The organization has grown organically, building tailored programs to address areas of need in the community as they emerge, programs which support existing activities that together are more effective at driving economic development. Fantsuam’s programs are both grant funded and revenue generating with its three main social businesses providing 65% of income reducing the Foundation’s reliance on external funding sources to less than 35%
Fantsuam is now widely recognized by its national and international partners, as well as beneficiaries and other stakeholders, as one of Nigeria’s most effective NGOs in fighting poverty and disadvantage. Its three principal funding partners: ICAP, Partners for Development (PfD) and Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) all use Fantsuam as a reference site for their programs in Nigeria. Beneficiaries of all program areas that participated in an Organisational Development workshop during 2009 also applauded both the breadth and depth of Fantsuam’s service provision.
In the next five years Fantsuam aims to multiply the scope of its impact by both building its model locally and using its expertise to help other organizations become more effective by following a more sustainable approach to development based upon program integration and social business.
PRIORITY AREAS: Sustainable Livelihoods
Kafanchan’s economy has suffered a deepening depression since the once-thriving railway, the town’s primary industry, fell into disrepair and neglect. No replacement industry has taken its place, resulting in crumbling infrastructure, a high unemployment rate, and the major of economic activity being subsistence farming, with several redundant small and medium sized enterprises. This economic situation characterizes much of southern Kaduna, particularly the rural areas, as most government investments are directed toward the state capital, Kaduna, which lies at the centre of the state.
In concert with and because of the poverty facing Southern Kaduna, residents have little access to quality healthcare. The services that are available are mired by the inadequate number of qualified healthcare professionals, the lack of drugs and aged infrastructure. Costs of healthcare are much higher than what most residents can afford. Exacerbating the lack of access to services is a low of awareness about health, which results in many cases of preventable disease and death. Poor sanitation and hygiene are at the root of a number of fatal opportunistic infections. Southern Kaduna experiences a high rate of infant and maternal mortality. With respect to sexual and reproductive health, there is a high rate of teenage pregnancy and many estimated cases of unreported sexual exploitation and abuse.
Starting with a basic computer literacy course in 2002, Fantsuam now runs Nigeria’s first rural-based Cisco Academy. Fantsuam Academy has continued to grow its curriculum to meet identified needs of its host communities. For example, in response to the poor grid power, a course in basic solar installations has been started. In response to poor access to healthcare for children and adults who have Sickle Cell Disease, an awareness raising service is under way with emphasis on prevention.
In addition to the courses offered through the Fantsuam Academy, education is an integral part of all Fantsuam’s programmes including providing Business Development Services training alongside microfinance loan disbursements and continuous education and advocacy on issues of health, hygiene and sexual and reproductive health.