As part of its efforts in improving the living condition of Nigerians in the rural communities, the United States (U.S) has offered a grant of $250,000 to 35 civil society organizations (CSOs) across 20 Nigerian states, to carry out small community based projects through the U.S. Department of State’s Special Self-Help Program and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Ambassador’s Small Grants Program provides funding for projects that will benefit and develop neighborhoods, groups, and communities.
The projects which the CSOs will implement in their various communities covers the construction of classrooms, health clinics, community centers, food processing mills, boreholes, and latrines. The funds will also provide books, classroom furniture, and several types of equipment to help improve the living and learning conditions of many Nigerians in the homes and villages. It would also assist persons and families affected by HIV and AIDS will help spawn innovative projects that provide care and support to orphans, vulnerable children, and their families.
Speaking at the event, the U.S Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador James Entwistle said the U.S. is committed to improving the living conditions of Nigerians.
“As a partner, the United States wants Nigeria to thrive. Our direct assistance to improve basic economic and social conditions promotes a conscious responsibility to lift up society and we are always happy to help people who are trying to help themselves.
While the United States is proud to support the establishment of these projects, we take greater delight in seeing communities become self-reliance and self-sustaining, independent of assistance. We remain confidence that each community can maintain momentum and continue to grow for many years to come.
I congratulate each of today’s recipients for their proposals and the outstanding work that you will complete. The United States considers our support of your projects as a significant investment in the Nigerian people that will generate huge returns.”
Mrs. Margaret Adelola Ologuntoye , the Representative of Foundation for Social Justice and Development from Ekiti State who gave the vote of thanks on behalf of the beneficiaries organizations thanked the U.S government for their support and assured the U.S government of their commitment to carry out the community based projects genuinely and transparently.
“Ladies and gentlemen on behalf of the recipient of these grants I want to appreciate the U.S government for your support in ensuring that you better the lives of the vulnerable people in the society in Nigeria. As you are aware that Nigeria is a developing country and we have a lot of vulnerable group especially women and children. They are voiceless and they are powerless. And the Nigeria government cannot do it alone. We know the efforts of the development partners to assist them.
The NGOs are doing a lot to better their living but we need development partners and this is what the U.S government is doing today. On behalf of our colleagues I want to appreciate you and I am promising on their behalf that we are going to be transparent. We are going to be judicious in spending with what you gave to us. We are going to be accountable and we will do beyond your expectation. We are going to perform wonderfully well and we are going to bring out our success stories.”
The grant which is under U.S Ambassador’s Small Grants Program is largely funded by the U.S’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) and U.S State Department’s Special Self-Help Program.