Dear Voices4Nigeria Friends and Supporters,
As we enter "Springtime in the Rockies," I sit at my kitchen table watching the snow fall as tulips start to break through the hardened ground. I'm reminded that renewed life always follows a season of winter….
2018 was a challenging year for Nigeria. Violence and bombings increased in the Northeast by Boko Haram, and Fulani militants laid siege to Christian farmers in the Middle Belt of Nigeria using machetes and cutlasses; slaughtering their way to land ownership. The cultural climate was gripped with fear. Because of the significant security risk and dangerous travel conditions, distribution of aid to IDP Camps (Internally Displaced Persons) became almost impossible for Gabasawa (and all other humanitarian agencies including the U.N. and Red Cross) during the first eight months of 2018. Finally, in August 2018, a brief window of opportunity allowed Gabasawa to deliver and distribute the V4N funded food, clothing, and medical aid to IDP Camps throughout Nigeria.
Looking ahead toward 2020, Voices4Nigeria is shifting its focus from funding primarily emergency relief aid to supporting sustainable economic empowerment programs: Farming Grants for Women and Skills Training. Through the Farming Grant initiative that started in mid-2018, more than 65 women, mostly widows, were able to grow crops and bring sustainable resources to displaced communities. Your generous donations provided hope and opportunity to the lives of many women and children displaced and devastated by violence and terrorism. You can read more about the success of the Farming Grant Initiative here.
Gabasawa is also purchasing land, with funding support from V4N, on which a Skill Training Center will be constructed. This center will be locally owned in the Ogun Region of Nigeria and will offer economic empowerment opportunities to people who have endured terrorist attacks throughout the country. The center will provide men, women, and youth training in the areas of catering, computer skills, alteration services, and cell phone repair. Stay connected to learn more about the project, progress, and how you can help support us.