Beans are an excellent source of vegetable protein and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc.
They are rich in folic acid, an element associated with the reduction of such birth defects as Spina Bifida, and they also protect against heart disease. Beans are also a good source of non-lactic calcium.
COWACDI Nutrition Team carrying out their monthly cooking demonstration of (Bean Porridge) for the Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women (PBW) of Malakyariri Ward of Mafa LGA, Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria.
TITLE OF PROJECT:Coordination and partnership integrated Shelter/NFI response in Borno State
DURATION OF PROJECT:January – June 2023
STATE OF INTERVENTION: Borno State
NAME OF GRANTEE: Concern for Women and Children Development Foundation (COWACDI)
Concern for Women and Children Development Foundation (COWACDI) was born out of a passion for the well-being of Women and Children in Nigeria in the year 2005; it was incorporated on 5th June 2015 with the REG NO CAC/IT/NO 78289. COWACDI intervenes through a community-based approach in addressing gender-based violence prevention and response programs, Livelihood and early recovery, Shelter and Non-Food Items interventions, peace-building programs, and empowerment of youth and women with a special interest to mitigate the suffering of vulnerable persons in times of crisis (which may be as a result of conflict/war or natural disaster). Currently, the organization is focused in the northeast of Nigeria with special emphasis on Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa states (the BAY states) due to the decade-old humanitarian crises. COWACDI operates with full respect for humanitarian law and works with concrete policies and principles of international standards such as humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence, and accountability to affected populations.
Vision: A just world in which every vulnerable person attains protection and development.
Mission: To mitigate the impact of the suffering of the vulnerable, furthermore protect their rights and dignity through the provision of humanitarian and developmental programs.
Project Focal locations -LGA
Monguno Local Government Area
Bama Local Government Area
Ngala Local Government Area
Description of target beneficiaries
Concern for Women and Children Foundation (COWACDI) implementing for Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF) targeted Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Host Communities, Returnees, and people with disabilities across the three project locations of Monguno, Bama, and Ngala LGAs.
In the heart of Bama, Monguno, and Ngala Local communities, a beacon of hope emerged when Concern for Women and Children Development Foundation (COWACDI) with funding from Nigerian Humanitarian Funds (NHF), committed to making a difference, undertook a non-food items distribution initiative. With an objective to mitigate vulnerabilities and improve the protection and living conditions of new arrivals, returnees, and displaced persons living in camps, camp-like settings, and host communities in Borno State Nigeria, COWACDI implemented all activities with a passionate desire to bring relief and support to 800 vulnerable families in the target locations. Due to the devastating impact of conflict and displacement, the families in the three target locations had been left without necessities and were living with high vulnerability to harm, sexual exploitation, and abuse, illness due to lack of shelter and basic items for household use. However, thanks to the dedication and resourcefulness of NHF, implementing through COWACDI, the community has demonstrated resilience and expressed immense gratitude for a profound transformation and improved quality of their life and general well-being.
COWACDI commenced its project by conducting a comprehensive needs assessment to determine the most pressing requirements of these 800 target beneficiaries. Based on the assessment, a strategic plan for the distribution was formulated in a participatory approach with community members and target beneficiaries to ensure that the right items reached the right people in an organized and safe manner. Collaborating with relevant partners, stakeholders, local authorities and community leaders, COWACDI mobilized a team of passionate project stakeholders and community volunteers who were committed to making a positive change. Non-food items essential for daily living were procured to be distributed to the most vulnerable persons within the target communities. These items included hygiene kits, blankets, mattresses, water storage containers, mosquito nets, lamps, bathing and washing detergents, essential kitchen utensils, and cooking utensils.
Profiling and registration of beneficiaries was conducted in all three target locations, a list of 800HH was generated in adherence to the selection criteria of the most vulnerable households. The distribution day finally arrived, and the atmosphere was filled with anticipation, excitement and gratitude. COWACDI meticulously organized the event, setting up all relevant stations to facilitate a smooth and efficient process. Families arrived, eager to receive the aid that would alleviate their hardships and provide much-needed comfort. The NFI team with the community volunteers greeted each family with warmth and empathy, ensuring that everyone felt valued and respected. They sensitized the beneficiaries on the need to make adequate use of the items that would be received. The team also took the time to listen to their stories, lending an ear to their struggles, and offering words of encouragement. Beyond the physical items distributed, the emotional support and compassion provided were instrumental in restoring hope within the community. Also, the Monitoring and evaluation team who were responsible for accountability to the affected population were at all distribution sites to ensure beneficiaries were treated with respect and dignity while also ensuring that items were distributed and received according to the project implementation plan. The MEAL team was also responsible for taking complaints and feedback from the beneficiaries at the Complaint and Feedback Mechanism desk.
Following the post distribution monitoring carried out, it will be fair to state that the results of the activities funded by NHF and implemented through its partner (COWACDI) were overwhelmingly positive. The impact was visible on the faces of the families, as they expressed their gratitude for the support received. Children were excitedly happy to have beds to sleep on while parents held back tears of relief at the sight of warm blankets, cooking utensils, and many more simple but basic items that meant so much. Beyond the immediate impact, the intervention had far-reaching results. The distribution of non-food items helped to restore a sense of normalcy and dignity to the lives of these 800 households as beneficiaries were supported with the means to provide for their families most basic needs.
