Fifty years, fifty countries: Nigeria

50 CountriesConflictCommunity EmpowermentChurch and community mobilisationNigeria

To mark 50 years of Tearfund, we’re sharing about 50 countries where we’ve worked, celebrating God’s provision and power to transform, and praying for each of these nations. This week we’re in Nigeria.

Despite its immense resources Nigeria suffers from widespread poverty. Years of debilitating military rule have left its people vulnerable to corruption, economic instability and human rights violations. More than 7 million people in the north east of Nigeria are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Tearfund has a long history with Nigeria, having been formed in part as a response to the Biafran crisis in the late 1960s. We are working with local churches in Nigeria to mobilise communities to meet the food production, water supply, sanitation and healthcare needs of their local areas. One community that our local partner Christian Rural and Urban Development Association of Nigeria (CRUDAN) is working with is Ogui New Layout in the city of Enugu, Southeast Nigeria.

Ogui New Layout is a noisy community. Schools, houses and hotels line a long section of dry land littered with waste. Due to rapid urbanisation the local government is unable to cope with the demand for waste management. This leaves the local community in danger of diseases spreading quicker, polluted waterways and dangerous fumes from attempts to burn the rubbish.

Inspiring those in power
To help tackle this problem, CRUDAN trained local unemployed young people in waste management and Eco-Entrepreneurship. The students and young people have teamed up with their local church to form a group called Wonders of Divine Grace Natural Recyclers.

The young people asked the local government for permission to collect used flex banners from the streets and make them into plastic shopping bags. When they showed the officials the bangles they had already created using waste clothing and plastic, and the flower vases from water cans, they were given permission immediately.

‘We thank CRUDAN for the knowledge they imparted in us,’ says group member, Nweke. ‘We no longer see waste as it is but as something which can be useful…’.

With the support of the local government the plan is to set up a place where young people can work on environmental issues and products. The government has agreed to give land and 1.5 million naira (approximately US$ 4,800) to help them set up their ‘Climate Innovation Hub.’

‘After we produced items from waste, we kept on creating a sustainable environment,’ says group member, Gloria. ‘One that God planned for us from the beginning, an environment free from waste.’

PLEASE PRAY

Make your own recycled bangle to use as a reminder to pray for more ideas and continued success for this innovative group in Nigeria. If you don’t wear bangles then you could always give it away to a friend.

To make your bangle you will need:

  • a used plastic bottle
  • scissors
  • fabric
  • glue
  1. Cut a ring shape out of the plastic bottle.
  2. Cut a thin, long strip of fabric. Either, measure the same fabric by running it twice around the outside of the ring, or cut different fabrics to mix and match, running them once each around the outside of the plastic ring.
  3. Fold over one of the long edges of your fabric strip to make a neat edge.
  4. Glue the short end of your fabric to the inside of the plastic ring.
  5. Wrap the fabric around the plastic ring, making sure you use the folded edge to hide the straight one. Continue until the entire ring is covered.
  6. Cut away any excess fabric and tuck in the end, gluing it to the inside of the ring.
  7. Once the glue has dried, your bangle is ready to wear.

Emily Owen
Emily is Tearfund’s Junior Copywriter. She loves reading and writing stories about people who change the world, so copywriting for Tearfund is a great fit.