Friday, September 8, 2017

On the Side of an Orphan

A community health worker examines a child
It began with the loss of the father to a road accident and the mother to post- natal complications three months after her birth.  While, Bunmi (not her real name) gained a new mother and caregiver in her Aunt, Mrs. Oloye, there was still more to come for the toddler.   During a door-to-door HIV Testing and Counselling campaign, organized by the USAID-supported Local Partners for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (LOPIN), Bunmi was found to be HIV+.
  
Terrified and sad by the test report, Mrs. Oloye was, at the same time relieved that she had found an explanation for her niece’s worsening health condition.  Prior to the diagnosis Bunmi was sickly and sluggish and the aunt a local herb (Agbo) seller was at her wits end over the child’s steady health decline.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Fishing for Market Opportunities in Nigeria

Presenter Joy Michael narrates a how-to video on
fish farming produced by Chi Farms.
Nigerians consume nearly two million metric tons of fish per year, which creates a huge market opportunity for fish farming. A key ingredient in many national dishes, fish is an important source of protein that will see a booming demand as the country’s population grows.
But the fish sector faces challenges, too. More than half of the fish consumed by Nigerians is imported, and the price of imported fish have risen sharply. The government is taking steps to restrict fish imports fish to help encourage domestic production, but a gap in locally produced fish remains.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Abuja Summer Institute Opens to Accelerate Young Women in Digital Media

Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and University of California, Santa Cruz are among the contributors to the Abuja Summer Institute (ASI) taking place this week in Abuja and next week in Kano which is providing digital social entrepreneurship training primarily targeting northern Nigerian women.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Journalist and Ethics

Freedom of the press is vital to the sustenance of democracy.  No wonder the media is described as the fourth estate following the executive, legislature and the judiciary.  May 3 is celebrated as World Press Freedom Day to highlight the state of the press and focus on violations of this freedom.  The U.S. Embassy Abuja held a series of events to celebrate this important day focused on different themes.  At an event on journalism ethics the Embassy Counselor for Public Affairs Aruna Amirthanayagam said in many places around the world, the media is under tremendous pressure with threats to their safety and wellbeing.  He added that reporting the news accurately has always been challenging requiring great sacrifice on the part of journalists.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A Champion for Cancer Care in Nigeria

A champion of cancer research and better patient care, Runcie Chidebe has demonstrated to his native Nigeria the importance of volunteerism and collective action for causes that benefit society.  Through his nonprofit, Project PINK BLUE - Health and Psychological Trust Centre, he’s changing the narrative about cancer in Nigeria and engaging government, nonprofit, and private sector partners to work toward greater support for cancer patients.

Since returning from his 2016 inspiring “Youth and Civic Participation” International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) exchange, Runcie has explored leadership strategies that facilitate social empowerment and justice, particularly for underserved communities.  He has engaged more than 300 volunteers in series of cancer awareness programs, founded a cancer patient support hotline, and organized large-scale events in Africa’s largest city, Lagos, and Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.  At a May 2016 Democracy Day event co-hosted by U.S. Embassy Abuja, he presented a paper entitled “Civic participation: stimulating empathy in Nigerian youths,” in which he encouraged youth to become civic leaders and build connections in their community through citizen engagement.  In January 2017, he and Abuja alumni partners organized an impressive program with 300 secondary students to celebrate the life and values of Martin Luther King, Jr.  The program included student speeches, mentoring discussions by U.S. exchange program alumni, participation by U.S. Embassy staff, and a screening of the film Selma.  As an active member of the Abuja Alumni Chapter, Runcie frequently uses his connections with the U.S. Embassy to organize events at U.S. Mission Nigeria’s network of 11 American corners.   He seizes every opportunity to educate, inspire, and empower Nigerian youth.