BREAKDOWN OF FUNDED PROJECTS
The original strategic approach of the Trust in 2017 was a focus on supporting local community-based organizations to implement projects in any of the seven thematic funding areas of the Trust. It was understood and appreciated that funding projects in a conflict-prone area to promote community development and other activities that support sustained economic development is a complex exercise with high risks, and hence, the need to work with local community-based organizations with the support of small grants to increase capacity and minimize risks. In conceptualizing the Trust’s work with local community-based organizations, the Trust worked with a local Advisory Council made up of predominately Ogoni representatives and seasoned development practitioners to identify organizations and make funding recommendations to the Trustees of the Kiisi Trust. The Council met quarterly to review funding dockets, and as part of their work in discharging their responsibilities, met with Ogoni community representatives and stakeholders to discuss the work of the Trust. Between 2017 and 2020, the Advisory Council reviewed and debated over 64 grant applications and ultimately recommended 35 of those funding applications. Those funded projects resulted in impacting 30,861 beneficiaries in 68 communities across the 4 local government areas of Ogoniland. The Trust supports projects in seven thematic areas: agriculture, women’s programs, peacebuilding, education, governance, health, youth skills development/SME.
GreenPad Concepts partnered with the Kiisi Trust in 2018 for their funded project “Enabling Menstrual Hygiene in Ogoni Communities.” The project promoted women’s feminine hygiene and reproductive health in the four Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Ogoniland. GreenPad Concepts partnered with the Ministry of Education, School Authorities, and Maternity Health Centers to reach out to 8,000 women in 10 communities (Alesa, Alode, B-Dere, Bodo, Bera, Kpor, Kpite, Nonwa, Kabangha, Gwara) through sensitization on menstruation, proper feminine hygiene, and reproductive health. Additionally, in a bid to salvage the cultural taboo surrounding the female menstrual cycle, GreenPad Concepts used discarded banana and plantain fibers to produce an affordable, highly absorbent, six-months biodegradable sanitary pads. They distributed these free sanitary pads to 3,000 Ogoni women and 1,000 free packets of sanitary pads to 1,400 schoolgirls in community secondary
A study conducted by Joint Medical Life Savers (JMLS) showed that 4 out of every 10 Ogoni children die within their first three months of life. In 2018, Joint Medical Life Savers partnered with the Kiisi Trust with their funded project “Saving Lives at Birth.” The project aimed to reduce maternal and newborn mortality in Ogoniland by training, certifying, and equipping 200 Midwives and Nurses with skills and resources to provide emergency obstetric care and newborn resuscitation. The organization created and published a training curriculum and manual used to train 20 Senior Midwives (5 from each of the LGAs of Ogoniland) as peer educator trainers. The peer educator trainers were recruited to the JMLF team to help train an additional 200 trainees (Midwives, Nurses, Community Health Extension Workers, and Traditional Birth Attendants) across over 42 communities. JMLS also produced 280 Lifesaver birth kits; each delivery kit contained a delivery mat that had the pictorial algorithms for diagnosing and treating postpartum bleeding and birth asphyxia.
Luther Welfare for Children at Risk Development Centre (Luther Welfare) implemented a project in 2018 titled “Promoting Alternative Livelihoods for Sustainable Agriculture.” This project aimed to improve community members’ socio-economic
standards through alternative livelihoods activities such as sustainable farming, economic empowerment, and social stability. The project had beneficiaries mentoring groups to ensure that community women and men become gainfully self-employed. Luther Welfare equipped over 500 beneficiaries from the Eteo community in Eleme Local Government Area with knowledge/skills in the agro-based fields of poultry, piggery, snail farming, fish farming, and mushroom growing. Furthermore, beneficiaries were grouped into twenty (20) groups made up of twenty-five (25) members to promote sustainable investment through cooperative farming and peer mentorship. The cooperative groups improved networking among beneficiaries in maximizing opportunities to produce markets which in turn increased their earning power.
Divine Benevolent Care Organization (DBCO) implemented their funded project “Re-igniting Hope: Enhancing the Reading Culture in Ogoni.” in 2019. The project targeted students in SS3 from widowed households who were preparing for their
final examination and needed alternative source of light to study (solar lamps). The project provided solar lamps to 100 students from 5 communities (Kaa, Gwara, Luawii, and Kono-Boue) in Khana LGA of Rivers State to aid with studying for their West African Examination Council exams. The project aimed to imbibe a reading culture and increase the exam pass rate among the target project beneficiaries. During the lockdown and movement restrictions caused by Covid19, DBCO distributed 200 pieces of facemasks and writing materials to the 100 students writing the 2020 West African Examination Council.