Ejigbo, Lagos, 18 May 2017 – Two Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Grooming People for Better Livelihoods Centre also known as Grooming Centre and Sesor Empowerment Foundation (Sesor) have signed a N6, 675,000 MoU to support Sesor’s work with Internally Displaced Persons in Lagos and Benue States. This agreement, therefore, builds on a successful long-standing partnership between the two organisations through various stages of its relief and rehabilitative work for IDPs in 8 states since 2014,
Speaking at the cheque presentation ceremony in Lagos, the CEO of Grooming Centre, Dr Godwin Nwabunka said; “We recognize the need to support our brothers and sisters displaced all over Nigeria. They need sustainable livelihoods and all kinds of support and that is why we appreciate the multi-faceted approach Sesor has adopted to help the displaced rebuild their lives and have a strategic partnership with Sesor. Grooming Centre believes in supporting the economically poor continuously until they get out of poverty and thus, are providing, even more, finance for the 16 women who were part of the pilot so they can make even more progress on their journey out of poverty while helping 25 more displaced women start their own journey out of poverty. We are also committed to supporting Sesor’s relief and advocacy work across Nigeria.”
Responding, Sesor’s Executive Director, Ier Jonathan-Ichaver said; “We appreciate Grooming Centre for their long-standing support since 2014. Grooming Centre has been pivotal in supporting the work and raising awareness about displacement issues – funding work on issues that many have refused to acknowledge. This MOU is currently our highest-value MOU and signifies Grooming Centre’s belief in our work and in Nigeria. We look forward to doing even more to help the displaced persons we serve survive and build their lives back even better than before.”
Grooming Centre is an NGO and microfinance institution that supports the economically active population engaged in petty trading all over Nigeria. Sesor Empowerment Foundation is an NGO working to support survivors of emergencies, especially internally displaced persons through programmes in emergency relief, rehabilitation and preparedness.
The partnership kicked off with Grooming Centre funding Sesor’s relief missions for displaced persons first to Benue State (caused by herdsmen attacks) and later in 2014, to Plateau, Gombe and Adamawa States. This sustained support resulted in Sesor’s ground-breaking collaborative publication (‘Do they know it is Christmas?’) which told the stories of some displaced persons in certain camps in the 3 states.
In 2015, Sesor learnt that there were displaced persons who had fled from the North East to Lagos and partnered with Grooming Centre to bring relief to them. A year later, both NGOs partnered to provide micro-loans of N20,000 each to them in a 6-month pilot economic empowerment project supporting displaced women to start up micro-businesses in Lagos. The pilot proved a success with 76% of the women paying the micro-loans fully by the due date.
The new MOU doubles the loan amounts for the women who completed the first pilot; provides new loans of N30,000 each for 25 new participants in the Lagos project; funds a relief mission to Benue to support persons displaced by herdsmen attacks and; provides a grant to cover 10% of Sesor’s core operational budget for advocacy and other programme-related work.