Foosteer Initiative's "Children and Women Empowerment"

Foosteer Initiative for community health and social development review of activities and programs, 2013- 2017

Children’s Welfare and Education

Foosteer Initiative is an indigenous non-profit organization that tackles poverty and inequality by supporting girls to go to school and succeed, and empowering young women to step up as leaders of change.

We host an annual “Back to School” program to provide children in Lokoja and Ajaokuta communities of kogi state Nigeria, with school essentials like backpacks and writing tools. We began the program in 2013, and so far helped 800 children attend school. We also sponsor individual children. An annual donation of N 20,000 ($100) provides school supplies, basic needs such as food, school uniform, and a health care card, which allows the child to access medical services.

Foostee Initiative invests in girls and women in the poorest rural communities in Nigeria, where girls face acute disadvantage, and where their empowerment is now transforming communities.
Since 2015, Foosteer Initiative’s innovative education programs in Ajaokuta, and Lokoja communities of Kogi State have directly supported over 1500 students to attend primary and secondary school, and over 3000 children have benefited from improved learning environments.
Foosteer Initiative believes that every child is entitled to a quality education in a safe environment and a life as an independent young adult. Foosteer Initiative directly supports girls because they are the first to drop out of school, and the first to be failed by the system, facing the perils of early marriage, early pregnancy and HIV/AIDS.

Empowering Families & Communities

We support vulnerable families by developing education and co-operative projects to generate income, foster community building, and strengthen traditional methods of self-sufficiency through agriculture, or small business activities. With these programs, we create economic sustainability and growth, leading to reduced poverty while increasing quality of life. We currently operate in the communities of Lokoja and Ajaokuta, in Kogi state Nigeria.

Thanks to our donors and sponsors, we are providing access to education for children in one of Nigeria’s poorest neighborhoods, Ganaja Village and ajaokuta village, located in Kogi state Nigeria. These are communities where families struggle to survive and meet the most basic needs, and many children must earn a living as well to support their families. For example, they may be fetching water or selling goods at the road side and the market. We began our Back to School program in 2013, and so far have helped over 500 children attend school. Since 2013, an estimated N 600,000 ($ 3,000) has been raised, all from private donations.
Children in Nigeria start attending primary school as early as possible depending on the financial strength of the parents or care givers. The government primary schools in Kogi State, which are meant to be free are always on strike, so parents are left with no option than to put their children in the private schools, owned by individuals, and religious organizations which are very expensive, not every parent/caregiver can afford them, fatherless children are the worst affected and deprived of basic primary education. School fees, uniforms, pens, shoes and books are costly, and as a result, many children don't go to school. Our annual “Back to School” program provides these supplies, ensuring that vulnerable children receive education.
Secondary school students are also benefiting from Foosteer Initiative education project. Children aged 12 to 18 can attend secondary school, but at a cost - school fees are charged to families. Foosteer Initiative pays for these school fees, allowing parents to send their children through this higher level of learning, without the financial burden.

Challenges with Children's Education in Nigeria

As one of the developing countries, Nigeria faces severe challenges in providing quality, affordable education to every child, due to poor leadership since the return of democracy to the country in 1999 up until now, the country is still battling with good governance in delivering the mandate of democracy to its citizens. There is lack of political will in the educational sector; officers in charge are not willing to really face this challenge with the sincerity and determination of making a positive difference. Teachers despite being paid poorly are owed salaries for months, inadequate classrooms and in most cases no classroom at all, you find students learning under trees, sitting on bare floors, and places where we have classrooms, they are overcrowded with up to eighty student in a class meant for only 25/30 students. Many children are forced to walk long distances to get to the nearestpublic school. In addition to problems around access to education, children often face health issues that prevent them from going to school. Themost prevalent health issues are communicable diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. The government has increased funding for free basiceducation, but challenges remain in terms of quality of education and rising drop-out rates as a result of household hunger. Girls face evenbigger issues when they reach puberty. Due to early marriage and teenage pregnancies, girls tend to drop out more. Many children are entering the primary school system, including hundreds of thousands of children who have been victim of book-haram insurgency in the North-Eatern part of Nigeria, since 2009, which results in resources being stretched thin.

Child Sponsorship Program in NigeriaFoosteer initiative for community health and social development also sponsors individual children. An annual donation of N 20,000 ($100) provides school supplies, basic needs such as food, school uniform, and a health care card, which allows the child to access medical services. Some of our sponsored children are orphans, others may have parents who may be living in impoverished conditions and mental. Sponsors can come to know the child personally through pictures and correspondence.

Foosteer initiative for community health and social development firmly believes that education and sponsorship are important tools in breaking the cycle of poverty in Nigeria. Anyone who donates, whether through the Back to School campaign or the Sponsor a Child program, will know their donations are being spent wisely to help children in need. Children no longer have to stay at home and work to support their families. It allows them toenjoy their childhood and it empowers them for a brighter future.

Please donate and help us do more, Thank you and God bless you.