Microfinance - visibility

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Microfinance was established at Fantsuam Foundation, Nigeria in 2001 following the Grameen model.

Its success has been overseen by Kazanka Comfort and John Dada.

Since it started it has benefited 12,500 individuals directly and an estimated 62,500 additional people indirectly.

Sickle Cell Screening reaches 2,215 children and increasing!

The UK and Nigeria teams were able to exchange information via their usual typed skype meeting.

John Dada, although unable to attend personally this week, emailed us with the following exciting update about Fantsuam Foundation’s real contribution in combating Sickle Cell Disease. As part of the Cohort Pilot Study he gave us the following latest statistics: So far he has successfully managed to screen 2,215 children for Sickle Cell disease. In addition to those screened on the UN Sickle Cell Awareness Day in June and those screened in Gwantu, an additional 630 children have recently been screened in Manchok and the team plans to be in Attakar on Thursday 15th and in Kagoro today. John’s target is to screen 6,000 children. Photos of these various screenings are hopefully ‘in the pipeline’ to the UK.

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.

ZittNet – Fantsuam Foundation's Community Wireless Network

The success of Zittnet, at our sister organisation Fantsuam Foundation, is a major reason that we are able to connect the UK with rural Nigeria so brilliantly at our weekly online meetings.

To really get a better picture of Zittnet I urge you to look at this excellent article written by Louise Berthilson in 2007. The information is current, although there have been further lightning strikes. This has resulted in a larger mast. I will also ask Bala, the manager of Zittnet and his team, to comment about any other changes that may have occured.

Last Mile Connectivity - the realities

Today's online meeting illustrated perfectly the type of difficulties which can potentially beset our weekly Skype link-ups between Nigeria and the UK.

It first became apparent that all was not well after we were joined in the session by Bala, Manager of Zittnet and a regular team member. The Nigerian team quickly explained that they were experiencing problems with their network.

Urgent Action - Zittnet Project needs Votes.

We would very much like you to support our friends Zittnet in their efforts to win $3,000 for a project that enables farmers to work together to get better prices, as previously mentioned on our blog.

Go to arc.peacecorpsconnect.org/view/299/zittnet-harnessing-information-to-make-rural-markets-work-better and read the idea

Click the green ENDORSE IT! button on the top right corner.



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