Hey buff readers! I’ve missed posting i swear! My biggest fan, my mother, thinks I’m depressed and called me this evening to query why she hadn’tseen a post up yet… *sigh*
So here i am, my puff puff people, promising to do a better job and trying to convince my mum that I’m not depressed!
As some of you guys know, i have been volunteering/helping out at some NGOs and some charity-based initiatives. This particular event was organized by a non profit NGO Project Hope Alive.
On Sunday 24th July, which was World Merit Day, i and the rest of the team members at Project Hope Alive visited a settlement in Abuja. It was a day of conscious awareness for the occupants at the mountain village in Abuja, as we set out to create awareness on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The team set off early afternoon on Sunday in high expectations with banners, SDG icons and relief materials to the mountain village.
There was a lot of mountain climbing involved. Trust your girl to be ever-excited.
The location for this event was a bit difficult to reach being that the settlement is on a mountain and the roads leading to it are rough and on difficult terrain. This didn’t deter the team, however, and we arrived at our destination peacefully.
The settlement consists of various huts and small houses built with concrete and unpainted. The surroundings were kept very clean, neat and organized. They had little farms around and the children roamed freely, playing.
We arrived to find a football game underway, which we discovered was a very usual source of entertainment at the settlement.
At first, the occupants were hesitant to gather for the awareness program but eventually did, after a few minutes of waiting and some incentives.
We spoke to the occupants that gathered about the facts and targets that the United Nations have towards the accomplishment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, which are:
1. No Poverty
2. Zero Hunger
3. Good health and well-being
4. Quality Education
5. Gender Equality
6. Clean Water and Sanitation
7. Affordable and Clean Energy
8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
10. Reduced Inequalities
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
12. Responsible consumption and production
13. Climate action
14. Life Below Water
15. Life On Land
16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
17. Partnerships for the goals
I spoke on Life below water because the two goals i was passionate about, No poverty and Quality Education were already taken. We discussed how these goals affect the people as a community and how they can join hands to see the accomplishment of the goals, even as the UN and its partnerships help.
After the awareness session, we shared some of the relief materials and donations we had gotten. This was a very hectic time because many of the women and children were very eager to receive these packages, which consisted of clothes, shoes, educational stationery, toothbrushes, creams, etc. We also distributed devotionals to them. All the materials were readily received by the occupants of the village.
Finally, we moved on to share the survey forms to the occupants and have light discussions with them. From some of the discussions, we discovered that many of the people did not believe in the targets for the goals, being that the government had not done anything for them in recent times. They lacked power supply to their small settlement or water supply, and their only source of water comes from the Dantata mountain (stream). Their settlement was not one would call a sustainable community.
Also, we discovered that many of the people complained about sicknesses or that their children were ill and it was obvious that they couldn’t get the required healthcare they needed due to limited funds. One of teammates saw a set of young twins looking very malnourished and when she made enquiries about why they looked so lean and unkempt, their old grandmother disclosed that the mother died shortly after they were born. She also said that the reason why they looked so malnourished was because they sometimes are not able to afford to buy the required milk.
There was also a lady who was pregnant and also had an infant in her arms. She claimed that she was soon deliver and the doctor told her that she would need an operation but she doesn’t have the funds. She pleaded with Project Hope Alive to help her. Though we are already looking into it, it still breaks my heart.
A lot of the villagers complained randomly about funds and lack of jobs, and were hopeful that the UN would provide their needs for them since it was part of the SDG targets.
One unique story I heard was the man who said he was working as an Engineering assistant in an architectural firm in Lagos before he was transferred to Abuja. Suddenly, the firm folded up without notice and the workers were left, stranded. Things got so hard for him that he had to move out of the middle class home he had in an upbeat part of Abuja, to a meagre hut in the mountain village. He spoke very fluent English.
It just goes to show how ephemeral life is.
All in all, the whole event was a success, rounding off with a couple of pictures and a football match by the youths of the settlement.
Apparently, our event was so lit it was recognized by the World Merit Organization. Our certificates are coming soon and i can now add MERIT in front of my name now LOL.
I specially want to thank Ambassador Chibuzo Okereke, the founder of PHA for all the work he put into this and even for the upcoming events. He has been very supportive and keeps on pushing me forward. I thank God for what He is using you to do for people in the world and may you see greater things.
We, the Project Hope Alive team, look forward to better and greater things, as we set out to impact the world around us, one step at a time.
PS: I couldn’t move the next day, my unfit body didn’t appreciate the mountain climbing😩
“Awareness is a key ingredient in success. If you have it, teach it; if you lack it, seek it.”- Michael B. Kitson
Thank you for reading! Please feel free to like and comment! Please say if there’s anything you want to tell me, especially about my irregular posting patterns.