Poverty alleviation remains one of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) LIWOM works towards eradicating. This is same with other Non-Governmental Organization and Governments who are development means to eradicating poverty in Nigeria.
This is because stricken homes struggle with meeting several of their basic needs such as regular three-square meals a day, basic shelter, and clothing support.
Similarly, there are other secondary needs that are vital to the development of children in such households. For instance, access to education and healthcare, legal services, among others.
In some cases, the children take to street ‘begging’ to generate income for the families. Some become victims of abuse and become exposed to situations that endanger their wellbeing and development.
Living Word Mission in her intervention approach has utilized several strategies depending on assessment results, the relativity of the environment, and the case scenario.
We have used strategies such as grants, livelihood opportunity, skills acquisition training, linkage to loan schemes, and others to help families access fund to respond to emergency needs.
This story tells how LIWOM help a family achieve resilience through one of our economic strengthening models.
How it Started
The Amosuns lived in a broken shelter in Ibadan South West Local Government Area of Oyo State. Mrs Bose, the household head who is a widow had four children to cater for. They (family) found it difficult to meet their daily basic needs:
They barely ate a square meal a day, the house they lived in had cracked walls and leaking roofs, and the children could not continue their education.
These difficult situations resulted in her elder son, fifteen (15) years old, working as a bar attendant in a hotel where he was exposed to alcohol intake. Others – the younger children – asked for alms on the streets (leaving academic aspirations aside) since meals where difficult to come by.
On her part, Mrs Bose Amosun resorted to house-to-house laundry and cleaning services to, at least, provide a square meal for the family. This was a tedious exercise as she could only raise a meagre amount from such services.
Life was generally hard for this family!
LIWOM to the Rescue
During this period, LIWOM was implementing a community programme focused on helping household sustainability. Based on this, we were supporting over 4000 children in Ibadan South West Local Government alone.
This programme called CARES – Comprehensive AIDS Response Enhanced for Sustainability – was a 5-year project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Implemented by La Vie Mot Global Mission through the supervision of APIN Public Health Initiatives.
It aimed at empowering households to attain sustained living. This project opened the opportunity to ease the challenges this family was facing by helping Mrs Bose to start a small business in her area. Also, we leverage the support of community leaders to provide shelter to the family, thanks to her in-laws.
We introduced her to our caregivers’ forum which provides a platform for several discussions and training on economic empowerment, parenting skills, and many other topics.
During one of the training sessions in the caregivers’ Forum, she was taught how to save money, start and manage a business, and how to make people buy what she is selling.
This training opened her knowledge to lucrative means she could use to earn money to meet her family’s needs. For LIWOM, it will help her be economic resilient during and after the project.
So, she accessed a small grant to start a small business, in October 2017. This business has been her major source of income since and has helped her meet her children’s needs and that of the family collectively.
It’s a Pleasure Now!
Mrs Bose is now making money through the business and provides three square meals for the family. In her words, she said, ‘I am happy for the support provided by Living Word Mission because it has helped me to provide adequate food for my children’.
Her children are equally happy that they do not ‘beg’ on the street again and are attending school. The eldest son said, ‘I don’t need to ‘beg on the street’ again before eating. There is enough food to eat now, so, no need for begging! Also, I and my brothers attend school to learn just like our friends’.
A Leap into the Future
Empowering poor households is important. Similarly, exposing the household heads to Income Generating Activities (IGAs) ensures that these households become economically resilient. They become buoyant to meet their basic needs and equally respond to emergency situations.
One such means is to teach parents, guardians, and caregivers how to:
- Save money,
- Start and manage a business
It will help them to meet the educational needs of their children and provide adequate meals for the family.
Well, the overall goal of this community project was been to ensure household sustainability and Living Word Mission has used this strategy to empower other one-hundred and twenty-three (123) households who are now buoyant enough to meet their needs.