Grandmothers' voices remembered in Seoul

John Dada attends conference on ageing in Seoul

Last week John Dada, Director of Fantsuam Foundation wrote from Seoul, “The African Research for Ageing (AFRAN) and HelpAge International, to which Fantsuam is affiliated, has supported my attendance at the 20th IAGG World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics in Seoul, Korea."

Older people world wide to be treated with dignity and respect.

"It has been heart warming to see the range of professionals and organisations who are keen to ensure that older people all over the world are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.

What Fantsuam takes home from this global gathering is that we are not alone in our modest efforts for our Kakas (grandmothers in Hausa) and there are organisations the world over who are willing to support our work."

Fantsuam Foundation has submitted its application for membership of The Africa Research On Ageing Network (AFRAN)

And The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.


Making Links

"At the Africa Regional meeting held as part of this conference I introduced myself as ‘the African who has 126 mothers!’ This emphasised the unique service we provide our 126 Kakas. In attendance were representatives of the Nigerian Government from the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development who expressed interest in engaging with Fantsuam when we return to Nigeria. Fantsuam Foundation will be following up these Government officials to facilitate the establishment of a Nigerian chapter of Geriatrics and Gerontology and have it registered with the IAGG. (International Association of Geriatrics and Gerontology). In Africa only South Africa and Tunisia have a functioning IAGG.

Through the Nigerian Society for Geriatric and Gerontology, some baseline research can be quickly conducted in partnership with research institutions to address the paucity of data on Ageing, Health and Retirement in Nigeria. I met a consultant demographer from Senegal who has a keen interest in this area and Fantsuam will be contacting him to explore how we can kick start some research in our own little way in Kafanchan.

One of the participants at this meeting asked me for more details of my 126 Kakas: she is a Nigerian researcher based in South Africa and expressed interest in working with Fantsuam to develop funding proposals.

Kakas voice is heard

 Please tell all my Kakas that their voice has been heard in far away Seoul, and that there are people all over the world who have genuine concerns and are working hard to ensure that they live their lives in peace and dignity.”

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A beekeepers stakeholder forum was held on on 19th June, 2013 with support from Winrock International This followed on the heels of the first National Beekeeping Conference was held on May 6-8, 2013,é. The theme for the Stakeholders Forum was “Healthy Bees, Healthy environment, Healthy Human”. In recognition of the interconnectedness of beekeeping to sustainable human development, Winrock had invited a cross-section of stakeholders, including law enforcement agents, regulators, fire service, funding agencies, pastoralists, etc and also commissioned a research on the “Impacts of bush burning and pastoralism on beekeeping in Nigeria”. The level of awareness of the environmental and economic value of Beekeeping in Nigeria is very low, and institutional support from relevant Nigerian authorities has been minimal for beekeepers. The Farmer-to-Farmer Stakeholders Forum was an avenue at raising awareness, exploring collaborations with various stakeholders and developing a Bill of Rights for Beekeepers. The challenge posed by predators, diseases, bush burning, vandalism, theft, climate change, road construction, deforestation, uncontrolled use of pesticides were highlighted by various speakers. The role of nomadic pastoralists in the destruction of bees and vandalism was extensively discussed. The need for dialogue with leaders of the nomadic pastoralists should be explored and designated cattle routes and corridors should be mapped out , intensification of pasture production and encouraging pastoralists to engage in beekeeping. The annual ritual of bush burning has increased in recent times. Research into the local power relations that prevent local communities from adopting environmentally sustainable burning regimes is needed; this recognizes the value of fire as a land management tool in the savannah, while setting boundaries that brings it within context of sustainable livelihoods and environment. The Nigerian export processing council expressed interest to partner with beekeepers to develop a commodity zone for honey production. This and other recommendations are to be followed through by a strategy team that was mandated to compile them into a draft Beekeepers Bill of Rights and submit to the membership for ratification and implementation. Among other things the Bill Of Rights will promote environmentally sustainable agriculture, Call for Re-forestation and a halt to deforestation, demand impact assessment studies for all road construction, make pasture easily available and affordable for pastoralists and legislate on bee vandalism and honey theft. The Bill of Rights shows that WHATS GOOD FOR BEES AND BEEKEEPERS IS ESSENTIAL FOR NIGERIA’S AGRICULTURE For more information, contact