This week’s online meeting between UK-Nigeria was in three parts:
1. The first part took the format of a series of emails from John Dada which contained staff member updates and the latest information about the Kafanchan Peace Market - together with photos. The photo show the market which was razed to the ground in April during the post-election violence and the emergence of the new market.
The team were sad to learn that a senior trainer had decided to relocate to Abuja but wish him every success in his new job and studies. It was felt by the team that some staff from southern Nigeria may have found the violence so intimidating that they decided they could not stay as this type of religious violence is unusual in the south.
John D. was himself in Abuja where he was planning to attend events of the Global Sickle Cell Day there. The previous year FF had organised a spectacular Sickle Cell Awarness Day but this year had decided against doing so again this year. This is because, as a consequence of the aftermath of the violence, their resources are strained and the staff’s priorities have had to change to accommodate the new demands and needs from their local community.
2. The second part was between Pam, myself and Frances from the Fantsuam Foundation Leeds’ office. This section consisted in bringing each other up to speed about the latest Fantsuam news and discussion about various administrative task such as gift aid and photos.
3. The third part to the meeting was just after the official meeting had closed when Dadamac London re joined the meeting when they saw that Comfort had in fact been able to come online and join us from the States! We then had a very informative typed conversation about microfinance/microenterprise.
Comfort is in the States and she was about to start her third day at the Carsey institute of New Hampshire University where she is attending their two week Sustainable Microenterprise and Development programme.
So far Comfort tells us that the discussions were around sustainable livelihoods, how the poor spend their money and looking at case studies on MFI.
Comfort told us that she has shared the FF model that microfinance has to be integrated and says that big organizations are beginning to realise that people have other needs apart from finance and until those needs are met it MF will not be easy to practice.