Aishatu Modu a 45-year-old widow with five (5) children living in the GSSSS camp of Monguno LGA was affected by the fire outbreak and lost all her basic NFI, which made her and her children more vulnerable. “I have lost track of sleep as I have been thinking about how to survive with my children, ever since the fire outbreak, life has not been easy for me and my children, we have been having longer days and shorter nights due to high rate of mosquitoes and exposure to cold. I couldn’t afford a jerrycan for fetching water, so I had to borrow it, also I had only one dish which I used for cooking at the same time as a plate to eat from. During the winter season, I had to use my old wrapper to at least cover my kids which in most cases is not long enough for them, talk more of myself, we had no blanket or anything worthy of body coverage, so we ended up catching cold and flu due to high level of chills.” “But now I don’t need to borrow a jerrycan, use my single dish for both cooking and eating, use my old wrappers for covering myself and my children from cold and mosquitoes and many other challenges I and my children were facing, all thanks to NHF and their implementing partner COWACDI. We thank you so much and pray Almighty God provides more for you so that you can remember us again”
BABAGANA MODU a 53-year-old with two wives and twelve children from Ngala LGA said “Before I received this NFI support, we were sleeping on an old mat supported by a neighbor, can’t sleep well, store water, and fetch water. I have lost the dignity of my family because I can’t provide for their needs, which has led to the family being broken, but after the NFI Items were received I can now sleep well, fetch water at any time, cook food, and also my children do not fall ill because of mosquito bites. These Items received have created a strong cordial relationship amongst the family.” These sentiments were echoed by an elderly man in the Ngala host community. “I came here with nothing. I have no money, so I can’t afford to buy even a small bowl in the market,” he repeats over and over “We give thanks to God, praises to God I have regained my personality from my families and community members again NO MORE stress” said Babagana, “I wish this tremendous support should reach out many people that in needs like me.”
Mary Tenda “My name is Mary Tenda, I am 46 years old, I am a mother of six and I live in the host community of Bama LGA. Life has not been treating me well ever since my husband was impaired with sightlessness. I have been the one taking care of my six children and also tending to my impaired husband, it has not been an easy task for me to take care of 7 people including myself at a time.” after Mary received the NFI items, Mary expressed her gratitude with tears in her eyes thanking NHF and their implementing partner COWACDI for the wonderful support and help they render to her and her entire family.
The success story of this intervention of non-food items distributed in all three target locations was not confined to the physical assistance provided, there were stories of hope, resilience, and a belief in the power of collective action to effect positive change. It is worthy of note the dedication of NHF and its implementing partner COWACDI, combined with the tireless efforts of the local communities, created a foundation for a brighter future.
Inspired by this success, COWACDI will according to its mandate continue to work tirelessly, expanding its reach and implementing various projects to uplift the lives of more communities in need. Their commitment to making a lasting impact became a shining example of how kindness and compassion can transform lives and offer hope even in the most challenging circumstances.
Aid workers, programmes, and organizations as a whole face varying levels of risk in carrying out their work globally. Organizations, therefore, must put in place security risk management practices that enable them to effectively reach those most in need while still meeting their duty of care obligations towards staff. The COWACDI security team organized training for staff members with the latest security tips to help ease project implementation at all levels.
Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and Child Early Forced Marriage (CEFM) is an Essential knowledge for each and every humanitarian worker, it is mandatory for all humanitarian workers to have at least a considerable knowledge “if not full” of SGBV and CEFM.
As part of our mandate to serve humanity, COWACDI organized SGBV and CEFM Capacity-building training for its staff members so they are sensitive to such cases if come across at all project implementation levels and also to referral to relevant partners.
Concern for Women And Children Development Foundation (COWACDI) in Partnership with Christain Aid (CAID) and Funding from World Food Program (WFP) Set up a community structure such as Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) in Malakyariri Ward of Mafa L.G.A which serve as a medium through which women’s financial capacity can be strengthened and access to simple savings and loan facilities is enhanced closing the gap that existed as a result of the absence of formal financial services within the local community.
COWACDI conducted a rapid needs assessment in the 3 targeted locations of Gwange, Bolori and Modusulumri, Borno State, to inform the program team on how best to implement the project with the rights-based approach that is needed to address the precise nature of SEA. 120 stakeholders were mapped through this activity including community leaders, religious leaders, government agencies, women and youth groups as well as representatives of persons with disabilities. One workshop on the prevention of SEA and available reporting mechanisms was conducted for 120 stakeholders. 19 FGD sessions were also carried out targeting 1,200 participants including women, men, boys and girls, through which the NGO aimed to create awareness and to inform on safe and accessible systems of reporting SEA. To circulate key messages on PSEA, COWACDI produced and distributed more than 25,000 information, education and communication (IEC) materials in English, Hausa, and Kanuri languages which include 10,000 posters, 10,000 handbills, 10,000 leaflets, 30 banners and 3 radio jingles. The IEC materials reached 7,377 persons, of which 3543 women, 2,565 men and 1,239 children.