nigeria

Feedback from rural Nigeria

Oritamefa Baptist Model School, Ibadan is one of the biggest school in Ibadan metropolis. Fola (who has only had his laptop for two weeks) visited the school to help  teachers with the configuring of their system
He was also the first to let us know about the flooding in Oyo State and sent us some photos.
Dadamac has helped Fola obtain his laptop with the help of an loan through Fantsuam Foundation's microfinance bank. Once the interest free loan has been repaid by Fola the intention is that the money will be lent out again.
During our weekly UK-Nigeria meeting Comfort gave us an update about Fantsuam Foundation's successful microfinance programe.

Fantsum reaching out

As usual, this week’s UK-Nigeria online meeting proved a real gem.

Feedback from John suggests the community is becoming used to the new realities of slow business output in the wake of the post-election conflict.

He reports that the Kafanchan Peace Market traders are gradually getting their businesses going again, with some of venturing into new businesses areas.
Twelve of the 27 traders are Muslims and these women have negotiated with Fantsuam Foundation to defer their loans until after Ramadan.

In recent blogs I have documented the loss of experienced staff from Fantsuam, mostly as a direct consequence of the recent troubles. However, a related ongoing problem which afflicts FF was explained by John. Once again he has lost another valuable member of his staff who has been offered five times the salary that FF can afford. This is a recurring problem for John. He trains people who have minimal skills but, by the time they have served their unofficial apprenticeship at Fantsuam, they have gained valuable experience and are poached by bigger organisations
This is because FF offers a fasttrack training and unique hands-on approach to integrated development. John reflected: “The way we are starting to look at this is that taking youths from Ground Zero to become employable by bigger organisations may be one of our callings - but it costs us so much."

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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