By; ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kaduna
It was a hope rekindled for many residents of Rimau community in Kaduna State, because to them the community had been forgotten and the people abandoned, yet the number of residents in the area continued to soar as a result of the insecurity that has bedeviled the neighbouring communities.
Rimau, is community in Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State, located few kilometres from Kasuwan Magani, a community which has become a safe haven for many of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), affected by various disasters that have happened in Southern part of Kaduna, in the last two years.
On Saturday, April 10, 2021, an NGO, Bridge that Gap Initiative, commissioned a Skills Acquisition Hub, in memory of the late Agom Adara, His Royal Highness, Mr. Raphael Maiwada Galadıma, which his residence in Rimau is hosting to support the community in ensuring that IDPs do not fall into long-term dependence on outside aid during displacement.
The gesture by the NGO, in the Long run is targeted at mitigating hunger and extreme poverty among the IDPs, especially women who are now being faced with difficulties as a result of not being able to access their farm lands and other sources of livelihoods which was occasioned by their change of location.
Residents of Rimau community saw the gesture by the NGO, as a hope renewed because according to them hope was already fading as nothing was coming their way and fears of the unknown is scaring people from going to farm.
They said government has abandoned the people despite being very peaceful and accommodating and that only NGOs are the ones looking their way.
With Joy all over them, they thank Bridge That Gap Initiative, for choosing their community for the laudable project and pledged to maintain the skills centre and ensure the project is sustained.
The Hub is expected to provide women in the community with various skills such as; Sewing, Climate smart Agriculture Techniques (vertical suck farming), soap and Vaseline making among others.
200 households are expected to benefit indirectly from the first year which commenced immediately after the unveiling of the project with the training of thirty (30) women.
For Founder of the NGO, Gloria Kasang Bulus, the decision to set up the Skill Acquisition Hub in Rimau was because conflict in Kajuru Local Goverment Area of Kaduna State, where Rimau is one of the village that now houses the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) who are now integrated into the community (a Safe Haven).
“These IDPs have lost their sources of livelihood as a result he conflicts which have adversely affected their daily economic activities, so a large percentage the women are idle, losing valuable and productive time. These events have also made the women over-dependent on the male head of the family, while households headed by widowed women still due to the unrest become over-burdened.
“The project will create a Skills Workspace for women in Rimau Community considering the of economic vulnerability which has increased as a result of Covid-19 pandemic breaking the economic chain of most women in the informal sector.
“The hub wall provide an alternative source of livelihood since the primary source has been altered due to the conflict, and the Covid-19 pandemic.” She said.
Gloria, believed that handing over the project to the community to own it would help sustain it, this according to her, would give the women the opportunity to transfer the knowledge to their children and relatives as a way of giving back to the community.
“Our aim is that the first 30 women kick-starting the project become professionals and train others while Bridge That Gap Initiative just provides technical support. With this project, we aim to boost livelihoods and cushion the impacts that have heavily dealt with not just the IDPs who have found Rimau as a safe haven, but the entire Rimau community as well.
“This project is supported by World Connect based in the United States of America which s an organisation that supports innovative ideas and local solutions for the challenges facing the communities especially women in under-resourced areas worldwide.
“In Bridge That Gap Initiative, we accelerate the fight against poverty through integrated interventions that ensure equitable access to opportunities, and minimizing losses of livelihoods to the most vulnerable in the society.
“On behalf of our donors, partners, and the entire Bridge That Gap Hope for Africa Initiative team I wish to express my sincere appreciation to the family of the Late Agwom Adara for proving this space for the hub, and the good people of Rimau community for embracing this project.” She added.
In her remarks, Wife of late Agwom Adara, Victoria Galadima, said no one expected that something of that nature could come to Rimau community at such a time, adding “I never believed that anything good like this could come to Rimau.
“Thank you so much for opening the way for our people. Am happy to see this skills acquisition Hub in Rimau and we pray that God bless this organization. We expect our people to work towards achieving the goals of this project.”
Earlier in his remarks, Districts Head of Kufana, Chief Titus Dauda, commended the NGO for coming at a time the people are losing hope and feeling neglected by the government.
“Your NGO have raised the hope of the people, we will forever be grateful and ever ready to support you and ensure this project is well secured and achieved all it’s goals.” He pledged.