Tag Archives: nigeria

7th January 2016        Holiday Giving, Nonprofits     ,     No comments yet

The Conover + Gould team will be donating to ten causes in the spirit of giving back during the holiday season. During December and January, each team member will be blogging about their chosen nonprofit. For his gift, Doug chose the American University of Foundation's undergraduate scholarship program.

Although a client of ours, my choice is not connected with a desire for continued business. Rather, because they are a client, I’ve learned first hand what AUN does and the vital role the faculty, staff and students play introducing a modicum of hope and civility to a part of the country that has little of both.

All lives certainly matter, and there is no shortage these days of lives in peril. There is also no shortage of people willing to help, as we’ve seen most notably in Europe, where hundreds of thousands of Syrian and other refugees have been welcomed with mostly open arms. Many here in the U.S. would gladly welcome more refugees here. But many will not welcome them, and have turned their suspicions on the foreign born already living here.

Most people in the world aren’t looking to immigrate and, as a practical matter, can’t. That’s why it’s important to provide help where they live. I recall reading that the poorer northern part of Nigeria has been that way for many decades. It is largely Muslim, where the south is largely Christian. I hope this isn’t a permanent division of central government attention and resources. A new government has recently come to power, and the leadership would be wise to treat the north more fairly.

The terrorist group Boko Haram, which wages violence against western education and other values, has wreaked havoc on the people of the region, burning schools, churches and, counter intuitively, mosques, driving people from their homes and farms. It will take years to recover—longer in the absence of international assistance. And the bad guys will be ready to creep back. They thrive on ignorance and anger.

That’s why I’m helping, and hope others will too. AUN is a highly credible institution, which I’m confident will spend the money in a responsible way.

I wish I had resources like the American philanthropist who recently announced he’d provide scholarships for more than 20 young female students. The students somehow managed to escape from Boko Haram. I don’t have such resources, but what I can give will mingle with gifts from other people like me. Together, we can make a very positive difference, as AUN produces a new generation of leaders who represent the best chance yet of reversing decades of deprivation.

Yes, a Nigeria in chaos would be very bad for Africa and for the rest of the world. I worry about this but what I alone do will not affect what happens. What I can do is try and help equip maybe one person who will commit his or her life to making things better. Depending on the beneficiary, this could turn out to mean a great deal.


28th December 2015        Holiday Giving     , ,     No comments yet

The Conover + Gould team will be donating to ten causes in the spirit of giving back during the holiday season. During December and January, each team member will be blogging about their chosen nonprofit. For her gift, Carly chose the American University of Nigeria Foundation's Humanitarian Aid Campaign.

This year, I chose to highlight the American University of Nigeria Foundation (AUNF) and the work they do to provide humanitarian aid to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nigeria. AUNF, an U.S. based 501(c)3 nonprofit, raises funds for the American University of Nigeria (AUN) to provide an education for vulnerable Nigerian youth and humanitarian assistance to survivors of Boko Haram violence.

Nearly 2.4 million men, women, and children have been displaced by local extremist group, Boko Haram. Sixty percent, or 1.4 million, of these IDPs are children. What can be more staggering than to know that the average length of displacement is 17 years. Plus, the overall environment of Nigeria further exacerbates this situation through food insecurity across the region and limited access to education, child protection and health services. These children may grow up without ever having consistent or safe food and water, a stable place to live, health care, or education. Because of these conditions, they may be vulnerable to exploitation or recruitment by Boko Haram, and the circle of violence will continue.

AUN has continued to support IDPs in Yola, Nigeria – where the campus is located – by providing humanitarian assistance and implementing development programs for education, peacebuilding, women’s empowerment, and employment. Recently, AUN provided basic relief to 75,000 IDPs, but these supplies will only last for a few more months.

In working with AUNF (the American University of Nigeria is a C+G client), I have gained a deeper appreciation for what IDPs go through after such terrible events, as well as a greater understanding of the complexities that encompass Nigeria.

More is needed beyond humanitarian aid. IDPs need development programs that can provide access to education, a stable living environment, and much more. But they absolutely must have food, water, and other basic necessities in order to live.

To donate to this organization, click here.