REPORT: How Nigerian youth-led foundations are supporting the fight against Covid-19 at the grassroot
THE Musan Lafiyarmu foundation and COVID-19 Relief Support Initiative (CORSI) based in Kano and Osun state, respectively, are two examples of how Youths in Nigeria through humanitarian foundations are supporting the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
These bodies are doing this through donations and awareness creation, TheICIR has monitored.
TheICIR gathered that Musan Lafiyarmu foundation has donated hand sanitizers, disinfectants and other items to about 6,000 individuals in states such as Abuja, Yobe, Kano and other Northern states.
According to the founder of the northern foundation, Dr. Naima Idris, the distribution of palliatives has become as important as building isolation centres.
“It is a great feat that isolation centres are springing up but what about the equipment inside them, we should not just have beds without equipment to treat the patients” .
Dr. Naima Idris, while tasking the Nigerian government on equipping isolation centres around the country, encouraged the Nigerians to support their neighbours.
Speaking on the challenges encountered during the donation, Dr Naima said lack of proper orientation about Coronavirus makes some people sceptical about support given by humanitarian groups.
“We had issue of people fearing contracting the virus through our donation. Infact, at a place, a young lady rejected our item and refused to touch it, when I asked her why, i found out that they have feeling of contamination of donations which is a wrong idea but generally we were accepted and it was helpful seeing how much impact efforts, no matter how little can make a difference” Dr Naima told this newspaper.
While Dr Naima Idris is championing the course in the northern part of the country, Oladoyin Mahroof and Odejobi Muyiwa, the founders of COVID-19 Relief Support Initiative (CORSI) are also contributing their quota in Gbongan, Aiyedaade local government of Osun state, southwest Nigeria.
According to Mahroof, the initiative was founded and committed to reaching out to the aged ones in Osun state who are no longer fit for labour.
“These people deserve to be catered for in every conceivable way as part of our ultimate deliverable objectives. It is our collective responsibility to make the world a better place to live for others through the act and gesture of charity to the needy and vulnerable ones”
While asked by TheICIR on how they funded the initiative despite the obvious economic hardship in the country, Muyiwa disclosed that the initiative called for donations and contributions from the general public towards distributing relief materials to the aged through Facebook posts and unsolicited Whatsapp broadcast to friends and families.
“I and Mahroof designed the broadcast message and we sent it to all our contacts on whatsapp and also posted it on Facebook. We received credit alerts, gift items and other supplementary items after then and we distributed the goods we bought with it in two phases to the old ones in our communities. we are doing this towards making life meaningful for the ageing fathers and mothers”.
While recounting the challenges faced, Mahroof expressed that aside paucity of fund, their greatest challenge was the inability to reach to many more people because of limited resources.
“Many aged people are still looking up to us to bring food stuffs… those we were unable to give anything.”
He added that in the course of distributing the foodstuffs, they realised that “there are many vulnerable in the society than what the government will make us to believe.”