Before COVID-19, the citizens were doing OK!. We were doing our best to survive amidst the economic decadence. The question is what do we do now?? The tension is on the increase as many Nigerians are laid off work, some are homeless, hungry, depressed, and struggling to stay safe.
What do we do now to not only survive but to live and lead a good life??
We called for a volunteer opportunity on our website (www.refoundation.org/become-a-volunteer) on Friday, 26th June 2020. In our attempt to expand our community and proffer solutions, we asked a question upon registration which has attracted very brilliant and inspiring responses
COVID-19 has affected everyone including businesses and Nonprofits. What do you think we can do as a community to support one another during this time? (Let us know your sincere thoughts and Ideas)
CLICK TO JOIN OUR COMMUNITY
So far, we have received over 300 registrations from Nigerians across different states and the responses we’ve received so far are intriguing and we have decided to publish a few of them below:
Joseph from Nasarawa state – Create a forum where fundraising can be done to assist people to bounce back to means of livelihood either through delivering food items and cash to them.
Mary from Abuja– We could reach out to the indigent in our community by providing palliative for immediate cushioning of the COVID 19 effects and also, get them trained in a lucrative skill or gainfully employed as many have lost their jobs due to the pandemic.
Abraham from Jos– Community education on what kind of food is needed to boast or make the immune system stronger and also enlightenment on the importance of personal hygiene and sanitation along with looking out mental health problems such as depression and anxiety and necessary counseling services should be provided
Maureen from Kaduna – The effect of this pandemic is undeniably detrimental to our society especially the youth. I suggest mental support to the youth, providing encouraging information and knowledge that could enhance skills development and financial freedom. The knowledge that would motivate them to be responsible and more intentional about their lives so that we can bring about positive change to the nation and not be at the mercy of the already failing health and government structure on the ground. I am a youth too.
Ngozi from Ebonyi State- COVID 19 reveals that digital skills and the ability to surf the internet are not just necessities but survival strategies. It reveals also that one source of income is dangerous and should be avoided. Consequently, I recommend the community help in a time like this by empowering the people through the teaching of digital skills and online related businesses.
Tejumola from Ibadan – At this pandemic period what people need most is sustenance. People need to feed themselves and no amount of food or money we can give them may not sustain them till the end of the pandemic. We can orientate them on how to invest in little macro business that will bring them money for daily sustenance
Maina from Bauchi: Let’s make a financial commitment to make homes gain access to relief materials.
Benjamin from Kano State – Sincerely, the COVID 19 pandemic came unexpectedly. Even as a nation, it’s affected us. My opinion towards fighting and winning this battle against the pandemic is what I called (Community Engagement). We can’t leave the people to die while trying to fight the pandemic. As a team, family, or NGO we ought to go out into the community and empower the people, enlighten them, and teach them skills, train them on how to survive and earn a living.
Victoria from Lagos – Ask for donations from corporate bodies, freewill donation by volunteers, partnering with NGOs.
Sophia from FCT– What we can do to contribute to the productivity of our community is by providing skills training
Yoila from Bauchi -Helping businesses with some amount to build more. Also, some businesses have collapsed due to COVID-19, such business needs a start-up grant to re-invest.
Muideenn from Lafia Nasarawa State -1). Training the youth on vocational education. (2). Supporting small scale businesses with low-interest loans. (3). Provision and distribution of palliatives to the most vulnerable people. In this case, an assessment of the most vulnerable households is very important.
Ubochi from Abuja– Social distancing is one of the aspects of COVID-19 Pandemic that hindered most businesses, especially Social enterprises. To help in the rebuild of digital services will be a key factor in opening new vistas, creating more engagement with experts in providing solutions and providing needs as well especially training emerging businesses and enterprises on how best to exploit the digital space which has come to stay.
Winifred from Gombe- First, we have to understand that this is the new normal and we have to find new ways of doing business even amid the Pandemic. I think we should create awareness of the existence of the virus and how dangerous it is because, in the part of the country I live, about 60% of the people still don’t believe it does. Secondly, we can encourage businesses, especially small businesses and startups to leverage social media and digital platforms. The community can also provide Grant’s and soft loans for such businesses
Kaduru from Rivers State -Sincerely speaking, this pandemic has affected a lot of things. People have lost their means of livelihood and some that couldn’t withstand it, are committing suicide daily. People should be assisted with capital to start a small scale business pending when the pandemic will be over. A lot of families, especially those in the private sector are suffering. They need food and those who are sick, need medication.
Abah from Lokoja – Public enlightenment on preventions, hygiene,( including hand washing from time time, use of hand sanitizer, social distance, and the need to protect ourselves and others using face masks and other Personal protective equipment.
Anochiam from Kaduna -Yes we can help each other by providing relief materials, soft loans or Money to those of us in dire need especially those that their business is not stable
Victoria from Akwa-Ibom – Creating employment opportunities for the members of the community
Ayuba– We can help with food items because some people find it difficult to feed. All other things are important but food is paramount. Again we can run a skills acquisition program for members of any community by teaching them some skills like baking, barbing, hairdressing, etc. That can help those that lost their job to bounce back.
Esther from Jos– To support and encourage each other in whichever way we can. Especially food and essentials.
