News from the Fantsuam Foundation
By Greg Jones (22) 66-68 and John Dada
The leadership of The Fantsuam Foundation has been busy with a social protection issue. “A young man in one of their host communities got stung to death by bees, and his uncle was accused of having sent the bees by witchcraft to sting the young man. The elderly and the young children are always at risk of accusation of witchcraft in some of our communities, and we tried to step into this case to affect a rescue and reconciliation. We have done this successfully in a few cases in the past, but in this case we were a day too late. The elderly man was mysteriously found dead in his room before we could relocate him.”
FON used to help to pay for bandwidth with Fantsuam’s US-based internet provider and was done so to avoid the expense of transferring money to Nigeria that would only have to be re-transferred back to the US to pay the internet bill. Since the escalation of satellite-based internet costs, Fantsuam has been exploring local alternatives, but their rural location continues to be a challenge due to their distance from the fiber optic cable that has been laid across state capitals in Nigeria. Most Nigerians live in rural locations, not in state capitals. Fantsuam is now leading a consortium of charitable institutions and faith-based organizations in the Kafanchan area to negotiate bulk bandwidth purchase so that internet access can become more affordable. Fantsuam is talking to two of the main bandwidth providers and arguing that they should make provision for rural communities and especially for educational institutions in these locations. This will be a major achievement if Fantsuam can pull it off this year.
As a result of FON’s holiday fund raising appeal, $2025 was collected for The Fantsuam Foundation. John Dada explains how they intend to use the FON money: “as I indicated in our last request, our grain silos are now empty after we have used it to support the children and adults on our books during the hunger months. If FON approves, we would like to use this new donation to restock the silos (these are the silos that were paid for by FON in 2012). January and February are the months of grains purchase, so the FON donation has come at the right time to make this possible.”