On Monday, August 4, 2014, the U.S. Mission Nigeria held an award ceremony, providing 46 Nigerian community-based organizations with grants totaling $352,696 under the Ambassador’s Small Grants Program.
These grants are for projects benefitting communities around the country under the PEPFAR Small Grants Program and the Ambassador’s Self-Help Program, respectively.
The grants projects signed by the recipients from all the geographic zones of Nigeria will benefit more than 160,000 Nigerian men, women, and children.
For over two decades, the U.S. Mission in Nigeria, through its small grants program, has partnered with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) throughout the country to fund small community-based development projects that include significant local contributions in land, labor, and capital.
Embassy Charge d’ Affairs Maria Brewer, said these community-driven grants “encourage communities to undertake similar activities on their own in the future.”
She said The Special Self-Help Program involves small development projects structured to be self-sustainable.
Several of the Self-Help projects will assist Nigerian children to access educational facilities and acquire new skills. These include the construction of classrooms and classroom furniture, the purchase of library books, and the installation of sporting facilities.
Other projects will construct a community pharmacy and provide communities with clean drinking water to improve health and living conditions. Some provide communities with food processing machines, such as rice and cassava processing machines and root grinding mills, that will help generate income and stimulate economic growth.
The Ambassador’s PEPFAR Small Grants Program provides funding assistance to communities with innovative projects that provide care and support to orphans, vulnerable children, and their households. These grants assist communities to improve the standard of living of children (with ages ranging from infants to 17-year olds) through community-led projects.
The PEPFAR Small Grants Program focuses on community-initiatives for the welfare of children living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.
Many of these projects include construction, renovation, and furnishing of early childhood care and learning centers and construction of hygienic and safe school toilets to mitigate communicable diseases. Training centers offer training in parenting and life skills, and even skills’ acquisition, such as sewing and knitting.
Some projects equip schools and clinics, fund the construction of small clinics and water boreholes, and support caregivers in addressing the economic, nutritional, and hygienic needs of households affected by HIV/AIDS.