“Because I didn’t go to school, I feel I can’t speak out boldly, but my daughters are more experienced and more intelligent,”

40-year-old farmer from Obegu-Odada community in Ebonyi state, Nnenna Nwakriko, is the third wife of a local farmer. Nnenna’s husband had left the responsibility for the education of her daughters solely to her. However, she was unable to cope with the burden. After her eldest daughter finished primary school Nnenna sent her to Abakiliki to live with relatives and learn a trade while her other two daughters dropped out for two years.

“During the training by ActionAid’s education team I was told to bring her back and send her to school,” said Nnenna, speaking through a translator. “They said that if a girl child is educated they can become nurses, or even work in government.”

Nnenna sold all her assets – her chickens, goats and farm proceeds – and began growing cassava in her backyard. Through the financial management skills she learned from her group leader, she has since been able to send her three girls to school and keep them there. She has even been able to build her own house for herself and her children within the family compound.

“Because I didn’t go to school, I feel I can’t speak out boldly, but my daughters are more experienced and more intelligent,” she said proudly. “I have always known that they will be better than me.”

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Greetings from the entire ActionAid’s community sponsorship team.


We were in one of your sponsored communities in Kwara state recently and met with 12- year-old Amomo Saliu, a primary five pupil of Asa local government primary school and a resident of Apa community in the same local government area. She recounts her growing-up years fetching water from the community stream and how ActionAid through your donations have changed her life.

Like majority of residents of Apa, Amomo’s parents are farmers who cultivate seasonal fruits like mango and cashew.  It’s the season of cashew which the residents of the community call ‘Kaju’ and Amomo supports her parents to pick cashew nut from the community farm every weekend which they take to towns like Afon or Ilorin, the state capital for sale on market days.

For three years, Amomo would wake up at 2am with her parents and other families to fetch water at the stream.  Only very few people go to the stream at this time so they all scoop the water into their buckets and wait after every ten buckets for the stream to spring out water from the ground again before they continue. She believes the stream water at this time is cleaner and safer to drink than the water fetched at noon. Her mother helps her put alum () in the water which allows the dirt to settle before she eventually scoops the ‘clean water’ into the clay pot for storage. This is the water she and her family drinks and use for other house chores.

When asked if the water makes her sick, Amomo says she often fall sick from drinking the water and sometimes have body allergies when the alum in the water is too much. With the nearest health centre over 20km away, her mother treats her with the local herb called ‘Agbo’ as there are no commercial vehicles to take them out of the community to town except on market days. Amomo says, she finds it difficult going back to sleep after fetching water at night and gets sleepy in class afterwards.

ActionAid constructed a borehole in Apa community which serves about 300 people within and around the community. Amomo is excited about the borehole especially not having to wake at night again.  ‘I only go to the stream to fetch water to wash my clothes and that happen when there are a lot of people trying to fetch water from the borehole and I have to complete my house chores on time. Water from the borehole tastes better and is safer for us than the stream.

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Insurgencies in Nigeria

The insurgency in Nigeria began in July 2009 in Maiduguri, Borno State. The violence has since spread to Yobe, Kano, Bauchi and Gombe States, unfortunately, over 25,000 people have lost their lives from bomb blast across the north-east Nigeria and the FCT. The violence is getting relentless and increasingly shocking. The constant capturing and re-taking of communities have left a lot of people homeless and separated from their loved ones.

According to the internal displacement monitoring centre, the continued attack on the north-eastern Nigeria has forced about 1.5million people to flee their homes and take refuge in IDP centres across the country. With a high level of insecurity and displacement, internally displaced people, the vast majority of whom are women and children, face a range of threats to their physical safety and restrictions on their freedom of movement.

One of our local right communities, Kupto of Funakaye local government area of Gombe State is one of the communities experiencing high influx of internal displaced persons from neighboring states -Yobe and Borno. ActionAid and our local partner, Hope Foundation for the Lonely have been distributing food items to the IDP centres in the Kupto community. Presently, we support 206 people in Kupo IDP centre with food items but there are over 10,000 more people mostly, women and children spread across other poor communities in the state who still need our intervention with food and other materials.

