NON-governmental organisation (NGO) the Strategy and Innovation for Development Initiative (Si4dev) has launched a N5m development fund to supply essential food items to need Nigerians as its contribution to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Founded by accomplished US-based author Nkem Akinsoto, Si4dev has taken it upon itself to feed 1,000 Nigerian families as part of a plan to prevent social unrest as the economic effects of the economic shutdown bite. Many Nigerian states have introduced a total shutdown, which has paralysed economic activities, which has in turn hit urban workers in particular, who earn their livelihood on a daily basis.
Nigeria has been spared the worst of the pandemic, with only 1,095 people affected so far and of this number, there have been 32 fatalities. However, the shutdowns have had a debilitating effect on the populace as it has led to a scarcity of food and with the government handouts highly inadequate, NGOs and charities like Si4dev have had to step in.
Mrs Akinsoto, said: “The results have proved that Si4dev was right to start with a very rapid response to the pandemic, ahead of most government and private sector palliatives. Some 50 volunteers are currently working in 25 communities including Alimosho and Mushin in Lagos State, Uyo and Ikot Epene in Akwa Ibom State, Osogbo, Abuja, Makurdi, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Jos and Lokoja.
“Other locations are Fagge and Nasarawa local government areas in Kano State, Aba and Umuahia in Abia State, Kaduna, Benin City, Ilorin, Ibadan, Owerri, Sagamu, Minna, Onitsha, Gombe and Yenogoa. These volunteers are reaching out to about 20 families in each of these places with food and hygiene supplies.
“Over 1,000 men, women and children have received a weeks’ worth of food including yams, beans, rice, spaghetti, palm oil, vegetable oil, noodles, garri, beverages, milk, and hand wash soaps.”
In several communities, food recipients got emotional, some of them shocked that they were getting palliative from an NGO. Many said they literally had nothing to eat the next day, with some saying they were becoming desperate as they could not provide adequate meals for their children.
Patricia Okolo, the Si4dev operations and publicity manager, announced that the organisation also procured and donated personal protective equipment’s (PPE) such as N95 face masks, hand sanitizers, gloves, protective glasses, disposable gowns, and head covers to community health centers in Port Harcourt, Ikot Epene and Jos North local government areas. She added that Si4dev has always believed in partnering with local community stakeholders to achieve its goal.
Through the Covid-19 Response Fund, Si4dev is also sponsoring 15 NGOs and partners across Nigeria with mini-grants of up to N100,000 each to support their own response in their communities. Volunteers are also speaking directly to the public, providing educational materials such as graphic flyers in local languages and placing large banners and posters in strategic locations for ongoing sensitisation.
Ms Okolo said that to contribute to the Si4dev Covid-19 Response Fund and help reach more locations in Nigeria, the public are encouraged to donate via bank transfer. She said all donations should be made to GTbank to the bank account of Strategy and Innovation for Development Initiative with account number 0366172770.
Si4dev can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or via WhatsApp at +1458028209 or by telephone on 2348063318016, while donations can be made online to the Response Fund at http://goto.gg/46120. Si4dev is vetted as an effective and top ranked NGO by GlobalGiving USA.