Friday, December 11, 2015

Living With Terrorism: Kano



Peace is a fundamental human right. Over the past 4 years, the once peaceful state of Kano, Nigeria has been ravaged by terrorist attacks from Boko Haram. The local media will report these attacks, the international media will mention the attack in passing, pictures of the devastation are posted all over the social media, not mindful of how the affected people must pick up their lives after the dust has settled.

Each time there's an attack, it is a period of chaos, mayhem, blood and death. Healthcare workers work overtime to bring succour to the affected. When the attack happens, messages are sent by various regulatory bodies and unions to mobilise doctors and health workers to provide the manpower in this time of crisis. As news of the attack spreads, the town people also respond through donations which include blood, medication, food and clothing.

Although, as Health Providers, we cannot allow sentiments to hinder us from doing our jobs, there are incidences that are permanently seared in our minds, One of such is the story of a young girl who came to see me in the Surgical outpatient clinic. She was a student at Federal College of Education, Kano. She was in such a hurry to get back to class that she forgot some of her tests. I decided to call her after the clinic. By then news had reached us that Boko Haram had attacked the school. I kept calling her but couldn't reach her. As the victims started arriving at the hospital I saw a friend of hers that was with her at the clinic. She told me that she was shot at the gate and that she died immediately. I also remember a set of twin baby girls that were also shot dead together with their mother who was also a student. Another mind-numbing story was that of a young pregnant woman that was shot through the abdomen immediately killing her unborn baby. The mother was rushed into surgery and her father was asked to donate his blood as she had lost a lot of blood. What the father said, I'll remember until the day I die. He said, "I'll donate the blood, but give it to someone else who has a chance, my daughter will not survive." The surgery was successful, but as if the father had a premonition, she passed away around 3am that night.

Another gut clenching experience we had was with the dead bodies. Our mortuary doesn't have the capacity to handle such a magnitude of human remains, so the remains have to be piled up one on top of another. Most of them were in pieces. There was blood everywhere; I had nightmares for months. As if all this wasn't enough, the two major hospitals that handle these victims were targeted by suicide bombers. Luckily their attempts were thwarted and they were not able to detonate the bombs.

The worst attack we had in Kano so far was the attack on the Central mosque. Being a Friday, thousands of people went to the mosque for Friday prayers. Because of its close proximity to the hospital, a lot of our male staff were at the mosque that day. Thankfully none of them were killed and only a few sustained minor injuries. Immediately after the attack the doctors didn't have time to catch their breaths, they started instituting life saving techniques to the injured victims. One doctors described the incidence as "like a war zone." The carnage that day was unimaginable. It was as if we were in a horror movie. The entire ordeal wasn't for the faint of heart. Most of the victims were little boys and girls. I was working at the pediatric surgical ward, the ward was full. One of the little ones that touched my life was a 2 year old, who witnessed the death of his two older brothers. He sustained first degree burns to the abdomen and lower limbs. I can't imagine the despair of his mother as she had two sons on admission and two dead. His recollection of the incidence will make your skin crawl. To hear of the ordeal from the perspective of a 2 year old will make you shed tears.

When we went to pay our condolences to the families of the victims, we visited more than thirty houses before giving up. Even the gravediggers were overworked and tired. For almost every house within the vicinity of the mosque lost someone, some more than others. There was a woman who was widowed by the attack and she lost all five of her offspring. She eventually had a stroke and then passed away.

At the end of the day, we retire home with mixed feelings: feelings of joy for the lives we saved, feelings of sadness for the lives we lost, and feelings of doom for what was to come.



This was the attack that was meant to be the end of Kano. But it didn't. The Emir of Kano, His Highness Muhammadu Sanusi II came back immediately from his trip and gave a most invigorating speech to the people of Kano. He said that if the attackers meant to instill fear in us, they have failed. He gave us renewed hope. He led the Magrib prayer in the same mosque on the same day. The following Friday he also led the Friday prayer and the mosque saw an influx of worshippers more than it has ever seen since its construction. The youth were mobilised to give security during prayers.

