Starting the New Year

Following a short Christmas break, Wednesday the 4th of January saw the restart of the weekly UK-Nigeria team Meetings.

These meetings are a weekly link between the UK and John Dada a local innovator who delivers integrated development programmes in rural Nigeria and who is the CEO of Fantsuam Foundation.
As we approach the fourth year of these weekly meetings (which have proved to be a valuable insight to what is really happening ‘on the ground’ see Nikki’s Blogs) I was reminded again how so much respect and affection John receives from his host community.

Instead of our usual typed Skype format there was an exchange of information via a mixture of emails and texts. John explained that he was not able to use Skype as he was ‘working’ from home as he had recently undergone an emergency appendectomy.

Below is John’s information

“Xmas celebrations were marred by the explosion in churches around Nigeria. These violences have now been succeeded by fuel subsidy demonstrations. Pump price for petrol has gone up by 140%, and this has led to sharp increase in transport costs. Workers and students are unable to travel back to their stations because transport costs have gone up 300% in some cases. All FF staff have returned safely.

On 27th Dec I had emergency appendectomy: given the facilities at the clinic where I had the surgery, I feel lucky and priviledged. The 25minutes surgery extended to over 2hrs. I am mending, slowly, and had to treat for malaria yesterday. The post-op pains are tolerable and the stiches came off yesterday. I am still able to shuffle around the house.

There's no shortage of goodwill and alarm in our community because its never been heard that John Dada took ill! Its all I can do to cope with the stream of visitors who insist on seeing me to convince themselves that am mending!

Am writing this from home so I have no Skype access.”

For more additional information re the fuel increase please see Lagun Akinloye from ThinkAfricaPress plus this link to his recent article about the Fuel Subsidy Protest coming to London.

Despite John’s recent operation he was still able to inform us of Fantsuam Foundation’s priorities for 2012 which are:
1. To consolidate their microfinance, rebuild its capital base
2. Make Attachab functional and income generating
3. Capacity building of youths from all tribes and religions in Non Violent Conflict Resolution and Peace-building through team reconstruction of homes destroyed during sectarian violence
4. Give more visibility to the peace-making and peace-keeping roles of Women and Elders in Nigeria's rural communities.
5. Provide health surveillance services at the Zipak Lab which is shown in the photo above.

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