This 'alphabet soup' stands for Information and Communication Technology for Development Plan, launched in Abuja in May 2010. Nigeria participates in this develoment programme in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Community for Africa. John, who is part of a sub-theme group for rural development and deployment, attended a meeting last week and was asked to assist some other states to develop their own ICT policy appropriate to their local situation. Consequently John is travelling this week and next to Oshun state and Niger state to help others with their ICT development. I reported a a few weeks back that with Fantsuam's entrerprise and generous donors like the Canadian Government Fantsuam's ICT facilities in a rural community are better than some educational institutions.Hopefully Fantsuam's expertise and committment will be passed to others.
Foods for Hypertension
World Health Day is April 7th and provides a unique opportunity for Fantsuam to be part of a global health event. The theme is hypertension and a resource person will lead a discussion on healthy eating for the elderly and the use of local, affordable foods and herbs to combat this health condition often undiagnosed in Nigeria. Fantsuam is funding this local event which will be covered by the local media- NTA Kafanchan and Kaduna State Media Corporation. Fantsuam will be supported by Help the Aged - the only Nigerian organisation to be a member of Help the Aged.
Elderly issues in rural Nigeria
Fantsuam is increasingly aware of the particular issues of the elderly who may face great challenges as they grow old and infirm. There are no state social care services so the elderly are dependent on families and neighbours. Many families, particularly women give heroic care to relatives who may have long term conditions like Parkinsons disease, diabetes or dementia and sometimes need to provide daily nursing care. Recently Fantsuam heard about a older woman whose difficulties were compounded by her overweight who had no-one to assist her in having a shower. It was arranged that she should come to the Fantsuam Health Centre at the weekend when the place was quiet and she could take be helped to take a 'shower' in privacy with a bucket of water and a scoop. She was so grateful for the help with this basic but essentail need. Fantsuam has also for a long time supported grandmothers, Kakas in Hausa, who care for their grandchildren, orphaned by AIDS.
Sadly there are cases, where the elderly are abused due to their isolation and vulnerability and Fantsuam has had to intervene. Fantsuam Foundation featured in a book launched at the UN last year, titled "Ageing in the 21st century - a celebration and challenge."
Support for blind people
A few years ago the Academy at Fantsuam was able to provide some computer training for a blind person and felt very proud at making this training accessible to somone with a visaul impairment. Filo, John's new assiatnt will try and track down the free licence Fantsuam was given and ask Gabiel and Yakubu if they will take up the challenge to provide this service again.