Poverty Stops Here currently has operations in the central and southwestern parts of Nigeria. Nigeria is located in the western coast of Africa, bordered by Cameroon to the east, Niger to the north, Chad to the north east, and Benin Republic to the west. It is the most populous country in Africa and the seventh most populous in the world with over 150 million people. At the current growth rates, the United Nations estimates that Nigeria's population will increase by 100 million people by 2050 and will double by 2100. In this very populous country, there are over 200 ethnic groups and 500 indigenous languages. The major ethnic groups in Nigeria are Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba with Christianity (40%) and Islam (50%) as the major religions.
According the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), over 60% of Nigeria's population lives under the international poverty line of $1.25 a day. This means that over 90 million people wake up every morning without access to the most basic necessities for survival like safe drinking water, decent sanitation, and the ability to earn an honest wage. Working with communities in Nigeria to implement programs that will enhance accessibility to these basic necessities is what PSH is about. Our desire is that everyone in each community we work with will have access to safe water, sanitation, and loans to start or expand a business. The provision of these basic resources will help exponentially improve the standard of living in these communities. With the fast growing population of Nigeria, access to these basic necessities is paramount for countrywide development to occur.
The development statistics in Nigeria are staggering and they will only worsen if prompt action is not taken. According to UNICEF,
- Life expectancy in Nigeria is 48 years
- 1% of central government expenditure is allocated to health initiatives
- About 30% of the country uses improved sanitation facilities
- About 58% of the country uses improved drinking water sources
- There are about twelve million orphans due to effects of HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty
Quite frankly, the questions we are trying to answer at Poverty Stops Here are not centered on why we should or should not work in Nigeria because the statistics speak for themselves. The questions we are trying to answer are much more complicated than that. Questions like:
- How can we implement lasting development initiatives that will positively impact the lives of people in PSH communities?
- How can we motivate people like you to partner with us to achieve these development initiatives?
- How can we gain the trust of people in the PSH communities so they understand that our purpose is free of hidden agendas and simply true to our mission?
- How can we spend our resources (money, time, technical skills) so that we have the most effective impact in our communities?
If we will find suitable answers to these questions, we are going to need your help. Please walk alongside PSH and help us find answers to these questions so that we can implement some much needed change in Nigeria.