Making Rural Connections

Judging by this week’s UK-Nigeria online meeting, it seems the normal busy and varied activities of Fantsuam Foundation are becoming evident again following the recent post-election violence.

  • John Dada and his team are currently working on completing a USAID proposal . This.includes establishing a mutual understanding and collaboration between pastoralists (Fulani herdsmen) and crop farmers. Attachab is developing a model to demonstrate how such mutual coexistence can take place and what its challenges may be: For example, access to water and livestock feed.
  • Emma had to return to Kaduna to follow up on the Water Resources engagement with a Government department.
  • The radio HIV AIDS program went very well and UNICEF wants to train 100 of FF’s youths as peer educators - we look forward to hearing additional details later.
  • Last week John told us that he was delighted to be trusted and asked to bring together Christian and Muslim local leaders. John reported that they had had a very good meeting with Yoruba Christian and Muslim groups, who had in fact been estranged for over 3 years. John reported that we have put a reconciliation process in place.
  • Kafanchan peace traders: John informed us that FF have received additional funds from Friends of Nigeria and, using the formula that was applied to the first seven woman (part grant, part loan) they will be able to support an additional 20 women.
  • Microfinance: Fantsuam’s major funder, PfD have agreed to a package of measures to help FF program which was badly affected by the post-election trouble. These measures are a big relief for FF and they have passed on the good news to their anxious clients.

The only sad news today is that Fantsuam Foundation’s bandwidth provider in the US will be increasing their tarrif  from August. John went on to explain that SDN, the satellite service agent, said Africa has become a hotspot for satellite usage. The satellite owners have increased the rates that SDN has to pay drastically so they have to pass on the cost increase. FF’s data usage is about 100GB per month. They are telling FF that for their present rate of 1Mb/256kb they will now  increase to $1,951 per month with a 12-month contract or $2,334 per month on a month-to-month  basis. The provider said that they could keep us at the same present rate, but they would decrease the speeds to 256kb/128kb.  This 256kb/128kb will not work for FF, who are now  looking for an alternative provider. Please email nicola.fishman@dadamac.net if you have any suggestions or know of a cheaper option for Fantsuam. Likewise, if there are any companies who can help as part of their social responsibility or individuals who can assist.