In the middle of one devastation after another, we were mindful of the plight of our soldier who were at the frontier of these terrorist attacks and were being killed every single day. Most of the teaming populace were were placing the blame on the inexperience of these young officers. Unbeknownst to us, they were also victims of the ineptitude of the immediate past administration. They were sent to battle with insufficient and outdated weapons. Sometimes they even share ammunition. Their allowances were not paid.

On the 9th of February 2015, my family has a rude awakening. Terror has struck home. 31 year old Captian Usman Aliyu fell to the bullets of terrorist while defending Nigeria. Our sense of despair was immutable and it all came as a shock to us because when he was posted to Maidugurihe he didn't have the heart to tell us. He said he had been posted to Gombe. He was the commanding officer on the battlefield that day and they didn't have enough ammunition. None of his other team members made it out that day. He was shot on the head, neck and thigh; all deadly shots meant to kill. Clearly the work of a well-trained sniper.

It's been months now, but the loss is still fresh in our hearts and remains as painful as ever. We'll miss the brother, the son, the man that loved and embraced everyone around him, the man that died fighting for his country, his beliefs and his religion. We'll mourn the man whom we lost so tragically, but we'll remember him as he deserves to be remembered, a hero who lived on the fearless edge of what was possible.

My prayer is that God brings an end to this avalanche of carnage and madness. Prayer is the greatest weapon we have.

*Dr Maryam Nasir Aliyu is currently volunteering with Ripples Foundation and using her medical experience to help us deliver Medical MOT events to communities in Kano State. One such event included treating young boys who were orphaned by Boko Haram's violence, as seen in the photos featured here. We would like to take this time to thank Dr Maryam for the invaluable help she has provided and for sharing her deeply emotional story here with us.
Dr Maryam Nasir Aliyu Web Developer

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Sexism on the Silver Screen



Here at Ripples Foundation we fully support the fight for gender equality, and our projects in Africa are designed to empower women to work their way out of poverty and achieve their full potential. Whilst poverty-stricken African village women struggle to make ends meet, women in richer countries have a different fight on their hand.

In the UK and US, on the surface it seems that women are equal to men in most ways, both emotionally and economically, but when you dig a little deeper you can see that there are still some instances where men are favoured over women.

Take cinema for instance. Film can act as a huge driving force for change and has the ability to make people see subjects in a different way. That is why it is so important that women are represented equally on screen, so that the roles they play are seen as the social norm. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case just yet.

We are in 2015, a year which the African Union has declared the year of women’s empowerment, and still women are not earning an equal wage to men doing the same jobs. Although actresses in Hollywood could never be described as hard done by when it comes to their pay packets, it is a good scale to measure gender differences from. Last year the top 10 highest paid actors in Hollywood collectively earned $465 million, whilst the top 10 highest paid actresses in Hollywood collectively earned $181 million - still a huge amount of money but when compared to the men’s earnings it is less than half what they rake in for doing the same job! So why are they paid so much less?

The answer could be hidden in the statistics behind the big screen.

As actresses get older it seems the number of roles they are offered decreases, whilst for actors  their opportunities increase. While men apparently can age like a fine wine, it seems that the value of women is determined by their youthfulness. In 2014, the majority of female characters were in their 20s (23%) and 30s (30%), and the majority of male characters were in their 30s (27%) and 40s (28%). The concept of women featuring in films as young, attractive love interests for older men has been around since the start of the silver screen, and today still roughly a third of all female speaking characters are shown in sexually revealing attire or are partially naked. You could argue that men have also started to get a bit racier, with films like Magic Mike springing to mind where the actors haven’t hesitated to get their kit off in the name of entertainment, but it isn’t quite up to the same levels of objectification that actresses face in their everyday working lives.



