Advocacy, Economic Empowerment and Orphans & Vulnerable Children (OVC)
GRACODEV SUPPORT FOR ORPHANS AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN (OVC)
In a bid to contribute her quota to the wellbeing of the OVC under her ‘care and support for the OVC’ sub-thematic area, GRACODEV visited the Agape Motherless Babies Home Ubakala in Umuahia South LGA on the 23rd December, 2022 with some food items as well as toiletries to support, encourage and identify with them.
GRIEVANCE REDRESS MEETING WITH NDI-OBIOMA PIGGERY GROUP AT UMUOGELE-UMUAKWU.
To tackle issues affecting effective progress in business activities for a piggery group (Ndi-Obioma), at Umuogele-Umuakwu (one of the NEWMAP benefiting communities in Abia State), the Executive Director of the Grassroots Community Development Initiative (GRACODEV) and other members of staff had a meeting with group members on the 7th of February, 2023 to resolve issues affecting management of the farm. In attendance also, was the service provider, Mr. Livingstone Ubani who was engaged to provide management and veterinary services for the farm.
Succinctly, the specific objectives of this meeting was to ascertain available feeds for the pigs/feeding procedure, blood meal supply, overview of services rendered by the service provider, mentoring duration, farm records expectations, provision of good leadership (regular meeting, and adequate involvement of group members in decision making) and transparency in funds utilization. After successful deliberations on the issues highlighted earlier, questions from participants were addressed and suggestions made were embraced for improved productivity of the farm.
Striking among these is WASH advocacy to stakeholders in the Abia State government for passage of the WASH bill and to secure maximum support for the provision of safe pipe borne water for urban communities in the state under the USAID-EWASH program which witnessed consultations with Permanent Secretaries in the Ministries of Public Utility & water resources, Health, Environment, Women Affairs & Social Development, and Youth & Sports Development. Advocacy to traditional rulers for effective WASH campaign and establishment of local bye-laws was not left out. Other advocacy adventures include: the engagement with Abia State Universal Basic Education Board (ASUBEB), Abia State Office of the National Social Investment Program (NSIP), etc. Advocacy is an area of strength for GRACODEV.
OFFICIAL HAND-OVER OF NEWMAP LIVELIHOODS ENHANCEMENT PROJECTS TO BENEFICIARIES AT UMUOGELE-UMUAKWU IN ISIALA NGWA NORTH LGA, ABIA STATE, NIGERIA
The Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) was designed to provide remediation to gully erosion in the state and establish economic activities for poor members of affected communities in order to enhance their livelihoods with discouragement of non-conservative landuse as a priority. Umuogele-Umuakwu in Isiala Ngwa North LGA was one of the agrarian communities ravaged by the severe erosion. Indigenes of the community suffered severely as a result of the adverse impact of the erosion menace on their farmlands.
In line with the objectives of the project, Abia State NEWMAP through the Focal NGO – Grassroots Community Development Initiative (GRACODEV), established agro-based Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SMEs) for the poor community members. The businesses established include:
- A Commercial-Sized Poultry Farm (Sunshine Cooperative Society).
The farm has the capacity of housing 1,000 birds with adequate space for expansion. Installed within the facility is a water borehole to provide adequate water for farm activities and an electric generator to provide the needed power supply.
- Two Commercial-Sized Pig Farms (Ndi-Obioma Cooperative Society and Otu-Obi Cooperative Society).
These farms have the capacity to host 150 pigs each with adequate space for expansion. A water borehole was installed at the farms to cater for the all-important water requirement of pigs. To take care of electricity supply, electric generator was procured for the farms.
These group-based businesses were registered as Cooperative businesses with the Abia State Department of Cooperative to enhance functionality, market access and access to micro-credit facilities for expansion.
After a successful establishment, training and mentorship, GRACODEV on 23rd December, 2023 formally handed over management of the farms to the leadership & members of the various cooperatives. Leaders of the 3 cooperatives expressed profound gratitude to GRACODEV, Abia NEWMAP and the World Bank for the project, with promise to ensure sustainability of the businesses for improved livelihoods of members.
Presentation of Project Documents by GRACODEV’s Executive Director (Mrs Ihediwanma Gladys) to the Cooperative Chairman of Otu-Obi Cooperative Society (Mr. Tochukwu N.)
Members of Otu-Obi Cooperative Society with GRACODEV team in a group photograph after handing-over at the Umuogele Umuakwu hall
Over 80 cooperative societies were established with not less than 1,051 community members (472 males and 579 females) cutting across various categories of vulnerable and needy persons with gender adequately mainstreamed in 7 communities namely: Amuzukwu in Umuahia North LGA, Amuda-Achara in Umunneochi LGA, Umuezeukwu in Isiala Ngwa North LGA, Umuagu/Umuda/Amafor in Umuahia North LGA and Umuogele-Umuakwu in Isiala Ngwa North LGA. Livelihoods options ventured in by these groups include poultry fishery, piggery, trading, fashion & designing, cassava processing, palm oil processing, and livestock feeds retail. This has brought tremendous support and hope to participating poor widows, unemployed youths, and poor families.
Help the Needy Program
GRACODEV’s impact in this dimension is note worthy as activities cut across social interaction and sensitization on hygiene and use of safe water/ commemoration of World Water Day with staff and children of the Abia State Special School for the hearing impaired and mentally challenged. Furthermore, the support to the needy project was also launched towards providing food support to poor families during the COVID-19 pandemic and attendant lockdown. This beamed a light of hope for beneficiaries.