Thursday, March 8, 2018

Technology to empower the youth

Technology is the foundation of innovation, but Nokia believes that before it can reach it’s full potential technology will have to empower the people that use it. With this in mind Nokia is striving to connect Africa’s youth to the internet. They believe that the internet is an important asset of the global education system as it grants access to training materials and tools developed by universities and others. Read more about them here:

We definitely support this! Through our Ripples Box project African youth can be provided with a place where they can be educated, aspire and reach for the skies!!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

More and more, women are combing profit with purpose to create a better world.

More and more, women are combing profit with purpose to create a better world.
Shout out to all the women who are working hard to make the world a better place! like Leila Janah, who stumbled upon Nilotica and has helped raise the lives of the Uganda women making through her new business LXMI. She wants to combat some of the most serious problems from child malnutrition to human trafficking.

At Ripples we love to see women stepping up to make the world a better place. To read more about Leila Janah's story and the stories of others please go to this link:

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Notes of a Ripples Intern - What Nigerian Festivals tell us

By Daphne Visser,
Undergraduate Philosophy, Education and Child studies

This summer I traveled to Nigeria as part of my internship at Ripples Foundation. I would like to share the lessons that the country and its people have taught me with you. In this way I hope to inspire of you who want to help empower African women.  

Project visits are hard work, sleep depriving, and stressful. I had thereby been in little contact with Nigerian culture before my departure to Nigeria. I had read up on the different ethnic groups and a little bit about the history of Nigeria. However, there’s a big difference between reading about a certain culture and working in this very same culture. Luckily, Ripples considers it imperative that their interns learn about the culture of the villages in which they reside. This means that most of Ripples’ project visits are arranged around a festival, such as the Durbar festival in Kano or Ogidi Day.   

Before I arrived at Ogidi, I had already heard about Ogidi day. People in Lagos had been speculating about the amount of visitors that would arrive and what I would think about the festival. I had not been giving any specifics, as I should experience the festival for myself. This made me really excited for the festival and I was dying to know how a Nigerian festival looked like.   

At last the day of the Ogidi festival! I had left for the festival quite early, to experience as much as possible. I had unfortunately not taken in account the concept of Ogidi time. This is a concept used to describe the differing importance given to time by the locals of Ogidi. It’s like an inside joke, where if a person arrives late people would comment that he or she was employing the concept of “Ogidi time”. Obviously, Ogidi Day is not Ogidi Day if it does not employ a bit of “Ogidi time”. This meant that it took another hour for the actual day to start. It did not really matter as there were local refreshments as well. Happily eating away, I watched the colorful clothes of the artists and festival goers passing by.  

Nigerian festivals are enormous social events. Everyone in town is at the festival site, bringing their families from all over the country with them. Nigeria is home to more than 250 different ethnic groups that are dispersed all over the country. Festivals are a perfect opportunity to exchange ideas and cultural practices. It’s a great way to connect people, keep each group’s traditions alive and remembered. During the festival I saw performances from Yoruba people, Ijaw people, and Idoma people, who had all travelled towards this small village in Kogi State. It was amazing to be part of such a celebration of cultural diversity.

Nigerian festivals are also a get together of local people. Old friends and neighbours alike, meet each other on the festival grounds. During our stay, Ogidi transformed from a quiet and peaceful village into a booming town. Every day I saw new people arrive. The festival is the opportunity for all to meet their distant friends and relatives.  

I was thinking about all of this while people slowly started seeping in. Before I knew it the Oba (Ruler/King) had arrived and the festival was ready to start. Before a group of artists performs their routine, they pay a homage to the Oba. This is a sign of respect and one among many in the Nigerian culture, where there is still a high regard for the rulers and elderly.

The homage to the Oba

After the homenage to the Oba, the artists were ready to perform and music started erupting from everywhere. In Nigeria they really know how to create a party! A group usually builds their own festivities into another party, which had already erupted during another party. This is just one way in which Nigerian people show they partying spirit. All around me people were dancing, laughing, clapping, eating, and singing different tunes. New groups of people arrived almost every minute to contribute to the festival atmosphere in their own way.

And I? I was just enjoying everyone’s merriment.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Ripples Farms is LIVE!

Picture this: 52,5% of the farming population in Nigeria is female (source: Food and Agricultural
Organization of the United Nations). These women have no access to owning land for farming
purposes. Apart from that, most of the farming in Nigeria is subsistence farming; farming where
the emphasis is placed on growing enough food for survival (source: NOI-Polls). This usually
means that not enough products are generated for trade. A family is left with no other resources
than what is grown on the land, which increases the risk of starvation in the non raining season.
Now add high deforestation (Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations), impending
population growth (source: the Guardian, 11 January 2016) and rural poverty - 52.8% of the
Nigeria’s rural population lives under the poverty line (source: Knoema) - to this mix of factors. This
is the reality of families living in rural communities in Nigeria. We are left to wonder how they would
ever be able to feed themselves.

To tackle this problem, Ripples has devised its newest Women’s Enterprise Programme: Ripples
Farms. Together with our valuable partners, we will transform 250 acres of farming land, donated by
the community of Ogidi in Kogi state Nigeria, into a farming business incubator, where 2000 women
and 1000 youth will be trained on eco-friendly sustainable farming and livestock rearing practices. As
the women and youth produce different kinds of nutritious foods, such as beans, spinach and milk,
they will be able to export to different kind of markets, increasing their opportunities to generate an
income. In this way women will be able to feed their children and generate an extra source of income
for the family.

Ripples Farms is our biggest project so far; generating a tremendous impact for a vast number of
people. Such a project is only realized with the help of our beneficiaries, who are the start of all that
we do. We have been very lucky to find valuable partners in the Ogidi youth. 73% of the population in
Ijumu state, the area in which Ogidi is located, is under 30 years old (according to 2011 national
census). With their help we were able to select Ripples Farms’ first candidates. They will help us
develop and tailor our project to suit their experiences, challenges and knowledge.  

Ripples has established a Nursery, where it runs its trials. These acres of land will help us test and
tailor our eco-friendly and sustainable farming methods to suit the Ogidi soil and weather. The
nursery also includes a small patch of grassland, where we will accommodate the first herd of cows
and goats that will also provide income generating activities to our participants. With the help of our
donors, two cows and one goat have already been purchased, who now call this patch of land their
home. With everyone’s help this herd will grow to include enough livestock for our participants.

What impact  do you think Ripples Farm will have on our women and youths? Let us know what you