In the last few years we have had a surge of fantastic films driven by strong female leads, with 2011’s Bridesmaids being the best example. Written by women and starring a hilarious female cast, the film was a massive box office success and showed the world that ‘buddy comedies’ don’t just have to revolve around a group of men. Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games showed us that not all action heroes are men, and Jess Bhamra in Bend It Like Beckham introduced us to the little-known world of professional women’s football. If films such as these keep being made, maybe in around 20 years time we can finally achieve gender equality in world cinema.

Putting cinema and the Hollywood elite aside, last year the UN launched their #HeForShe campaign, encouraging men to stand up and join the fight for women’s rights. This idea is genius as it makes men a part of the cause and not simply an obstacle which women have to overcome to achieve gender equality. #HeForShe urges men to fight for the rights of their mothers, wives and daughters, giving them a voice and not alienating them from the important role they can play in the campaign. Why not take a look at their website and get involved? http://www.heforshe.org/

Obviously the issues and inequalities that Western women face are by nowhere as extreme as the issues that we tackle here at Ripples that poor African village women face, but it is important that gender equality stays at the forefront of people’s minds as empowering women in developed nations sparks debate in other countries, and is the driving force behind empowering poor village women in places such as sub-saharan Africa.

So keep up the great work #HeForShe campaigners, female producers and directors , we are backing you all the way!

*Stats from Indiewire and The New York Film Academy


Alysha Bennett Web Developer

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Women's World Cup





You may have heard that the 2015 Women’s World Cup kicked off last weekend in Canada, but how much do you actually know about the tournament and the women playing?

The Women’s World Cup, run by FIFA, only started in 1991, and this year the competition has increased as 24 teams have qualified, including 3 African nations: Nigeria, Cameroon and Ivory Coast - a sure sign that the sport is growing in popularity. However the sport still has a long way to go if it wants to reach the dizzy heights of popularity that men’s football enjoys.

For years we have watched women excel in sport, and events such as the Olympics regularly show the world that ANYONE can succeed if they work hard enough, regardless of your gender.
However for some reason, football is almost exclusively seen as a ‘man’s sport’.  Maybe this is because we are so used to cheering on men that we forget that women can also play, but for those people who think that the women's football can’t be as skillful or exciting, here’s a few facts to prove you wrong!

  • The England women’s team is 6th in FIFA world rankings compared to 15th place for the England men’s team.
  • Brazil’s Marta Vieira da Silva (nicknamed ‘Pele in a skirt’) has scored an incredible 79 goals in 91 games!
  • Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala recently won the inaugural BBC’s Women’s Footballer of the Year Award, in response to her fantastic performance at last year’s Under 20 World Cup where she was the top goal scorer.
  • Tired of seeing players roll around on the floor in agony from just a simple tackle? Well according to a study, women fake injury HALF AS MUCH as men do and get up 30 seconds faster on average, leaving a lot more time to actually play football.

The women’s tournament is very unpredictable, and last weekend saw Germany take a 10-nil lead over Ivory Coast, with 4 goals being scored in 14 minutes at one point! Nigeria and Cameroon have faired much better than this however, with Nigeria securing a very surprising 3-3 draw against the 5th best team in the world Sweden, and Cameroon winning 6-0 against Ecuador.

However, as good as women’s teams are they simply do not get as much coverage or respect as their male counterparts. England Women’s team captain Steph Houghton earns around £25,000 a year from playing football, the national average, but compare that to England team captain Wayne Rooney who earns a £15.3 million a year, and you can see the vast gender difference between 2 people who do the same job! It is the same story when it comes to sponsorship. According to the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF), a shocking 0.5% of all money invested into sport in the UK goes to women’s sport, with men’s sport getting a huge 61.1%, and team sports given the rest. With facts like this is it easy to see how women’s sport is staying under the radar!

This year FIFA have made a small step towards promoting women’s sport by including women’s international teams in their upcoming FIFA 16 game. This may seem fairly insignificant but the popularity of the game means the women’s teams will be seen by millions of people and could help start to break down the barriers that are preventing women’s football becoming mainstream.

