Friday, July 31, 2015

Ibiye




Here at Ripples Foundation, we pride ourselves on giving HAND UPS and not handouts. We are passionate about empowering women and alleviating extreme poverty in Africa, but unfortunately situations can arise where our work can become impossible.


In recent months we have had to stop our projects in Ibiye, Nigeria.


When we arrived in Ibiye, the women told us they needed help in procuring grinding machines for a milling enterprise, which they use to grind grains, peppers and roots.  Ripples Foundation approved their project, and secured funding from Small World, a local charity that funds local projects in Nigeria.


Ripples planned to purchase new machinery to help Ibiye women in the smooth running of their operations. The success of our women’s empowerment projects rely on the self-motivation levels of the African village women involved, and they have to possess a desire to improve their own lives and their family’s lives in order to be able to climb out of poverty. Ripples Foundation is there to lend a helping hand in a supportive role, giving them a kick-starter loan to establish the business, and providing professional training and business counselling to our women so their enterprises can grow and become self-sustainable.


When Ripples Foundation went to pay the suppliers for the milling machines the women of Ibiye requested, we found out that wanted the money to be paid directly to them so they could use it for a different project that had not been approved.. This is just not what we as a charity do - we need to know exactly where our money is going so we can assess the impact of each of our decisions on our projects. We expect the women we help to be honest and fully committed to the projects that we fund for them, and be willing to put in the hard work needed to improve their livelihoods. After talking through the situation we discovered that the women of Ibiye wanted to apply some of the funds to other businesses which we would be unable to monitor. This was dishonest and does not comply with Ripples Foundation’s values and, upon being told this, Ibiye opted out of the Women’s Enterprise Programme.


It is never a good feeling when we have to accept that we cannot make change happen in a village instantly, but we have to keep our integrity as a charity, remain true to our commitments to our donors and stick to our code of values that make us who we are.


But it’s not all doom and gloom!

But for every Ibiye there are many other villages hungry for help and desperate for support.
We continue to run projects in villages across Nigeria, Cameroon and Ghana which we are still seeing great results from. Work has started on the expansion of the fishery project and the starting of a new piggery project in Iworo village, and we have our brand new Ripples Box programme in development ready to bring Internet connectivity and education to rural villages!


Make sure to keep checking back here on the blog, and on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to keep up to date with all our latest announcements, photos and videos.

Thank you for continuing to support us so we can make change happen.
Alysha Bennett Web Developer

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