In Nigeria, approximately four out of 10 citizens live in poverty, according to a report from the World Bank. The document details an analysis of Nigeria’s first official poverty numbers in almost 10 years, reporting upon the increase in poverty rates due to weaknesses in the labor market, minimal market growth and human capital as low as 0.4 in 2020. In the report, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri spoke about the overlap of financial and humanitarian interests. He remarked on the necessity of “boosting health and education, bolstering productive jobs, and expanding social protection.”
With elevated inflation rates pushing more than 8 million Nigerians below the poverty line, the World Bank stresses the three types of reforms for Nigeria:
- Macroeconomic reforms
- Policies supporting farm and farm-household enterprises’ productivity
- Bettering electricity, water and sanitation access
Below are five charities operating in Nigeria which have aims that align with the listed reform focuses:
1. Lagos Food Bank Initiative
Founded in 2016, the Lagos Food Bank Initiative (LFBI) is a nonprofit that focuses on nutrition to fight hunger and reduce food waste. With a focus on children, pregnant women, lactating mothers, those with diet-related illnesses, citizens older than 50 years old and impoverished families, LFBI combats poverty on the front lines. Since its founding, LFBI has reached 160 communities through its various programs, such as:
- Education Enhancement Intervention for Food Insecure Students (EDUFOOD)
- Temporary Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
- Family Farming Program
- Nutritious Meal Plan Intervention for Vulnerable Mothers and Children (NUMEPLAN)
- Job Placement Program
- Nutrition Intervention for Diabetes Self-Management (NIDS)
- Food Bank Network Nigeria
According to the 2021 annual report, LFBI distributed 641,207 kg of food and sundry, placed 195 citizens in jobs and served 294,855 beneficiaries, logging up to 33,3312 volunteer hours.
2. Amaudo Itumbauzo
Established in 1989, Amaudo Intumbauzo aids those “roaming the streets” and living with mental illnesses in southeast Nigeria. According to the website, as a result of both “negative cultural beliefs” and a lack of resources or understanding, many vulnerable Nigerians are left without treatment, care and even homes.
Amaudo aims to provide a place for healing, offering a rehabilitative “safe haven” while also administering community-based services on mental health awareness and discrimination. The organization’s rehabilitation center, Okopedi, accommodates up to 60 residents living with severe mental illnesses, helping residents with support through counseling, medication, training and family tracing. Through other projects, such as the Ntalakwu project, Project Comfort and the Community Mental Health Programme (CMHP), Amaudo works to promote a deeper understanding of mental illnesses and support those mental health effects.
3. The GEANCO Foundation: Saving and Transforming Lives
Established in 2005 by Godwin Onyema, the GEANCO Foundation (representative of the initials of each member of the Onyema family: Godwin, Ebele, Afam, Nche & Nma and Chukwogzie Onyema) is one of the five charities operating in Nigeria that aims to improve health care and save lives in Nigeria.
Since its founding, GEANCO has aided more than 200 Nigerians in receiving life-saving medical procedures, such as hip and knee replacements and bone structure repairs. Moreover, the organization makes significant donations to schools, and maternal and infant health facilities and funds “hundreds of thousands” of scholarships, all working to provide Nigerians with opportunities to secure a safe, healthy future.
4. TASTE Nigeria
TASTE is a U.K. charity that encourages volunteers from around the world to share expertise in sustainable technology with Nigerians. One of TASTE’s primary focuses in communal support is providing access to clean water. One way the organization aids communities is through funding the development of “powered burholes,” which pump fresh water through pipes, which they did recently in the town of Jemkur. From working with locals to developing community construction teams, TASTE supports community members through a series of “streams,” as listed on its website:
- “Geological surveying of potential water locations.
- Community support in the development of sanitation systems.
- Drilling services for boreholes to supply clean drinking water.
- Water delivery to needy communities.
- Visiting schools in Jos to teach children about the work of TASTE and to help them understand the importance of basic hygiene principles.
- Taking a high-profile approach to honest & ethical standards in business.”
5. Education as a Vaccine (EVA)
Education as a Vaccine (EVA) is a nonprofit that aims to improve Nigerian health and further development in Nigeria. EVA focuses on reaching the youth by providing “innovative, efficient and effective” education lessons on reproductive and sexual health as well as child rights. With nearly 46% of the population currently less than the age of 15, Nigeria’s 40 million women of “childbearing age” combat “disproportionately high levels of health issues surrounding birth.”
Founded in 2000, at the core of EVA is the belief that when equipped with necessary resources and support, young people contribute largely to the development of an entire country.
According to the website, EVA’s primary advocacy focus areas are:
- Passage and implementation of national legislation on health, HIV and AIDS basic education
- Financing and provision of female condoms
- Provision of comprehensive and integrated youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services
- Financing and scaling up quality implementation of comprehensive sexual education– in and out of school settings.
Since its founding, EVA has served 185,201 children, 464,925 youth and 70,671 adults. In total, EVA’s programs have reached 720,797 individuals through:
- Care for Orphans and Vulnerable
- HIV Prevention Education
- Sexual & Reproductive Health Education
While these five charities operating in Nigeria are conducting meaningful and impactful work, they are just a few of many organizations focusing on alleviating the symptoms and causes of poverty. Each organization’s website show information about their work, current focuses, efforts and programs.
– Micaella Balderrama