Another glimmer of hope comes from the BBC, who this year are showing the Women’s World Cup matches on BBC2, BBC3 and via the red button for the first time in its history, opening up the game to more potential viewers. Hopefully this increased coverage of the tournament will be the start of changing perceptions of women’s football for good.

Good luck to all the teams involved (but come on England!), you are making huge leaps and bounds for equality in sport and doing your country's proud!

Alysha Bennett Web Developer

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Saturday, June 6, 2015

April 2015 Update



We had quite a few developments here at Ripples in April, both in the UK and in Africa.

At the start of the month we had a makeover here at our base in Gravesend, UK to shake up the layout of the office for a more organised atmosphere.



Our small team worked together to assemble tables and chairs, clean and rearrange the room, and put all of the computer equipment back in place. Its always good to mix things up and it gave us a chance to step away from our computer screens for a moment and get involved! Click the link below to take a look at the fun timelapse we made of the process. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUi183M6vLI

We also had a visit at the end of April from one of our partners, In Kind Direct, who supply us with donations that can be shipped over to Africa. Most recently they supplied us with a donation of 1000 hockey sticks that were sent to Nigeria and given to a number of schools to help with their youth development. They were here to meet with our CEO Anne Phillips and take a look around our office and warehouse, to be filmed for a video showcasing the great work that they do for charities just like Ripples. It was an impromptu visit for us, so look out for a few camera shy faces in the background of the video when it’s released!

Over in Africa our team travelled to the village of Iworo in Nigeria, sponsored by the Oduntan family, to meet the women working at a fishery business, which is part of our women’s enterprise programme, and to inspect the new fishery site. We make sure to visit the businesses on our women’s enterprise projects on a monthly basis, so we can review how the business is being run and to resolve any issues our women may have with the work.
This visit was particularly exciting for us as we got to see the site that has been selected as the location for the new fishery ponds, a development that will help the women to increase the amount of fish that they can produce and also increase the size of each fish so they can sell them on for a higher amount of money. It is developments like these that makes our work so rewarding: first we help set up a business from nothing, and then we can watch it grow and thrive through our women's hard work and the generosity of our sponsors.

Iworo is part of our Adopt A Village programme and is sponsored by the Oduntan Family Foundation, who have funded all the projects that we have running in the village. We simply couldn’t do our work without the fantastic support we have from the Oduntan Family and for that we say thank you!

For more information on the Adopt A Village programme, or to take a look at any of our projects, please take a look at our YouTube channel where you can see our work in action https://www.youtube.com/user/ripplesinafrica/featured

If you would like to donate to Ripples please click here: https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/donate/bme-concern and give what you can! No donation is too small, and we thoroughly appreciate your support.

Alysha Bennett Web Developer

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Friday, May 29, 2015

Volunteering



Ripples is a charitable organisation, and as such we do not just exist to make profits. 

Our aim is simply to improve and empower the lives of women across Africa and around the world. However in order to do this, we do need to generate enough money and have as many people as we can helping us to do so. Volunteering is a fantastic way of donating your time to help charities like ours to keep delivering essential projects to those who need it most, and make a lasting change in their lives. There are many different ways in which you can volunteer for us here at Ripples, both in the UK and in Africa!

We can never have too many people willing to help us deliver our projects, and if volunteers would be willing to fund their own travel to and from Africa, we can offer you the opportunity of a lifetime! There are plenty of projects on the go in Africa right now, and we would love to capitalise on any skills you may have to help us. For example, we are always on the lookout for: teachers for the Ripples Box programme, donations of medical supplies, doctors and nurses for the Medical Mot’s, and media-savvy people to film and photograph our visits to village projects so we can share the work we do with our supporters. Whilst you are working in Africa with us we will be there to provide you with all the assistance you will need.


Back in the UK we also have plenty of work on offer for willing volunteers! The main areas that we work in where we are based in Gravesend, Kent are administration, media, logistics and accounting, and is a great way for you to gain office work experience. Lasting for around 1-2 months you will get the opportunity to see how we operate and gain valuable work experience with all travel expenses paid. Non-UK citizens are also welcome at Ripples, providing a fantastic opportunity to live and work in another country for a few months, and improve English and business skills.