Benjamin from Calabar- First, People especially in rural areas need proper sensitization about COVID 19 as well as how to stay safe. Also, considering the hard times experienced by people due to the lockdown, donations must be made either by cash or kind to at least the poorest of the poor to reduce hunger which has proven over time to be as deadly as the coronavirus itself. Also, people need words of encouragement especially those depressed out of frustration. We as a body can speak words of encouragement to depressed people and have them back to normal. Finally, it’s no news that a period like this gives room for other forms of crime Like theft, rape, suicide and prostitution. We have a lot to do as a body in lending our voices to speak against these acts.
Chinenye from Lagos- We can volunteer our time by helping out those in self-isolation or those who need to limit their public interaction, we can offer to pick up and deliver things they might need while taking precautions to keep ourselves safe. Our time and labour could be a big help to someone needing help. * We can also help by combating misinformation online
Katherine from Benin- Help struggling families with feeding palliative and soft loans to kick start dying business
Fidelis from Plateau State: We can help one another by giving palliative to ourselves. Seek for financial and material support from spirited individuals to help the less privilege in our community
Obed from Awi- Educate the people. – Support families to manage and run family farms(livestock and crops). – Help families engage in small businesses. – Help people with small start-up capital.
Joel from Ikeja- 1. Food should be distributed especially to old people and to people who can’t afford their daily bread. 2. Sanitary pads should be distributed to the less privileged women and girls
Akpauta from Uyo- I think there should be a coalition of the needs of people while good meaning individuals and organizations can decide to meet the needs
Orkeghen from Abuja- We can create empowerment programs to empower them
Mercy from Jos- Jos – A lot of businesses have packed up due to the pandemic, the means of livelihood is what is Paramount on the minds of people right now, this is so serious that even the precautionary measures put in place to safeguard lives are not adhered to thereby increasing the risk of a spike in the infection rate. It would be of immense help if such people are identified and given aid. Identify those that are vulnerable and assist them maintain their businesses or start-up new ventures.
Hussaina from Sokoto- Reach out to the less privileged especially the once in rural areas with food items will be a good way to start. Giving out small loans to people for household needs will also go a long way in these most trying times.
Onah from Makurdi- awareness creation and supporting each other financially if possible.
Damilola from Zaria- I think one of the things that can be done to support communities during this pandemic is to keep on sensitizing and educating communities on how to protect themselves from the virus, maintaining social distancing to ensure a safe working environment. Mobile hand washing stations and sanitizers should be positioned at certain places to encourage constant hand washing and hand sanitizing. Also, as businesses are affected which has resulted in the laying off of quite some people and the hit most felt by the common man. I think an empowerment scheme should be created for them like skill acquisition training to support them.
Anne from Abuja– Most businesses and even companies are wind down due to COVID-19 and as a result, a lot of people have also lost their jobs and for us to help our community to cushion some of these effects, we can on our own do the following: 1. Open a food bank in most of our rural communities 2. Send some alleviation packages to some of these communities in the form of food materials and or funds. 3. Offer Grant and loans with minimal interest to some MSMEs to build back their businesses 4. Offer training or skills alleviation programs in entrepreneurship
Philip from Ilorin-To provide palliatives to the less privileges in the societies and fumigation of market places
Chidimma from Nasarawa- Skills acquisition and empowerment of persons can help alleviate the troubles that COVID 19 and the lockdown have brought
Michael from Makurdi- I suggest monetary incentives help the most hit in communities but also getting education to them at this time as a lot of children have been out of school due to the pandemic.
Chinasa from Ikorodu- I think we should try as much as possible to have volunteers that will donate Land and money in which we will use to farm to generate more food, money in which we will use the food to share to those that need it and use the money to refarm…
James from Abuja Contribution: We can organise training online and offline for members of the community, grant funding to members of this group to support Small scale businesses, and to encourage the government to enact policies to favour its citizen
Nneka from Enugu- I advise the government Should reduce Taxes and give soft loan to traders that are affected
Theresa from Cross River- We can start by getting involved in community services like what your organisation is doing. In addition to that, we look for areas like education, health and skills acquisition to get involved in. So the organisation can get interested people who can render these services, organise people who need it through an awareness program or the media and then these services would be rendered to them with no charge.
Joy from Abuja – Reaching out. Show love.. Mental health and depression awareness.speak to someone. Create a gofundme (fundraising) page.
Dasilva from Lagos– Help less privileged communities with SMEs training and capital to able to provide services for others and in turn provide for their household
Najari from kano- Supporting people that have business with loans and also organizing awareness to the people. Distributing palliative to the poor.
Onyinyechi from Enugu- I think we can help one another by engaging the younger demographics who are out of school and have been bored out due to lack of work and sincerely reading isn’t working for most.
Amidu from Abuja- I will suggest the construction of a community solar system, borehole with reservoirs, and community foodstuff support project. I believe that will help to ease the difficulty of the lockdown.
Joseph from Jos: Empowering the youth, men and women in the community by organising vocational skills training. This will boost the economic status of youth and participants and also reduce the poverty rate and unemployment in the community. Training may include courses in fashion design, carpentry, hairdressing, catering services like baking, etc.
We appreciate everyone who participated in this exercise and has indicated interest to join us. We look forward to impacting lives together.
While our volunteer portal will be open until the second week of July 2020 (The date will be announced soon), moving forward, we have decided to implement some the suggestions in addition to our existing model and engage the community on possible ways to execute them.
Keep an eye on your email for an official invitation to our community.
“We cannot do this alone, we need you to lend a hand” – refoundation.org
Feel free to Join our community here
Roseline Ebunobi Foundation (REF)