children

Handwashing Day!

Handwashing and libraries were two of the subjects up for discussion during this week’s online UK-Nigeria meeting. John Dada informed us that Global Handwashing Day falls on 15th October. A Fantsuam team member was in Kaduna to discuss Fantsuam Foundation’s participation.
John said: “We would like to raise awareness in the local schools on basic handwashing, but the schools have no running water, and some have no toilets.
“We are thinking of installing some basic but affordable hand-washing stations in a few of the schools. It’s a small step, but in the right direction.”
John explained that a good first step would be the siting of a water bottle hanging from a string, so that it tips easily for washing one's hands.

In typical John Dada and Fantsuam Foundation fashion - where there is always the drive to share and replicate - John suggested that on the global Handwashing day that it would be good to make Fola at the Ago-Are Dadamac outpost aware of this global initiative so that they too could join in the day. From this discussion came the firming up of the idea of linking Fola’s Ago-Are children with those at Fantsuam Foundation’s children’s computer club.
John said: “We are also keen to start a School Radio Program where kids will hear themselves discussing issues with other kids.
“The Children's Radio idea is nothing new. When I was in the Primary school, we used to have one lesson period during the week, when the head teacher brings a radio to our class and we all cluster around it to listen to some lessons.

A community helping itself

This week’s online meeting between the UK and Nigeria teams marked another step forward because it drew upon additional technology.

As well as our usual Skyped/typed conversation we used sms/phone messages to check the situation at FF in the light of John’s uncharacteristic absence.
The fact John had not sent us an explanatory email as is his custom had caused us to speculate as to whether there was a problem. However, the team in the UK (based in London and Leeds) were able to contact Comfort at Fantsuam (rural Nigeria) and she reassured us that all was OK, aside from some connectivity issues. Comfort also said repayments were now improving - an encouraging sign that things are slowly returning to normal in the wake of the post-election violence earlier this year.

She was further able to tell us that John was out. And the next day John sent us all an email and filled in the gaps.

In the morning he had gone for what he thought would be a brief home-care visit to a bed-bound client of FF prior to the meeting. But when he got there he had to deal with complications and was delayed. In between I suspect John had his usual busy day with many demands being made on him. Later that evening John received an emergency call from a staff member’s wife, who had gone into labour while her husband was away in Kaduna. She delivered safely and both mother and child are happily back home.

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