Finally, you can also support us by creating your own fundraising campaigns that will help us continue funding our projects. This can be anything from simply holding a jumble sale, to running a marathon! Every little helps and we are extremely grateful for any amount that is raised as it all goes towards a great cause. Keep your eyes peeled in the near future for the launch of new fundraising efforts for Ripples, where you will be able to see our targets and how close we are to reaching them. We will be introducing a number of different projects you can donate to, such as Medical MOT’s or one of our women’s empowerment businesses, so you will be able to see exactly where your money will be going.


Volunteers and fundraisers aren't just beneficial for the charities - the best feeling in the world is knowing that the time and effort you put into your work has made a difference to people in need!

Dr Anne Fabiyi, pictured above, a founding trustee of Ripples Nigeria sadly passed away recently, and we would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank her for her untiring volunteering work and commitment to the charity. We miss you.

For more information about volunteering or fundraising for Ripples, please contact us at volunteer@ripplesfoundation.ngo
Alysha Bennett Web Developer

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Micro-financing programmes for non-profit



Anne Phillips discusses micro-financing programmes for non-profit in Africa

“There are many Micro-Finance models available, most offer loans to fund projects in developing countries, but interest charges and terms of the loans will still be beyond the reach of the very poor. Some, for an example, may require the applicant to provide some collateral or a deposit.  For an African village women living on less than $1/day, that is already unattainable. There are many models of Micro finance available, I will tell you about the Ripples Model which is aimed at giving the African Village woman a 'Hand-up' and not a 'Hand-out'.  This is the model used to deliver Ripples in Africa Projects.Ripples projects are delivered primarily in Africa villages or in poor neighbourhoods of large African cities. The main targets are poor women at varying levels of destitution, with no access to credit, no rich relative, no chance of accessing capital, living on less than $1/day. Most of Ripples Women Enterprise Projects are funded by sponsors, these are Corporations as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility or high net worth individuals who want to give back to the less fortunate, without encouraging dependency. Ripples puts a big premium in engaging with the community, so the Traditional ruler plays a major role; he guarantees all loans.  We find that villagers have very high respect for for their Traditional rulers; ranking only next to God.  So no villager will default, this will be equivalent to disrespecting the Traditional ruler. The women are not taught new trades, they are asked to present businesses they have run in the past, but are unable to run now due to lack of access to funds.  Ripples would then after accessing the viability of the business, train the women on ways to run these businesses in a profitable way, including how to scale up.  All projects are audited monthly to provide training and support, and ensure compliance to Ripples’ terms and conditions. We have found that by offering loans to poor African village women at no more that 5% interest, Ripples is able to help the very poor to set up viable businesses that are needed in the community, sustainable, and replicable, because when the loans are paid back it is allocated to another village woman. With Ripples model, the focus is always on the village woman; on what to do to help the village woman work her way out of poverty, it is not a commercial enterprise, it is not profit driven.”
Our Ripples CEO Anne Phillips has a lot of information to share about Africa and non-profit organisations, and is willing to share her knowledge with other like-minded, interested people. To see more questions and answers from Anne, and even to ask a question yourself, please visit Anne's Quora page: http://www.quora.com/Anne-Phillips
Alysha Bennett Web Developer

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Working in dangerous places


What is it like to work in Africa, and what are the problems that we as a charity encounter?

