Students at the Community Communication Center

The Community Communication Centre (CCC) at Fantsuam Foundation has once again come in for some richly-deserved recognition.

The centre was funded by the Nigerian Government and, at the end of May, was the subject of an inspection by visitors from the Nigerian Communications Commission (the country's regulator of Communications). On their previous visit, the inspectors had hailed the CCC as "a Flagship.

This time, an external technical expert was sent to conduct an objective assessment of the CCC. The inspector said he had visited 27 such centres and that none came close to the FF's.

From Catfish Processing to Sickle Cell

Wednesday's weekly online meeting between the UK and rural Nigeria came up against a familiar enemy - connectivity problems. Initially things looked bleak as we faced a long time delay with receiving and sending Skype messages. However, following a quick exchange of SMS messages the meeting was finally able to start, allowing John Dada to appear online for half an hour to bring us up to date with the latest news.

We were pleased to hear that the ESSPIN programme is now well underway and are looking forward to seeing the photos.

John also informed us that preparations for the Sickle Cell Awareness Day Celebrations had entered the final phase.

However we were especially excited to learn that over the last two months a series of training courses has been under way at Fantsuam Foundation. John said that virtually every family in their village had now attended one or more of these sessions. He has asked a member of his team to send me photos and a short summary of the training taking place.

Grassroots Action - a real response to a real issue

John Dada and his team were forced to step into the breach once again this week as Fantsuam Foundation awaited the start of the much-anticipated USAID nutrition programme.

They intervened to help ten local street children whose plight was revealed at Wednesday's UK-Nigeria online meeting.

It signalled a FF pilot project targeting the Muslim children who rely on begging at market. (This initiative may in time be merged with Fantsuam's Orphans and Vulnerable Children's programme but it seems more important to respond to the need now and sort out the logistics later).

John explained to the UK team that the children have been sent, often from distant villages, to gain a Koranic education.

They live with a Master, a Koranic scholar, and have to earn their meals - although a space where they can sleep in his compound is provided. Because the master is not paid by the families, the children are sent to beg and must hand him a portion of their daily earnings.

Wednesday meeting linking rural Nigeria, UK and Geneva!

Connectivity issues tried to ruin this week's online UK- Nigeria meeting but failed.
I had problems with my laptop, which was being repaired, so was watching the meeting over Pam's shoulder. And the UK were informed that Bala (Zitnett Manager) was continuing to work on the connectivity problem at Fantsuam Foundation.

JAWS Training

By Kelechi Michaels for Fantsuam Foundation
KAFANCHAN, Nigeria, 13 May 2010

In 2009, APC member Fantsuam Foundation took on the training of 583 people in ICT, 221 of which were women, and one who was physically handicapped in their academy. While the training was successful and inclusive, one group who could greatly benefit from such training was absent: people who cannot see.

However this will change in 2010 as Fantsuam introduces JAWS (Job Access With Speech screen reader application) training to its curriculum making its Basic computer skills and Advanced computer skills classes available to the blind and visually impaired.

Why our Wednesday meetings work!

The weekly Wednesday online meetings are important to the UK and Nigerian teams, providing a quick and easy way to exchange and update information. And this week's proved no exception.

Despite many of the usual team members being absent due to other pressing commitments, the week's past and future business was successfully addressed.

Although it is not unusual for eight people to attend these sessions (sometimes many more!) we can invariably expect a successful outcome - as long as those online include a representative from both the UK and Nigeria who are in possession of the relevant information.

At this meeting Iunderstand there were 4 main attendees, 2 from the UK side and 2 from Nigeria. We find Skype chat very effective because, even though I was among those who unfortunately had to send their apologies this week, I was still able to "catch up" via the archive.

A Community Pulling Together

John Dada gave the UK team a huge boost at the latest online meeting with our Nigerian counterparts when he spoke of the generosity being displayed by local Zenith bank workers.

Fantsuam Foundation
banks with Zenith and John had earlier been asked to speak to their staff about the enterprising and vital work undertaken by our sister organisation.


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