The year 2021 marks the beginning of a new phase necessitating the public Presentation of a new Tearfund country strategy covering the period 2021–2027 (with five thematic areas (Church and Community Transformation (CCT), Sexual and Gender Based–Violence (SGBV and Mental Health), Peace building, Disaster and Risk Reduction and Advocacy – ESS) to overcome poverty. The new strategy will guide the Tearfund Nigeria country office and its partners in project implementation, partner engagement, resource allocation, scope of work, coverage and impact assessment.
The Address of the Country Director, Mr. Paul Mershak.
“Greetings to you all and welcome to this historic event of the launch of Tearfund Nigeria Strategy 2021-2027. Tearfund is a Christian international relief and development agency working in more than fifty countries around the world to end poverty and injustice, and to restore dignity and hope in the world’s poorest communities. Our vision is to see people freed from poverty, living transformed lives, and reaching their God-given potential.
In Nigeria, over the past seven years (April 2014-March 2021) we engaged twelve Partners (CAACP, CCDP,CAPRO, CRCN,CRUDAN, EYN-ICBDP,FAF,FCS, POD of ECWA,RURCON,SUWA &TEAM) covering 15 States and the Federal Capital Territory to deliver lifesaving and development interventions through the implementation of Tearfund’s twenty nine Projects. In April 2014, Tearfund country office in Nigeria began the second phase of its country strategy implementation, which ended in March 2020. This was followed by an Interim strategy covering 2020-2021 intended to ensure that there are no gaps in programming and implementation before the start of the next phase.
The six year strategy (April 2014-March 2020) was developed after the first one ended which was developed to last for six years (April 2006-March 2012).Country strategy deliberately developed has served over the years to guide the Tearfund Nigeria country office and its partners in project implementation, partner engagement, resource allocation, scope of work, coverage, impact assessment and contribution to Tearfund global vision.Today’s event is historic for at least three key reasons; firstly, it marks the end of a phase of a six-year strategy (2014-2020) and the beginning of a new phase covering a period of six years (2021-2027).
Secondly, it points to a new phase, which has shown the potential of bringing along bigger opportunities, responsibilities and heightened expectations from beneficiaries, communities and our international partners. Thirdly, is the fact that this is the first Tearfund Nigeria Strategy launched during a once in lifetime experience given the current context of the pandemic (COVID 19).At the threshold of the launch of the last strategy in 2014 looking at the horizon 2014-2020, there were many uncertainties. Looking back at the period, we have come to agree with Nelson Mandela’s memorable words that ‘It always seems impossible until it’s done’. This is evident from the impressive outputs of the earlier mentioned Partners during the period which are reflected below as follows:6,665,254 People (1,773,060 and 4,892,194 indirect beneficiaries) (104%) reached. In 3020 worship centres (2,866 local churches & 154 mosques) 252 schools (65 primary, 107 secondary schools & 80 Tertiary Institutions)964 Self Help Groups-Village Savings and Loans Schemes, made up of 17,581 individuals (men and women).
Actively serving these beneficiaries in 10 states (namely Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, FCT, Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Kogi, Niger, Nasarawa, Plateau, Taraba, Yobe according to investment priority ) in 220 local government areas of Nigeria. Looking into the horizon (2021-2027) with a measure of uncertainty as to what lies ahead, It seems an uphill task to deliver the following results:17,217,540 People (direct 6,763,540 and indirect 10,454,000 beneficiaries) to be reached.
8,784 worship centres (8,674 local churches and 110 mosques) to be engaged so that they will in turn mobilize 2,501 communities actively addressing the causes of poverty facilitate the establishment of 2,562 SHGs (VSLAs) with a targeted 59,732 members.
3000 HouseHolds(18,000 individuals) earn income from waste recycling social enterprise run by 100 Eco-Champions whose capacities are built in waste recycling.
100,000 people reached in Yola Nigeria with behaviour change messages on the importance of Proper waste management.
60,000 reached in Yola through community outreach activities and ‘Zero Plastic waste campaign’Serving the people and communities through the following services: Water,Sanitation,& Hygiene (WASH), Livelihoods, Disaster riskreduction & resilience, food security, Environmental & Economic sustainability, tackling sexual & gender based violence, cash programming, protection, shelter and peace building. However, in spite of what looks and sounds like a daunting task, as people of faith we draw from Martin Luther King Jnr’s words- ‘Faith can give us courage to face the uncertainties of the future’.We are confident that in spite of the diversities of turbulence that could be experienced in the external environment going forward posing a challenge to implementation of the new strategy, we do know the one who holds the future and who has always guided us through ‘calm and rough waters and brought us to safe harbour’.
We move into the new phase confidently as we walk in trust to deliver lifesaving programs across the five thematic (Programme) areas for the country:Church & Community Transformation (CCT) Environmental and Economic Sustainability (EES)Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Emergency Response, Peace Building Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV)/Maternal & Child Protection Response , thus serving to contribute to global efforts at ending poverty and injustice, and restoring dignity and hope in North East, North Central and part of North West geopolitical zones of Nigeria.
Eight implementing partners (ACET, CRUDAN,FAF,RURCON, SUWA,TASTE, TEAM-CIHDA and YRF) have been engaged to deliver services in the communities at a time where the country office has been selected among other 10 countries globally (and the only one in West Africa Region) for Institutional funding. Once again thank you for coming to witness this event to both look back and forward with us as we celebrate the achievements of the last seven years (April 20214- March 2021) and look in anticipation to the next six years (April 2021-March 2027) of the Tearfund Nigeria strategy. I admonish you to relax and enjoy the day with us and also wish you all a safe journey back to your various destinations at the end of the event. God bless you all.”
Paul Mershak, Country Director, Tearfund Nigeria.