Ripples’ work in Africa can sometimes be problematic, as a lot of our work is carried out in rural locations, located far from major towns and cities. This means there is often little access to the Internet, a limited amount of equipment, and we only have a small number of people on the ground organising trips to our villages, auditing projects and capturing footage of our work. Most of our problems can be solved through forward planning, being prepared to take any opportunity and having the passion and determination to make change happen.
However, there are risks to working in Africa that are far more sinister than just simple logistics. The presence of Boko Haram, the Islamic jihadi terror organisation, is a constant threat hanging over Nigeria and Cameroon where we operate. Boko Haram hit the headlines last year when they claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of over 200 Nigerian school girls from their school in Chibok, Nigeria, of which the majority of whom are still being held. You may remember the viral campaign that spread across the world through the hashtag #‎BringBackOurGirls‬, that various celebrities and even Michelle Obama got involved in, but in the past year the media interest in the story has died down regardless of the fact that there has not yet been a resolution. Boko Haram have also recently formally aligned themselves with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is a worrying development for everyone across Africa especially West Africa.
The main aim of Ripples is to empower women, so the spread of Boko Haram is not great news for us given that they openly disdain western education, and aim to establish an Islamic State in northern Nigeria. The translation of ‘Boko Haram’ in the local language of Hausa literally means ‘Western education is forbidden’.
Here at Ripples we think the exact opposite. We firmly believe that empowering and educating African women sparks a ripple effect that enables them to share their knowledge with their children, and therefore is the key to educating the next generation who will be responsible for shaping the future of Africa.
Ripples is working in communities of States where Boko Haram remains a clear and present danger. Our CEO and the Ripples team in Nigeria visited our women a couple of weeks ago, and met women in the communities who have been terrorised, abducted and some raped, and many families have been displaced.The presence of Boko Haram is always there, but currently it has not stopped us from carrying out our work, and nor we hope will it!
To take a closer look at how we operate in Africa and the work that we carry out, visit our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/ripplesinafrica/featured where you can find a variety of films showcasing our work.
To donate to our cause please visit https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/donate/bme-concern and help us#‎MakeChangeHappen!
Andre Martins Web Developer

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Thursday, May 7, 2015

In Kind Direct visits Ripples' office


The past week has been very busy in the Ripples office!

Last Monday we had a visit from one of our partners, In Kind Direct, who were here to meet with our CEO Anne Phillips and take a look around the office and warehouse. Our office was momentarily transformed into a television studio, as the crew set up the room for interviews with Anne and our guests from In Kind Direct! They were filming their visit so the footage could be included in a video showcasing the services that In Kind Direct provides for charities across the UK.
In Kind Direct takes products from warehouses that are left-over stock or no longer needed by companies, and redistributes them to charities and organisations that have greater need of them.
The donations that we receive from them are sent straight to Africa where they are most needed. Most recently, In Kind Direct donated 1000 hockey sticks that we shipped over for use at several schools in Nigeria. These donations are invaluable to charities as it means that money which would otherwise have to have been spent on funding the donations, can now be redirected back into our other programs such as Medical MOT’s and women’s enterprise. In Kind Direct are a great help to Ripples, as their ongoing support means we can continue our charity work without huge financial constraints.
We simply cannot afford to carry on with our great work without support and donations from people and companies just like In Kind Direct. From whole organisations sponsoring a village, to just a single person wanting to help our cause: every little helps and we are extremely grateful for any donation amounts!
If you would like to donate and help #MakeChangeHappen, please go to our fundraising page and give what you can! https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/donate/bme-concern
To get more updates on the projects we are currently involved in and to join our online community, please follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/ripplesngo and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ripples.foundation and take a look at our YouTube channel! https://www.youtube.com/user/ripplesinafrica/featured
Andre Martins Web Developer

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Saturday, May 2, 2015

The miracle tree


Did you know that the moringa tree is also known as the ‘miracle tree’?

This is because every part of the tree can be used to produce a variety of products, which contain huge amounts of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, minerals and vitamins that are hugely beneficial to your body.
Our Akomi Moringa Powder is made from the leaves of the tree and handcrafted by our Ripples village women, leaving us with a premium product that has numerous health benefits. These benefits include boosting energy, stimulating the metabolism and supporting digestion.
By buying Akomi products, you will be contributing to helping an African woman feed her family, support her community and work her way out of poverty.
Check out the Akomi online store on eBay http://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/bmeconcern?_trksid=p2047675.l2559 or Alibaba http://uk1070137604.fm.alibaba.com/productlist.html to purchase Moringa Powder and take a look at some of the other great products available.
Andre Martins Web Developer

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

How many more people will have to drown until we finally act in Europe?


