Friday, July 3, 2015

Joana’s First Trip To Africa



This week has been full of changes here at Ripples! 

As you may have heard, we have undergone a transformation and changed our name to Ripples Foundation. Along with our name change we have launched a brand new website www.ripplesfoundation.ngo, where we have plenty more information, photos and videos about our projects - check it out!

But back to our projects in Africa.

Joana, our Business Development Manager, has just returned from a 2 week trip to Nigeria with Ripples Foundation’s CEO Anne Phillips. During her trip, she visited a number of villages to take a look at the projects we have running there.


The main event of the trip was in Ogidi, Kogi State, where the Ripples team visited the annual Ogidi Day New Yam Festival. The festival was full of music, culture and dance, and the team were able to see different groups performing a homage to the Ologidi, from singers and dancers, to hunters and farmers.This was Joana’s first visit to Africa, so it was great to hear and see her reactions to seeing the work first-hand.


“Despite all the poverty and difficulties, Nigerians are very proud of themselves and their culture. It's impossible to compare Nigeria to any country in Europe. I can say that in Europe we are very lucky but very spoiled, as our problems cannot be compared to the problems that Nigerians face every day. Nigerians wake up at 4 am every morning and they get home at 8 pm - most of the time with nothing to eat, or no money to buy food. You won't find a proper grocery shop, they sell everything in the streets and in the middle of the traffic. You would see children around 5 to 13 years old running after your car trying to sell everything they have to sell.”



Whilst in Ogidi, the Ripples team held a Medical MOT, which was a great success, with 450 people able to receive free medical consultations and medicines from our team of volunteer doctors and nurses.


“The Medical MOT is very important as most of the patients don't have access to medical care for a year. Some of the patients are counting the days until we come back and they ask us to do it more often. I could see the appreciation in their eyes. They are very grateful that we are doing these projects for them.”

It only costs £2 for us to ensure that 1 person can gain access to these free consultations and medicines, meaning just a small donation of £10 can give vital healthcare to 5 people!
If you would like to contribute to a healthier future for Africa, please donate at https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/donate/bme-concern and give what you can - your donation could make a huge difference to an African villager's life.


“I will never forget my trip to Nigeria, and I have a lot of moments that I will never forget. My short stay in Ogidi was very intense in so many ways as it is not everyday that you see children having fun with "nothing" where the "nothing" for me is everything for them. I will never forget their values and how they respect their elders. I will never forget the traffic and how chaotic it is. I will never forget the moment where children were crying just because they saw a teddy bear. My happiest memories of the trip will be of the children laughing around me, touching my nose, singing for me and asking if my hair was real. The best part of the trip is to come back knowing that there is a lot more we can do to help and I will do everything in my power to help them.”
To see more of the events in Ogidi, please take a look at the short video we have compiled of the Medical MOT https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2nJSbkMuV4 and keep an eye out on our Facebook www.facebook.com/ripples.foundation and Twitter www.twitter.com/ripplesngo pages for photos of the day. Support us and help make change happen!
Alysha Bennett Web Developer

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