ex-member of staff had actually been fired from the organisation for theft - but John and his organisation are generous enough not to hold this against him in his and his children’s time of need.
John spent the majority of the meeting detailing the issues he is facing regarding the children’s feeding programme. He and his team were especially concerned by the street children they have been helping to feed. These are Muslim children who have been sent to study the Koran with a scholar. However, they are forced to resort to begging to survive. John had previously set up an agreement for the wives of the master to cook food that he provided. However, the team were not too pleased with the quantities of food given to the children as it appeared that the adults took most of it. John has found a potential solution to this. FF are now looking at another model in which the children will go to restaurants run by Muslim women for their lunch.
FF are targeting 50 children in the first instance. (They are already feeding 19 at the Fantsuam kitchen).
Microentreprise: Comfort is attending Training at New Hampshire University, USA. She'll be sharing FF's experience of the deployment of microfinance in post-conflict situation.
Kafanchan Peace Market:
We heard that the initiatives shown by the traders has been remarkable but it is hoped the Govenment will step in to give direction, and build access roads, toilets etc
John informed us that he had a meeting that afternoon with the Timber Traders Association who lost all their wood and machines to arsonists.
Sometimes the problems facing this rural community must appear overwhelming. However, they are fortunate that Fantsuam Foundation is on hand to offer support and shares its overstretched resources with them