// June 12th, 2013 // No Comments » // GHNI Partner Trips, GHNI Partnerships, Nigeria, Nigeria-Dogon Gada, TCD, TCD Education, TCD Wellness, Uncategorized
We occasionally pitched in to help
Dogon Gada, Nigeria
From the desk of GHNI regional director, Jeff Latsa, on a recent Partner Trip to Nigeria which proved that the title of this piece, “African’s Solving Africa’s Problems,” can really happen.
“These four words describe my recent trip to Nigeria. Originally we planned on building a two room adult literacy center. Because of our National Director’s vision it morphed into a three and a half classroom self-sustainable elementary school. If you are wondering about the room: on one end of the school we built a small shop (1/2 the size of a classroom) that will sell essentials like flour, oil and soap (in addition to school supplies) to help pay the teachers. There is no school in the area and kids in this village have never had the opportunity to learn how to read and write. In addition to this, the classrooms are big enough so kids from the surrounding villages can learn there, too.
“Actually it was NOT us (the five Americans on the short term Partner Trip) who built the school. Well over 90% of the construction was done by the Africans themselves. Since we still had enough time and bricks (made out of mud & straw) we decided to build three one room apartments – one for the GHNI worker, one for a government worker and the other one is a parsonage.
“Not finished yet, our National Director laid out a third building consisting of a kitchen, mess hall, and a small clinic containing a nurse’s room (which will be used for everything, including delivering babies), a doctor’s office and a pharmacy. Currently there isn’t a pharmacy within a three days walk.
“Our building efforts were contagious. People all around the village were improving their own compounds. We saw another family adding a washroom onto their hut.
Dr. Owudah gives a meningitis vaccination as part of the medical clinic
“Talking about medical needs, one year ago we conducted a health screening/medical clinic in the village. Malnutrition and skin diseases were rampant and hygiene was deplorable. Some of the same nurses that had been there a year ago were there again during our trip and they were utterly amazed at the improvements in the village. Weights were up, malnutrition had all but vanished and general health and hygiene had improved dramatically.
“One Dr. Owudah commented, ‘Dogan Gada, upon our arrival looked truly like a Model Village, the surroundings looked well-kept and the set up was good.’ In just two days the African medical team was able to evaluate & treat 373 people.
“ ‘Last year, in December, when I was setting up my goals for 2013, I took time to reflect on my life,’ Dr. Owudah shares with GHNI Nigeria’s National Leader, ‘ I told myself I must take time in 2013 to do some humanitarian work and use my medical profession to be a blessing to humanity…when I heard the [GHNI Nigeria National Leader] talk about the upcoming humanitarian program and called for volunteers…I signed up immediately. The experience I have had here has been beautiful, enriching and rewarding. I look forward to having many more such opportunities. Kudos to GHNI.”
“The real heroes are the Africans. But you are a hero, too. Without you, our partners, all of this would not have happened. You are truly transforming communities and saving lives. Thank you.”
GHNI Regional Field Leader