Friends of Nigeria has long supported development projects in Nigeria. Our grants program began in 1998 with a donation of $500 to the Niger Wives Braille Project. The grants program has since grown in importance and by 2020 FON had raised and distributed more than $300,000 to grass-roots organizations in Nigeria. All membership dues not required for operational expenses, and 100% of donations, go to these development projects. Our priority is to fund projects that rely on local decision-making, address clear needs, and result in specific outcomes.
In recent years our emphasis has been on infrastructure for computer training programs, health education in general, and on maternal health and fistula repair in particular. Friends of Nigeria has donated to EngenderHealth and DOVENET, organizations that specialize in addressing maternal health and fistula repair. In response to the 2020 Covid pandemic, the FON membership raised additional funds for our partners in Nigeria to help in the procurement and distribution of food in rural areas affected by the pandemic. We welcome donations that will support our grants program. Scroll down this page for more information about our grantees.
Current Projects Receiving FON Grants
The Fantsuam Foundation
The Fantsuam Foundation, a rural NGO in Kafanchan, Kaduna State, seeks to promote development by focusing on sustainable livelihoods, health, and education. Where possible, Fantsuam charges fees for its services, thus generating 65% of its budget. Our first grant to Fantsuam was in 2007. By 2020, FON had donated nearly $68,000 to the organization, most recently to construct a sewer system in the Banyan Loco area to help combat disease caused by lack of good sanitation, and a supplemental grant to support the purchase and distribution of food during the pandemic. Scroll to the bottom of the page for more information about the Fantsuam Foundation.
The focus of DOVENET (Daughters of Virtue and Empowerment) is to enhance community understanding for the prevention and treatment of fistula, a goal that is in concert with the initiative of the FON Board of Directors to focus resources on obstetric fistula and family planning.
DOVENET works in five Local Government Areas of Ebonyi State. In 2018, with the support of Friends of Nigeria, DOVENET conducted a number of town hall meetings intended to advocate for a collaboration among the various traditional leaders, community chiefs, youth leaders, women leaders, and health committees, all of which play a significant role in the dissemination of knowledge to the community about public health. Providing accurate information on control and prevention was particularly important. The advocacy meetings also aimed at encouraging active participation throughout the project period and to establish necessary linkages for smooth project implementation. Scroll to the bottom of the page for more information about DOVENET.
EngenderHealth is the managing partner of several major international projects—consortiums of organizations working in partnership to achieve the maximum impact on public health. EngenderHealth worked with DOVENET when FON first initiated grants related to maternal health education.
African Community Health Initiative (ACHI)
ACHI was founded by Queen Obasi, a nurse who emigrated from Nigeria to St. Paul, MN, where she works with medical colleagues and members of the Nigerian diaspora in the United States to help provide basic health services to communities in Nigeria and Namibia. From 2012 through 2019, FON provided $46,700 to ACHI to continue rehabilitation of an old school into a lab/resource center in Imo State, and to support health-related programs of ACHI. Scroll to the bottom of the page for more information about ACHI.
American University of Nigeria (AUN)
$2,000 was approved in early February, 2015, for food aid for Boko Haram refugees. Since 2011, FON has provided $19,000 in grants to AUN.
The AUN Feed and Read program has provided assistance to hundreds of Boko Haram refugees in Yola, Adamawa State. Since 2011, FON has provided $19,000 in grants to American University of Nigeria. A 2015 grant provided food aid for refugees fleeing Boko Haram. Most grants support the AUN feed and read program, which currently helps 50 boys and 50 girls learn to read while providing them with food and shelter.
Mediwat Computer Science School
In 2019 FON provided a grant to Mediwat (established by a student of a Nigeria RPCV) to purchase solar panels that would enable operations despite frequent power outages. Mediwat, which is located in Kano but has students from many parts of the country, focuses on all aspects of computer education and information technology. Mediwat organizes career and mentorship programs aimed at secondary school leavers, and provides full and partial scholarships for many of its students.
We Care Solar
In 2010 Berkeley, California physician Laura Stachel carried suitcase-sized solar generators to Nigeria and elsewhere so that the operating rooms where she worked would have necessary power. FON was among early supporters with grants totaling $6,000 at a time when solar packs were essentially homemade by Laura's husband and WE CARE co-founder Hal Aronson. We Care Solar has expanded in recent years as word of its success has spread to nearby Silicon Valley and elsewhere.
Gadar Maiwa Primary Health Center
Funds used to purchase replacement batteries for the health center’s solar power system.
Volunteer Service Overseas (VSO)
VSO is a non-governmental British nonprofit that deploys volunteers to Nigeria and other countries. FON's support of VSO began in 2004 and until 2015 we had a major relationship with VSO Nigeria. Due to changes in the program, we have not received applications from VSO since 2015, and all small projects sponsored by FON have been completed. From 2008 to 2015 FON supported 15 individual projects sponsored and administered by VSO volunteers in the field. FON support for VSO since 2004 totaled nearly $52000. This commitment of support for the VSO Nigeria organization, and VSO itself, facilitated our links to the projects, and fostered communication with the VSO volunteers in the field.
Read below for further information about FON involvement in Nigeria.
The FON Board of Directors voted to launch a fundraising and public awareness project to address maternal health, with a focus on obstetric fistula and family planning.
The Fantsuam Foundation
The Fantsuam Foundation is a rural NGO in Kafanchan, Kaduna State, seeking to promote development by focusing on sustainable livelihoods, health, and education. Where possible Fantsuam charges fees for its services, thus generating 65% of its budget through its own revenues.
African Community Health Initiative
ACHI was founded by Queen Obasi, a nurse who emigrated from Nigeria to St. Paul, MN, where she works with medical colleagues and members of the Nigerian diaspora in the United States to help provide basic health services to communities in Nigeria and Namibia..
Volunteer Service Overseas
VSO Volunteers staff schools, local agricultural and health organizations and more, returning home with new skills, new ideas, and new enthusiasm. Importantly, VSO and VSO Volunteers became a vehicle for FON to to provide continued financial support in a meaningful, purposeful and directed way.