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Aid for Internally Displaced Peoples Centre

November 2013 was the last day Four-year old Marvelous Kashamu Jerry saw her biological parents. The Fulani/Bajuu crisis in Madauchi community of Zango Kataf local government area of Kaduna State led to the death of her parents when their house was set on fire at night. Marvelous parents and four of her uncles couldn’t make it out of the house alive.

Marvelous was rescued by her aunt Paulina Yakubu who says ‘Immediately I realized our house was on fire, I ran out of the house and was able to carry Marvelous with me but one of the attackers saw me and shot at us which led to the loss of Marvelous’s left finger and another also pierced through her left arm. It was very hurting seeing her cry as she bled profusely.’ Paulina Yakubu is now Marvelous’s foster mother and they live at the IDP centre in Kaduna State

ActionAid Nigeria has been on-ground addressing the food and non-food needs of over 500 households at the internally displaced people’s centres in Kaduna, Nassarawa and Plateau states.

Each Household receives 1 bag of 50kg Rice, 10 kg of Beans and a pack of sanitary kit. Aged people also received Blanket and all the children were given clothes. The Food kit is expected to cover only 8 weeks of food requirements.

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Gizaki Phc Got Health Equipment Support From THSIP

My name is Mary Hassan. I am a trained health worker and also a farmer who plants maize, soya beans and groundnuts. I am happily married and a mother of 6 children (2 Male and 4.female). I am from Gizaki community with about 1,115 people. My community members do not enjoy full medical services due to lack of health facility in the community. It is always difficult for us to access health facility as we have to trek 35 to 40 kilometers. Due to this situation people of my community, especially women and children suffer a lot. During the time of pregnancy women face situations of miscarriage, some give birth on their way to the nearest medical facility while parents prefer to take their children for local medication in order to reduce cost.

We spend N200 to N500  or more when we access the local medication and more than N1000 to N1500 for transport to the local government as a result of bad road. This has also affected the community as our children suffer more of malaria and other issues such as skin infection, inadequate routine immunization for the children while women could not have their anti-natal care. But in 2011 ActionAid and its local partner FAWOYDI constructed a PHC for our community and equipped it with health equipment such as beds, telescope, tubes etc while the LGA council posted 5 health personnel which I am one of them. The entire community are grateful for this wonderful support.

In 2013, a pregnant woman was treated in the PHC for high blood pressure. It was observed that her blood pressure rose to about 140/90 and the doctor told to her husband that her blood pressure was suppose to have 120/70 which is normal for her with her condition of pregnancy. Before that incident it was difficulty for community people women especially to be treated for BP in the community because the PHC was short of health equipment to support the health work. But to my surprise in 2013, a donor organization under the USAID funded project known as TSHIP (Targeted State High Impact Projects) donated additional health equipment such as 2 hospital beds, 1 examination couch, 1 delivery bed, weighing scale for both babies and adults with delivery/AVC sets with the following 1 placenta bowl, 2 apron, 2 kidney dish, 6 fetoscope, 2 Blood Pressure apparatus, 15 measuring tapes, 2 stethoscopes, 1 infant ambo bag, 2 mackintosh etc to our community health center. This would not have been made possible if AAN and FAWOYDI had not constructed and advocated to other relevant stakeholders involved in the health sector of the state. The health facility is functioning and community people are accessing the facility even neighboring community come to access it too. At least about 30 people including children access the facility on weekly basis.

Thank you ActionAid Nigeria and FAWOYDI for making our hope of having an improved health center a reality. Now I believed that “health is wealth but only for people who believe in change”.

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Naomi: My Day of Joy

Hello,  I am Naomi . I am 32 years old and a parent of 3 children (2 male and 1 female). I am a farmer and grow millet and atcha. I also rear pigs. My community Gobbiya has a population of about 10,005 people. One of the saddest moments of my life was when I lost my loving husband in 2006. But today I am so excited to tell you that in 2010, ActionAid and local partner FAWOYDI put smiles on the face of my family by supporting my son Bamiyi with 2 piglets (male and female).  His story was told in 2012.  During the time we receive this support from ActionAid, 4 other families also benefitted from the support.

