The Kakas (Grandmothers)

This is a Fantsuam Foundation initiative.

The Kakas Programme (‘grandmother’ in Hausa) serves widowed grandmothers that have taken on the role of caregiver to their orphaned grandchildren. Many of the parents died of AIDS and had nothing to leave behind for the care for their children, and there are no other members of the immediate or extended family who are able to support the family. There is no Government support for these families.

The Foundation aims to support the families through a monthly stipend to feed and clothe the children, free medical care in Fantsuam’s health clinic, payment for school registration fees and a gift of a ‘wrapper’ (traditional clothing) for each grandmother during the Christmas holiday. Once a month the children (over 300 in total) are given a nutritious meal of jallof rice, kunu and yogurt.

Background

The Fantsuam Foundation launched the Kakas programme approximately two years ago after years of seeing and responding informally to the daily struggles that these women endured.

Staff at the Foundation conducted research and determined there was no public or private support available to assist these grandmothers with caring for the children.This service is provided only to the most needy in the community (due to limited funds) and is an extension of Fantsuam’s programs for HIV/AIDS and the Fantsuam Foundation Children's Program that cares for Orphans and Vulnerable Children.

Details

Project Goals

1. To ensure 100% of the children in this program are registered for school each year and are assisted to get a Birth Certificate.

2. To improve and drastically reduce the ongoing health issues among the children by providing proper nutrition and preventive health care in the Fantsuam Foundation's Clinic.

3. To provide a model to Kaduna State Government of the first older persons pension in Nigeria

4. To improve the mental and emotional health of the caregivers by providing a support group and financial support for their basic family needs.

5. To document the Kakas and Children’s support programme as a holistic approach to social protection which includes improved healthcare and better access to basic needs such as food, water and education

6. The results of the Kakas and Children’s program will be promoted to the Africa Civil Society Platform for Social Protection, ACSP in order to leverage Nigerian Government support for the program, thereby enhancing its sustainability

It costs @ $150 (£90 approx) to support this supplementary care per family. Currently there are in the region of 85 grandmothers receiving this support but as is usual the need is greater than the available resources. Fantsuam needs to close the funding gap for the next two years. Any funding support will go directly to helping the program support more grandmothers and their dependents in the local communities. Fantsuam can provide information about the families supported if required and give annual updates on the progress of the Kakas and their grandchildren.

Location

Nigeria, Kaduna State, Bayo Loco at the Fantsuam Foundation.

Dadamac's Involvement

A Fantsuam Foundation project. John Dada and Pamela McLean gave their time freely to support this project. Nikki Fishman (of Dadamac Limited) was given time to facilitate it. VSO volunteers at Fantsuam Foundation actively seeking funding and seeking assistance with the implementation of the programme

For more information about the project or to support Fantsuam's Kakas please contact  nicola.fishman@dadamac.net in the first instance.