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Collaboration, Education, Livelihoods and Development in a Changing World


A strategy for the largest elderly population in Africa

Filed under : Africa

Senior Citizens Commission for Nigeria

The Senior Citizens Care Foundation, SCCF, is one of the few organisations in Nigeria whose primary focus is the care of the elderly. SCCF hosted a national workshop in Abeokuta, on Wednesday 9th July 2014. In attendance were the State Governors of Osun, Ekiti and Edo, several senior citizens and also members of the Nigerian Society for Geriatrics and Gerontology. Alongside his Excellency Prince Bola Ajibola, Dr Fayemi of Ekiti State and Bishop Matthew Kukah of the Sokoto Catholic Diocese, John Dada from Fantsuam was on the panel of speakers. The workshop observed that for the past thirty-two years, Nigeria has been making efforts, locally and internationally to develop a comprehensive policy for the care of its senior citizens but there has not been much appreciable progress.

Open letter to Matthew Partovi #ResponsiveOrg

The Responsive Organization is a movement of people who want to help their organizations become more responsive to a world that is very different to that of the Industrial Age. Together, we can support and influence each other to make this change happen faster.

Hi Matthew

As you know I appreciated attending the #ResponsiveOrg - London unconference (and I appreciated your encouragement to attend in the first place because I don't belong in a 'normal organisation' so I wasn't confident that I should be there).

This post is rather long for an email (or even for a blog) so I've inserted numbered headings:

After AD3 with AFFORD

I was at AFFORD's Annual event AD3 (Africa Diaspora and Development Day) which took the theme "Africa's Population Growth and Youth Unemployment" (AFFORD is the African Foundation for Development). During a conversation afterwards I was asked for more information about Dadamac and our related interests, which I share below:

Dadamac connects people to each other and helps them to communicate and collaborate. It started with some friendships. Thanks to the Internet it's possible for friendships, and practical collaborations, to be sustained at a distance. Dadamac emerged through a combination of UK-Africa connections - personal connections and Internet-enabled ones.

My personal involvement with Nigeria came about through the late Peter Adetunji Oyawale. Then I met John Dada (a Nigerian who, like Peter, lived in the UK for several years, but John moved back to Nigeria.) John Dada is director of Fantsuam Foundation and he helped David Mutua and me as we tried to continue aspects of Peter's work. In 2004 I was able to help John (by doing Teachers Talking for him) and Dadamac began to emerge. It continues to develop, grow and change shape.

Examples of online collaboration for Dave Pollard

On the Deep Time Walk we learned some impressive lessons about fungi and co-operative relationships going on under the ground. Fellow "Deep Time Walker" Dave Pollard tells me we were learning about mycorrhizae and mycelia. (More about the Deep Time Walk in Returning from Schumacher College and Dark Mountain)

Online collaborative experiences

As part of our ongoing email conversation Dave has asked me to write up one or two of my best online collaborative experiences. It's hard to choose because all of my involvement with people and projects in Africa has had a strong online element. How else could I have stayed in touch with my contacts over the years in between my working holidays?

To begin at the beginning

It may help to give a little history. Back in the early days of helping Peter Oyawale there was only one person in Peter's entire network in Nigeria who had a phone, and that was Mr (now Chief) Adetola who lived in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State. Peter's networking from London to "back home" in Oke-Ogun, a large rural area of Oyo State, was done largely by phone, through Chief Adetola's amazingly effective, on-the-ground, person-to-person networks, which stretched right out into the rural areas where Peter had spent his childhood.

Dave Pollard - Through the Dark Mountain: A Harvest of Myths

Dave Pollard, like me, was at Dark Mountain last week. He's written about it - Through the Dark Mountain: A Harvest of Myths":

I spent last week at a Dark Mountain retreat at Schumacher College in Dartington just outside Totnes, UK..... (we) explored our shared worldview of the coming collapse of civilization, the myths of our culture and the possibility of creating new stories that might be of better service to us in the challenging decades ahead.....

A myth is a story that many people believe to be true. It may or may not be true.

The danger with myths is that if people live their lives as if a myth is true, when it is not, they can destroy their lives, the happiness of everyone they know and care about, the world, everything. For a photo and the full text see Through the Dark Mountain: A Harvest of Myths" 

Before First Thursday July 2014

The First Thursday Group has been meeting online on the First Thursday of the month for years (too long to remember when it started).