Migrants drown off the coast of Italy: “How many more people will have to drown until we finally act in Europe?”

Last week saw the horrifying news of around 900 migrants drowning off the coast of Italy, as they made their way across the Mediterranean from Africa. Unfortunately this story isn’t as shocking as it should be, as last year alone up to 219,000 refugees crossed the Mediterranean and 3,500 of these people died in the attempt. Already in 2015 the number of migrants reaching Europe by sea stands at 36,390.
Australian PM Tony Abbott has said that the EU should adopt tougher immigration laws, and even go as far as to deploy the army to stop migrants from landing on European soil. But this isn’t just a game of numbers, we need to remember the human faces behind these statistics.
This seems to be a very defensive reaction to the problem, and perhaps we should be asking ourselves more useful questions like: What is happening in their homelands that is driving so many people to risk their lives to reach Europe? These people are not taking this dangerous journey without first thinking that there is nothing left to lose.
There are many reasons why migrants want to leave Africa, such as war, disease and extreme poverty.
In order to tackle the migration problem, surely the best and most logical solution is to aid and improve the conditions in their home countries? If they lived in a place where they could see a future for themselves, then surely they would not want or need to seek help elsewhere?
So what can we possibly do to help?
One way to tackle these issues is to donate and invest money into charities that are working hard to improve conditions for thousands of people in poorer countries.
This is exactly what Ripples is working tirelessly to do. We use donations from across the world to empower women living in small villages and give them a ‘hand-up’ out of poverty. We believe that when provided with the necessary resources, women have the ability to become self-sufficient, and in turn support their families and communities. We also provide free healthcare and medical check-ups regularly to villages as part of our Adopt A Village program, and through these initiatives we hope to break the cycle of poverty and transform their lives forever.
We aim to start a ripple effect across Africa, through strengthening small communities to create a more stable future: an Africa that more people will want to live and thrive in.
In wealthy countries like the UK and the USA, we have the luxury to be able to help poorer countries achieve their full potential, and that is an opportunity that should not be passed up on.
Check out our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/ripplesinafrica/featured for information and updates on our projects and to hear first hand from the women who are benefiting from our work.
To contribute towards a brighter future for Africa and make change happen, please donate by clicking the link below.
https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/donate/bme-concern 
Andre Martins Web Developer

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

NPA: Adopt a Village - March 2015


Exciting work has begun in 4 new villages thanks to the sponsorship of the Nigerian Port Authority, as part of our Adopt A Village program.

We kickstarted the project in Iworo, where the Ripples team met with the traditional village chiefs. This is for us to show a mark of respect and is essential to Ripples being able to carry out any further work in the community.
By adopting a village, the NPA has ensured that Ripples have the resources to help the villagers gain access to free health care check-ups, medical supplies, and have the opportunity to start their own small business through our women’s enterprise projects. These small businesses are micro-financed by Ripples to give women a ‘hand-up’, generating enough income to support their family and community, working their way out of poverty. This is a lifeline for many African villagers who are surviving on just $1 a day to support themselves and their families, in countries where there are no social services or free health care, where a lack of adequate medical care accounts for high mortality rates, especially in children, with 1 in 10 children in Africa dying before their tenth birthday.
Through the great work done by our team, the medical MOT’s and women’s enterprise projects will push towards our goal to alleviate poverty for these African women and their families.
Huge thanks go again to the Nigerian Ports Authority, who now sponsor 7 villages in total!
If you want to see this great work, like we have started in these 4 villages, continue and spread to create a ripple effect across Africa, please donate and help us make change happen!
Andre Martins Web Developer

Morbi aliquam fringilla nisl. Pellentesque eleifend condimentum tellus, vel vulputate tortor malesuada sit amet. Aliquam vel vestibulum metus. Aenean ut mi aucto.