Today we are telling you another success story of our life. We are happy to tell you that our pigs have increased to a total number of 20 (11 pigs, 2 pregnant ones and 1 that has delivered 6 more piglets). We are benefitting from that support today as we have started generating income from the sell of the pigs. We do not have challenges in taking care of daily needs, payment of the children’s’ school fees and buying of their school materials like bags, sandals, books and also  buying of  my agricultural inputs like fertilizers and seedlings. I sell a big pig for about N25, 000 ($147.05) while the piglets is sold for N16,000 ($95). In 2013 I sold 3 big pigs and 6 piglets and generated an income of about N163, 000

My greatest joy is that I have started the construction of my own house in my community. This was made possible after I and my children agreed on what to do with the profits generated from our sales. I bought a land, molded about 450 local blocks which was be used for the house construction. The house is already constructed up to lintel level which I also hope to complete it in the upcoming year.

I am very grateful to ActionAid and partner FAWOYDI for making us feel the joy of a world full of love and care. “The only limitation to my realization of tomorrow will be my doubts of today for a change”

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How Zara got her groove back

Zara Ali

A night in late 2014 will forever remain indelible Zara’s heart; she remembers looking at the clock at 7pm and within seconds there was a loud bang at the door and facing her was her worst fear – her community, her home, her household had just been invaded by Boko Haram insurgents.

Zara said amidst sobs ‘‘the attack on my household happened so fast and I felt every bit of the pain my 2 eldest sons experienced while they were being killed with a machete. I saw humans killing humans like they meant nothing. My 25 and 23 year-old sons were brutally murdered for no cause. My husband was taken away and never returned.’’

Amidst intermittent sobs Zara continued ‘‘I gathered my other four children and we joined in the chaotic race for our lives with other Dikwa residents, we ran with no direction through bush paths till we were tired. I had my 2 year-old on my back all the while and it was a relief to finally lay him down for all of us to rest and thereafter continue the journey at dawn. Hundreds of us slept on bare grass in the bush till morning.

Sometime at night, my 2-year old son cried so much and not knowing why he was crying I just held him close till he slept off again. I woke up to realise I was clung on to a dead child. He had blood gushing from his nostrils and ears, I was confused and I was determined to give him a befitting burial while also curious on the cause of death. Strapped to my back again, we continued on the long walk towards Maiduguri; we stopped over to seek for food and shelter in a very small community and I sought to see the local herbalist who confirmed my son had died of snake bite. There I buried my son according to the Islamic rites.’’

Zara arrived Maiduguri and like many others, were hosted by a family, she calls him her ‘good Samaritan’. Some of her neighbours from Dikwa community were also lodged with host families around Maiduguri while others went to the IDP camp for succour. One of her friends from the camp came visiting to commiserate with her on the passing of her sons; it was during their discussion she heard about ActionAid proposed training for displaced women from Dikwa community.

Zara is one of the 9 women ActionAid trained on groundnut oil production and provided with a grinding machine, frying pan, local stove and a bag groundnut amongst other things. She said ‘‘this is a life changing moment for me. ActionAid is helping me smile again. I look forward to the start of a new life. Thank you ActionAid’’

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Born to die? (Untold story of children born to die)

Twins, children of multiple births, those who grow their upper teeth first, children with down syndrome or birth defects are considered evil and killed in 57 communities across FCT. The method of killing involves burying them alive, poisoning, starving or suffocating to death.

We are mobilizing action and resources to end infanticide in FCT. Donate

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The spirit of Pepesa

Pepesa had been largely anonymous until ActionAid came through for them, exposing them to the rudiments of advocacy as a strong tool for social change. “Before now, our roads were terrible, bushes all over the place that no one would believe there is a community in this area, but ActionAid taught us how to talk to the government and constantly remind them of their promises, to ensure they respond”. Says Hajiya Abdul. “The road construction has started, and it is easier to transport our farm produce and firewood to the market for sales. Patronage has increased and we can now feed our families well and send our children to school”. Agnes Halilu (women leader) attested.

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