GAUGING THE IMPACT OF TEARFUND SUPPORT IN NIGERIA … As Nigel Harris Met with Local Communities, Christian Organizations
Recently, the TEARFUND Nigeria office played host to the Chief Executive Officer of TEARFUND worldwide, Mr. Nigel Harris who was in the country on what pundits aptly described as an assessment visit that accorded the TEARFUND CEO an opportunity to see firsthand some of the activities
and projects being carried out by its partners with the support of TEARFUND.
The event that featured interactions, question and answer sessions between the Chief Executive of TEARFUND CEO, Nigel Harris and the various partners including POD of ECWA, Scripture Union West Africa, (SUWA), COCIN Community Development Project (CCDP), The ECWA AIDS Ministry (TEAM), COCIN AIDS Awareness and Care Programme (CACCP), Fellowship of Christian Students (FCS), Christian Rural and Urban Development Association of Nigeria (CRUDAN) and other benefiting groups.
Addressing the various partners at separate sessions, Nigel Harris disclosed that the essence of the visit was to meet with TEARFUND partners in Nigeria.
Mr. Harris who announced that he has so far visited 7 countries where his organization is working disclosed that on assumption of office as the new CEO of TEARFUND worldwide, he decided to visit Nigeria to see the impact that TEARFUND is having in the country.
During the meeting in Jos, the various partners of TEARFUND took turns to highlight the impact of their programmes and activities on the lives of benefitting communities where such programmes are carried out.
The meeting also afforded some individuals the chance to share their testimonies of how TEARFUND sponsored activities have positively affected their lives and those of their communities.
Mrs. Martina Philip Labi, a widow was among such individuals who gave a testimony of how a TEARFUND sponsored activity via Scripture Union West Africa (SUWA) has helped her coped with the challenges of widowhood having lost her husband during the crises in Jos few years ago.
Also speaking Mallam Shittu of the Jamaatul Nasril Islam, testified about the impact of the TEARFUND sponsored efforts which according to him, resulted in a collaborative effort between Scripture Union West Africa and JNI that has led to them getting some youths back to school.
Mallam Shittu explained that before now, the youths were involved in the consumption of hard substances that tend to push them into criminal activities in their communities.
Speaking separately a representative of Jos Green Centre, a youth group working in the area of quenching the thirst of youths for change by turning waste into wealth, Oladtide Justin, revealed that the Jos Green Centre is an initiative aimed at ensuring justice by preserving the natural environment through turning waste materials like banners and polythene into bags.
According to him, it is in line with TEARFUND’s effort towards reducing the negative impact of human activities on the environment by supporting and not harming the natural and socio-economic environment.
A check into the profile of TEARFUND shows that the international relief and development agency with over 45 years of experience, established in 1968, has been working in over 40 countries to tackle the causes and consequences of poverty, through integrating the approaches of community development, disaster response and recovery, disaster risk reduction and advocacy.
However, it began working in Nigeria in the early 1970s with the support of a number of Christian organizations involved in development work. It works in partnership with local communities, Churches and Christian organizations, institutional donors, voluntary supporters and networks of peer agencies to overcome poverty and injustices.
The corporate vision of the FUND is “To see 50 million people released from material and spiritual poverty through a worldwide network of 100,000 local Churches”, focusing on five (5) key areas including Integrated Community Development/Church and Community Mobilization Process (CCMP), HIV/AIDS, Governance and Corruption Advocacy, Peace Building and Conflict Transformation and Disaster Response.
In the area of HIV/AIDS, TEARFUND is working to ensure an HIV free world by reducing the vulnerability of poor communities to HIV and reducing its subsequent impact.
In the aspect of Disaster Risk Reduction, TEARFUND is strengthening local capacity and reducing vulnerability to hazards as well as promoting peace and reconciliation.