For about fifteen years, ActionAid Nigeria has spent about $5,400,000 (Five million Four hundred thousand Dollars) in humanitarian interventions, and it has done path breaking work across Nigeria, especially in places that are ‘hard to reach’ .It has a special interest in the lives of women and children in these ‘hard to reach’ spots. ActionAid Nigeria has worked in locations where disasters, floods, conflicts and emergencies have occurred, and it has made giant strides in the effort to strengthen systems, empowering small scale female farmers, promoting girl-child education, and building capacity of local groups. ActionAid Nigeria functions at the community level with an array of local partners, to promote human rights with the goal of checking poverty. It aims at tripling its humanitarian interventions in the next few years, by expanding its funds drive, so that the absence of funding does not hinder its work. With additional donor support, innovative humanitarian interventions across Nigeria by ActionAid Nigeria will play a golden role in the effort to roll back poverty, allowing women to reclaim their voices in the process.
Success Stories across 20 Years
Smiling Widows: Harmful widowhood practices in Kogi state have been tackled by ActionAid Nigeria in Ugbedomagu community in 2016. A woman trained in peer education by ActionAid Nigeria was able to engage with the men, and appealed to the traditional rulers to harmonise the mourning period for both sexes.In the past a woman will spend six months in isolation upon the passing of her husband, while a man will spend three months in seclusion. This has been replaced with three months mourning period for both sexes.
FGM: ActionAid Nigeria has made giant strides in tackling Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Okpuitumo and Epheinyium communities in Ebonyi state. In 2017 the ruler of Okpuitumo passed a law abolishing all forms of violence against women and girls. In Epheinyium, the community chiefs and women leaders placed a sanction on any member of the community caught engaging in female genital mutilation (FGM).
Extremism project: One immediate result of the preventing violent extremism project in Kogi state is the fact that during the immediate past elections, the level of violence was not as bad as that of 2015.In the first year of work in the state, sixty-three youths came out and handed over their weapons, insisting that they were no longer keen on violence and crime. This change explains why today there is some level of peace within the Okene-Ajaokuta axis.
Women rising: Work in northern Kaduna state saw the unprecedented elevation of Bayi Yunana, a woman, into a local council by the chief of the community, with the title of Magajiya of Pambawa. She is the link between the women of the community and the chief’s all - male council. Now more girls are going to school, and many mothers are keen on seeing their girls not only conclude secondary education but aspire beyond this level.
Keep people busy: ActionAid Nigeria’s Project on irregular migration in Borno and Edo states is a 2-year-old project, and it aims at keeping people busy, so that they have no need to migrate. In Borno, because of the insurgency people migrate to Chad, Cameroon, and Niger Republic or leave their local governments for Maiduguri where they hope to find alternatives. Many youths in Edo state leave their communities and travel outside the country. ActionAid Nigeria has a project in Edo which works with youths and graduated 2500, giving them alternative vocations of their choice. In Maiduguri, ActionAid Nigeria graduated 2000 youths in the same project.
Accountability: The fact that ordinary people are now asking for accountability is a major achievement of ActionAid Nigeria’s humanitarian work. Citizens are asking for accountability from their responsive governments, starting from the local government to the state government. Many at the local level are looking at the budget, and insisting that they want their resources to be channeled into schools, roads, hospitals, boreholes, income generating activity etc.
2018 Floods: After the declaration of an emergency by the federal government on September 17, 2018, ActionAid Nigeria intervened in Kogi, Niger, Kebbi and Delta states during the epic floods of 2018, bringing laughter to hundreds of lactating mothers, pregnant women, children and PLWDs across the states. In Niger state, ActionAid Nigeria introduced the cash transfer procedure, an innovation which aided women whose businesses had collapsed owing to flooding.