ACT and Community Development Link Initiatives’ community support in Ipaja, Lagos
Owing to the major role played by African diaspora organisations and individuals in the African continent’s development, ADEPT, the Africa-Europe Diaspora Development Platform, is keen to highlight initiatives of the African diaspora based in the EU but also in Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Norway. ADEPT works towards achieving a main goal: improving and strengthening the capacity and impact of African diaspora organizations involved in Africa’s development activities.
This article will highlight the initiative launched by Community Development Link Initiatives (CDLI) and African Child Trust (ACT) in support of community members of the neighborhood of Ipaja in Lagos, Nigeria.
Community Development Link Initiatives (CDLI) is a Nigerian NGO aimed at developing communities and reducing poverty. They provide scholarships, health insurance and school support to children (orphans, children with special needs and other vulnerable children). They empower women (widows, women with low or no income) with vocational support, savings, loans, etc. CDLI also empowers young people with special needs through scholarship opportunities, vocational skills training and community apprenticeships.
African Child Trust (ACT) is a charity registered in England, which acts in several African countries (Burkina Faso, D.R.C, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, etc.) to relieve poverty and support widows in need, through training to generate income to sustain their families.
Faced with the current terrible health crisis since March 2020, both organizations were inspired to act. People had lost their jobs, has been forbidden to organize gathering and students couldn’t go to school. Having noticed how the coronavirus had impacted people’s lives and since many could not afford their basic needs anymore such as food and education, Community Development Link Initiatives and African Child Trust, decided to launch two projects.
The first project named “Community Food Outreaches”, consisted of a weekly distribution of food packages to the needy. In total, approximately 300 families were impacted.
With measures taken by the government preventing children from going to school, the coalition had to come up with alternatives to enable children to pursue their education. The second project “Learn and Snack”, was thus created to support children to continue their studies at home, by providing them radios to access on air classes. They also provided educational supplies, face masks and snacks. Children were able to stay at home, while pursuing their learning.
In total, over 1000 children are now engaged academically via radio lessons, or using their supplied textbooks and workbooks at home. So far, with an average of four people per family, they have been able to distribute weekly meals to 1200 people, and over 2000 people are now aware of do’s and don’ts of COVID-19 via a door-to-door campaign, during both project outreaches.