With her toothless grin and wrinkled skin, as testaments of the blessing of the ages, but with contagious energy and wit, “There are stories on the lips of the elder” the old lady said as she retells old memories of Kupto. During its days of lack of amenities (healthcare and water) and how it transitioned to its present state. She gave birth to thirteen children all on her own at home because there is no hospital close by at the time. However, when they eventually had one, she was part of the people that encouraged women to deliver at the hospital to avoid complications which are mostly due to bleeding in her role as a traditional birth attendant.  

“This was not our original community we were by the river bank before they moved us here,” she said. “In the old one, I gave birth to my twelve children there and came and gave birth to one here; during that time, there was no hospital; when the hospital came to Bajoga, they had to take you on foot to go see the doctor but I thank God, I finished having my children without any problem and without going to the hospital. I deliver in my room; In the past, there was no hospital but when we came here, they built a maternity hospital. I was given the mandate of going around to encourage women to go to the hospital. I was a traditional birth attendant and I was asked to help women to the hospital when they want to deliver but when there is an emergency delivery, I help them deliver at home.”  

Now, with a functional hospital close to them, members of the Kupto community are relieved of the stress of traveling far to access healthcare. Not only this, even women from neighboring communities such as the Fulani settlement also come to use the health facility built by ActionAid in Kupto.   

“We didn’t have water in this town; we have to carry bowls to our old town where there is a stream to fetch water; we don’t have water here. Where we used to go to fetch water before now is if not up to a mile, it will be more; (struggling to tell the distance) it’s far!” She exclaimed. “When God brought these organizations, (ActionAid and Hope for the Lonely) we thank God. We have a borehole here and it is still working. Both the young and old, those in town and villages are drinking from the water” Mama added.   

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Stretching out for miles without any sign of civilization, in what appears to be a people forgotten by its government; left to fend for themselves, is Panguru.  Panguru is a hard-to-reach community in Billiri Local Government Area of Gombe state. The journey to Panguru in the beginning, seemed like a travel to nowhere. The land is vast, with terrains so rugged, and the ground, partly rocky and stickily muddy at the same time. To traverse this area in the rainy season, they say, is considered an act of bravery. However, ActionAid was not deterred!  

Madam Victoria, as she is popularly called, the community facilitator, Panguru. She shared with so much excitement, how they ended up being a beneficiary community when ActionAid and its partners were rejected from a previous community. “I want to thank these organizations because we have benefitted a lot from them and we count ourselves lucky because the first community they went to, they were rejected, before coming to our community; which that community is now regretting now seeing all that we have gained,” she remarked.  

The presence of ActionAid and its partners in Panguru has empowered the women. This was achieved through capacity-building training. in areas such as education, peaceful co-existence, household education, hygiene, human rights, and sustainable farming. “At the beginning when they came in, they taught us how to set up a cooperative and we came back and informed our community elders and we the women set up the cooperative and decided on a date that we will be meeting and we set up every Sunday. Every Sunday, we meet, deliberate, and teach. There are some books they gave to us and we use these books to teach ourselves; Women that do not know how to read and write, learned something during this period as a result of these organizations” As a result of this, we started taxing ourselves every week and ActionAid and Hope for the Lonely complemented our effort by empowering three women. Some livestock and others, groundnut for vegetable oil making. later, three more people were empowered and we continued growing and investing. They kept inviting us for a series of training in which I cannot count the number of trainings and they continued empowering us” Madam Victoria said. 

To help themselves, “we were rotating the proceeds of the empowerment among ourselves every three months and were contributing money for our organization. We used the proceeds from this to buy a cow for the organization” 

Also, as part of its intervention projects in Panguru, ActionAid built a healthcare facility. This facility, is only one available in the community. Without it the past, they had traveled the unpleasant terrain to get help when the need arose.  

“Hope for the Lonely and ActionAid built a hospital for us in which in the past, we usually carry the sick on our heads to the neighboring towns of Billiri or Kashare even in the rains. But now that we have a hospital, things have improved; There was a time that we took a sick person on the head to go to the hospital and before we even got to the next community, the person died and we started coming back with a dead body. This was in the rain and on the muddy road that sticks up to your elbow, that time, Ponguru was almost like a forest She said. “In the past, sick persons were carried on the head but now, there is an improvement as a result of the hospital” Madam Victoria retells a painful experience. 

Madam Victoria also shared how she was empowered with a cow and how it has impacted her, her family, and her household. “I was empowered with a cow. The cow is helping us. During the farming season, we use the cow to make ridges; we cannot take money to pay for a cow to do that for us because we have ours that we can use. When it is time to sell the cow, we can sell it and use the profit to buy a small one and keep it; all of which is part of the benefit; In the area of my family, when it is time to pay my children’s school fees and I don’t have money, we can use the cow to work on the farm to raise money to pay school fees, buy food and even buy some household items” 

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Handing-over of Vocational tools to Women and Youth in Wesere

On 12th June 2023, deliberate attention shifted to taking 12 persons out of poverty in Wesere where vocational equipment to start up economic engagement handed-over to beneficiaries. ActionAid Nigeria through community sponsorship programme fully funded the program and facilitated by partner organization HUFFPED.