It's very simple. I go online at the same time each month. If any of my friends or contacts want to join me they can. I know a rich variety of people with a wide range of overlapping interests. Usually the common thread is the fact that I know everyone - although sometimes a friend will invite others, and they are equally welcome.

Sometimes only one or two people will join me, sometimes almost too many to handle. What happens depends on who turns up - and how well people know each other.  

We don't have an agenda because it's just a conversation, but sometimes I think ahead to what we might be talking about, depending on what I know we are currently concerned about.

Possible topics for today

If Chief Gbade Adejumo and John Dada are able to join us then I know conflict resolution would be a pressing issue. John is doing some practical work about that locally, regarding conflict over grazing rights (for more details see Grazing rights) and Gbade has just finished his research on the same issue, with a focus on the situation in Ago-Are.

Returning from Schumacher Collage and Dark Mountain

Last week I was at Schumacher Collage for a short course led by Dougald Hine and Paul Kingsnorth of Dark Mountain. This quick blog is simply to pull some links together for ease of reference later.

Deep Time Walk

I joined others on a Deep Time walk, as described below:

In this time of ecological crisis, we need practical, experiential ways of reconnecting with our Earth as a great living being so that we can begin to treat our planet with the deep respect she deserves. At Schumacher College, Stephan Harding has shared his Deep Time Walk with hundreds of people from all over the world. It never fails to propel people into a deeply felt, bodily experience of the immense age of our Earth and of the severity and recentness of our impact.

The Walk takes place over 4.6 kilometres, representing 4,600 million years: the age of the Earth. On this scale, each meter represents a million years, and each millimetre one thousand years. Each footstep is about half a million years.

Care of the Elderly in Rural Nigeria

Filed under : Africa

Tagged with : Johndada

During this week's UK-Nigeria meeting John Dada forwarded his and Teresa Tafida's June 2014 report about Care of the Elderly in rural Nigeria.

As a health care professional working in the elderly in the UK with it's own challenges, I feel that never before has it been so important to link the local and the global expertise, knowlege and resources for the benefit of the elderly - no matter where in the world they reside. The existence of the internet has provided us all with a real opportunity to help enable us to achieve this.

Care of the Elderly: Experience from Fantsuam Foundation, Kafanchan, Nigeria.

The Kakas Senior Citizens Service at Fantsuam Foundation started small, in the typical Fantsuam style. The program was a response of a need in our host communities that were faced with a situation in which grandparents had to look after increasing numbers of grandchildren who had been orphaned by the HIV/AIDS scourge.

First Thursday Meeting Updates

Updated monthly

First Thursday meetings

On the First Thursday of each month I try to be online for an hour. It's a chance for friends and contacts, old and new, to drop in for a chat (a typed chat). It's very informal. People drop in as it suits them, so we don't have a set agenda. It's usually a small gathering. Usually it's people I know well, who are from varied place and backgrounds, and might not have any other opportunity to meet each other,  We share what we've been doing, introduce people to each other, explore areas of overlapping interest and so on. Sometimes we settle on a specific topic to explore in detail - it all depends on who turns up. (More about First Thursdays, which have been running each month since 2007.)

How it usually works

There is no pre-registration, but the software does limit how many people can attend. So far there has always been room for everyone. If you have any problems accessing First Thursday please let me know

Grazing rights

Filed under : Africa

The breakdown of mutual dependance

The recent violence in Manchok, when a village was attacked, was partly the result of a dispute between settled farmers and nomadic herders or pastoralists. During more peaceful times the two groups can live and work together, both groups benefiting from each other. The herders can leave their cattle to graze on a local farmer’s fields while the farmer benefits from the manure. But when there is a context of violence in the country these trusting relationships break down. In addition over the years there has been a lot of pressure on grazing land due to population growth and water sources for animals have been depleted. There is a need to explore a WIN-WIN strategy to maintain the vital mutual dependent relationship of settled farmers and herders.  

Assistance from the British Council

Fantsuam has been given a grant from the British Council in Nigeria to implement a pilot grazing reserve. It has identified some farmland of its own that can be used for grazing and it plans to dig a water hole to feed into animal water troughs. The famers will also be provided with improved grass seed to be used on the grazing land. The grass seed can also be sown on other farmland as a cash crop and the herders will be able to buy it, once it has been harvested, as food for their animals in the dry season. The money from the British Council will be used to buy the grass seed, to fund the digging of the well and to meet the necessary costs of holding meetings with all the stakeholders.