Monday, November 28, 2016, U.S. Ambassador W. Stuart Symington awarded small grants totaling $171,000 to 30 Nigerian community-based organizations covering 19 Nigerian states under the Ambassador’s Small Grants Program.
The Ambassador’s Small Grants Program was established as a program for the overall U. S. Mission in Nigeria to assist community groups located in cities to small villages to mount self-directed efforts to improve their socio-economic welfare.
The program receives support from the U.S. Department of State’s Special Self-Help Program and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
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 initiatives.
The primary objective is to help people help themselves, ensuring that every project includes a strong element of community involvement, in order to maximize the sense of commitment by the communities involved and increase the likelihood that the project will succeed and prove to be sustainable.
This year, the grants will fund a variety of projects including the construction and provision of classrooms, health clinics, and community centers. The ventures will enable communities to purchase food processing equipment, books, and classroom furniture. Other endeavors will permit the construction of boreholes and latrines. Some of the undertakings will also benefit communities living with, or affected by, HIV/AIDS.
Presenting the awards, Ambassador Symington told the recipient organizations from across the country to use the grants to better the lives of the members of their communities. The Ambassador asked the recipients how can you measure success? “As you go forward in doing your work, find a person you have helped and take strength in knowing that you have literarily changed the world, one person at a time,” he remarked.
He reminded them of the importance of Nigeria and their role in making her succeed. He said, the United States wants Nigeria to thrive. “All around the world, people have heard of Nigeria and of Africa, and smart people have said if Nigeria continues to succeed, Africa will succeed.”