The handing-over ceremony had in attendance the Chairman of the local council represented by the Secretary to the LG, counsellor, community heads, project team  (AAN/HUFFPED), and the community residents.

The programme officer, Keinde Adebowale stated that the purpose for which the beneficiaries equipped beyond mere support provision. It was a deliberate effort to take residents out of poverty. List of items handed-over were:

  • 1 power generator set, 1 hand dryer machine and wash basin handed-over to *2 hairdressers each
  • 1 cutting machine and filling machine handed-over to *2 tillers each
  • Milling machine and drilling machine handed-over to *1 aluminium worker
  • Instant photo printing machine handed-over to *1 computer operator
  • A bag filled with painting tool and over-all wear handed-over to *1 painter
  • Full set of 4 sewing machine handed-over to *4 tailors
  • Full set of 1 sewing machine handed-over to *1 shoe cobbler

The SLG to the chairman highlighted some of the LRP key interventions with commendations, reassured implementing partners of the LG’s commitment to attend to community needs. Congratulation to you beneficiaries, saying with prove that AAN has done greatly than the government. We can not afford to let the project down considering the good deeds; we are only hoping that this is extended to other vulnerable communities in Badagry west. Unarguably, LRP is real and the government has not reason to doubt the project.

Mr. Adebowale (PO) is an asset, his carries AAN image. He would not let even the Chairman rest, no one could sleep with the eye closed, reminding us to represent our people well. Sincerely, community demands are still on the chairman’s table. I, however charged the beneficiaries to put a good use to the tools received because even the government since I was born has never done as much AAN has been doing to Wesere and Aivoji. The government will always remain grateful for your real act of kindness’’ Hon. Joseph Godonu said.

Bernard Ibelih (AAN communications sponsorship advisor) lightened up the component of the community sponsorship initiative with emphasis on sensitizing individual to inculcate giving as a real act of humanity all of us must  practice

Adenigba Henry (ED programmes, HUFFPED) admonished beneficiaries to ensure they remain committed to the daily struggles, ensure they are able to turn the tools received to many. He praised all the contributors, and hoped for a better society with zero poverty. Yes, it is doable and remain committed to see wesere community free of poverty

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Kupto, a community in Funakaye Local Government Area of Gombe state, had no functional healthcare centre and clean water. To cater to their healthcare needs, they travel long distances to Bajoga or Tongo (the LGA centre). The people of Kupto were also left to their fate to get water from streams and wells prone to diseases before the LRP by ActionAid through Hope for the Lonely and JONAPWD. However, for quite a while now, their stories have changed for the better.  

Rabi Umar, a 30-years old farmer, petty trader, and mother of five, is overjoyed about the fact that not only does she have access to clean, qualitative, and equipped healthcare at her fingertip. She is ecstatic about the fact that the facility has an abundance of water to clean after herself, contrary to her unforgettable prior experience. “For the benefit, I have to start with myself, since I have benefited. First, I came to this community when there was only the old hospital before building the new one; I gave birth to my second child here. I will not forget; when we went, they asked us to come with water because there is no water in the hospital since giving birth, it is important to wash your body before coming back home. I see the difference between this one and the old hospital. Even from the antenatal” 

“There is nothing that gladdens my heart such as the lab; For a common blood test, they will tell you to go to Bajoga; some days, you don’t even have the transport fare but now, we thank God. They will run tests on you, to know what is wrong with you and there is a doctor. Even all these things are things to be proud of in addition to a clean environment unlike previously. Sometimes when you enter the delivery room, you will feel like throwing up but now, you can even eat on your hospital bed” she said. 

Kupto was not only plaque by a lack of accessible healthcare but also a deficit of clean water. Without the luxury of choice, they travel long miles to the stream as they compete with their livestock for water for drinking, cooking, and other uses. This also, unfortunately, means that they will be very much exposed to waterborne diseases. Today, this is no more the story.  

Rabi added: “Honestly, in the past, we have the challenge of water. Our husbands have to go to the stream to get us water that we can drink and use.  In the beginning, when I came to this town, it was difficult for me but later, I had to close my eyes to drink the water; Today, we have boreholes; we are not the only ones benefitting from it; if you are travelling through this town, and you drink from it, you have also benefitted from the water. We that are in town, are benefitting from the water talk more of visitors passing by. Water is the most important of them all” 

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2023: Let’s make impact again together

Dear Esteemed Supporter,

Greetings from ActionAid Nigeria.
Here’s to officially welcome you to 2023.

Thank you for supporting our mission to end poverty and fight social injustice. In 2022, your gift helped us to save over 6000 lives – including pregnant, nursing mothers, children and women-headed households – who were affected by the unexpected floods across six states in Nigeria.

With donations from people like you, ActionAid – through the Community Sponsorship programme has continued to help women and children in underserved communities for 9 years – THANK YOU!

This year, with your continued support, be assured of our deepened commitment to our relentless fight to end poverty in Nigeria.

Community Sponsorship turns 9!
Please follow all our platforms for details on how you can be involved – Stay Connected!

For sponsorship and inquiries, please feel free to contact us via our email { and via Whatsapp: +2348091114690

Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous 2023!
Thank you.

Andrew Mamedu,
Director, Resource Mobilization (ActionAid Nigeria).

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