On the 29th December. 2017 HOPE FOR AFRICAN CHILDREN INITIATIVE, a volunteer-driven social developmental organization creating impacts around education for vulnerable out-of-school children in Nigeria visited Bama & Gwoza IDP Camp in Durumi, Abuja. The IDP Camp is one of the most-populated camps in Nigeria with more than 3,200 children and about 1,517 adults.
In his opening remarks during the event, Noel Ify Alumona, the 25year old passionate young leader who is the Founder and Director of the organization introduced the organization and its objectives. Hope for African Children Initiative, according to him, “is a volunteer-driven Non-Governmental Organization that expands and improves comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children, children with disabilities, young people, victims of disasters and violent extremism, in Nigeria.” He stated. “We’ve come today to identify with you all, because we know we’re one, regardless of the fact that you’re homeless. It could have been me in your condition. It could have been these volunteers you’re seeing here today. One thing I believe is that despite the harsh living conditions and the trauma of what you, my homeless brothers and sisters go through today, the challenges, the lack of social amenities, negligence by the government, lack of access to education for the vulnerable children in this camp, the refugees and the Internally Displaced Persons have dignity too. And because we know this, we’ve come to share our moments with you all.” Noel remarked.
The event which witnessed social presentations, dancing of the volunteers with the children, and other psycho-social support programs to mark the yuletide, the CHRISTMAS-IN-A-BOX, which is one of the projects of the organization that aims at putting smiles on the faces of children by giving every child in the IDP Camp a Christmas gift item, beautifully wrapped in a box.
The organization, regardless of lack of funds donated relief materials like cardigan, mosquito nets, school sandals, socks, textbooks and exercise books for the few children already enrolled into school, writing materials and school bags, shoes and clothes for both the children and the women in the camp, food items and other relief materials. Hope for African Children Initiative also fed the Internally Displaced People at the camp that day ensuring that each person got foods, drinks and other edibles to celebrate the Christmas.
Speaking with Ibrahim Nuhu, the man in-charge of the camp, he expressed his profound gratitude to the Founder and the 166 volunteers of the organization who graced the event, for the show of love and concern for the IDP. He also beckoned on other well-meaning Nigerians to know that they are really suffering and come to their aid.
One of the children who could not speak in English, expressed her appreciation to the Hope for African Children Initiative for reaching out to them in this season of Christmas and begged that they should try to help her and her sibling to go to school and learn how to read and write.
In an interview with the Founder and Director of Hope for African Children Initiative, Noel Ify Alumona, he said: “Despite the challenges and setbacks we had while trying to execute this project, my teammates and I are overjoyed at the success of the outreach. The experience of this visit is amazing. The impacts cannot be easily described; the joy and happiness on the faces of the women and children here, as you can see, are overwhelming. The outreach is aimed at supporting refugees, internally displaced and stateless people, raising awareness for the plight of the displaced people, while reflecting the values of UNHCR. And I am glad that we achieved the goals we have been working tirelessly over the last three months.”
Alumona also added, “Once again, our volunteers and I have been given the opportunity to identify with these refugees and internally displaced people; we feel what they feel, and share in their pains of having to leave their homes.” Noel continued: “I wish to use this opportunity to also call upon everyone to extend support to these homeless brothers and sisters, and to assist us enroll into schools as many of these children as we can cum January. So that together, we can make greater impacts while creating the beautiful world we all are craving for.”