Residents of Lomin Fulani community have mastered the art of advocacy. Realising the place of advocacy to development, the community's first response to any challenge is through advocacy.
Abdullahi Lomi, 51, a facilitator and a member of the community development committee received training and capacity building on various areas; like Human Right, Child Right, Women Right, how to balance your income and expenditure.
The outcome is tellingly evidenced in the community.
Residents of Lomin Fulani has taken its advocacy beyond the local governments, they caught the attention of the World Bank: “World Bank came to our aid because of our advocacy, they constructed a culvert for us, as a community we gave a counterpart funding of 10% as community effort and they gave us 90% at about One Million Four Hundred and Seventy Thousand Naira” said Lomi. He emphasized that the knowledge gained from engagement with ActionAid and Fahimta also helped in attracting electricity in a community that was not connected to the national electricity grid, through engagement with State's Ministry of Rural Development.
Overwhelmed by the results of the well-coordinated community advocacy in Lomin Fulani, ActionAid Nigeria and Fahimta team journeyed to Tubule community, about an hour drive from Lomin Fulani.
Sule Danmadami, sits quietly as he listened and occasionally makes a point about the impact of the Local Rights Programme (LRP) in Tubule community. When asked about how the LRP has enhanced the living standard of the people, he pulled a pinch of smile, observed a deep thought and said: “I personally received training from ActionAid through Fahimta; my capacity was built on advocacy. The first advocacy visit we did was very fruitful, and it resulted in the construction of two blocks of classrooms, the headmaster’s office and staff room”.
Danmadami mobilised a team of community members to visit the office of the Bauchi State Universal Basic Education Commission along with the Education Secretary of Kirfi Local Government Area in Bauchi State. The team was unrelenting in their demand to fix the dilapidated community school; they approached the chairman of State Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB who promised to send engineers to find out the level of dilapidation. Exactly one week after that advocacy visit, the renovation commenced.
“We cannot thank ActionAid and Fahimta enough, they have really enlightened us, changed our mentality and built our capacity, we will forever be grateful” said Danmadami.
The main objective of the LRP is to improve the socio-economic status of poor women, men and children in the programme states by mobilizing communities and building their capacities to implement people centered development programmes using the Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) to programming. The LRP is currently implemented in 14 states: Kaduna, Gombe, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Delta, Ebonyi, Lagos, Yobe, Cross-Rivers, Niger, Jigawa, Ekiti, Enugu and the FCT following the close out from Bauchi, Ondo and Akwa-Ibom in June 2021. ActionAid hopes that the communities will continue to leverage on the capacity strengthening interventions provided throughout the lifecycle of the project to create the change they want to see and transform their lives and communities.