What Made Me Passionate for the Poor in Nigeria?
For a long time, I had my personal vision to serve the vulnerable and poor in the world, particularly women and children. I chose to serve women and children in Nigeria, instead of those in Japan, my country, or any other people in the world, it is because I have seen that the poor in Nigeria are trapped by all sorts of difficulties, which are not intimately understood or supported by the international community. To be more specific, Nigerian society can be identified as huge quick sand where once individuals fall into the categories of the poor, they keep their foot drugged without hope of ever getting out of it for a life time. Only those who are lucky enough to attain positions in government have chance to enjoy economic stability, but they may impair visions for justice by putting their hands on corruption.
It is sad fact that government’s funds have not lifted up burdens from the poor in Nigeria. In pursuit of Millennium Development Goal, U.S., England, and Japan provided fund to support Nigeria through the government but hardly had it reached to the very people who needed it. The government of Nigeria received approx. 15 billion dollars from its own oil revenue resource. Additional assistance generated $732 million from overseas aid, such as ODA, U.S.AID, and UK AID in 2011 alone. Then the funds did very little to help the poor and needy in Nigeria. As I write this article, there still are no lights, and no welfare scheme to help the poor in Nigeria. Police do not come rescue the victims even if someone regularly suffers from violence, but instead, they’d ask for bribes.
Adding to its lack of interest to help the poor, Nigeria has built up its bad names for itself. The youth in Nigeria who are gone overseas frequently are brought to the media attentions around the world for committing fraud, embezzlements, and infamous Nigerian letters. These Nigerians are portrayed, not as victims of unsteady and uncaring Nigerian political systems, but as well-to-do trouble makers. Obviously they do not earn much compassion. Therefore, those who do not understand the internal cavities of the country, can easily frame Nigerian youths as criminally motivated and spoiled by oil rich disposable income. On the contrary, the poorest among the poor in Nigeria, are the sufferers among the worst suffers in the world. Not only do they suffer from the poverty, but also earn minimal compassions and attentions, while the system habitually outwit the international community and get away with its loot supposedly reserved for the poor.
Thus I have such passion in helping the poor in Nigeria but not so much with the people in Japan. In recent decades, Japan is fully established, economically, socially, politically and culturally. Although recent years Japan suffered from earthquakes and tsunami, the poor in Japan get help without having to roam on the street. Even foreigners who live in Japan do not lack accommodations, jobs and securities. Furthermore, Japanese government’s intention to fill the gaps between the “haves” and “have not’s”, produced many funding programs to help the needy in the world. Helping the poor in the world, Japan benefits itself. For example, Japan cannot solve nagging environmental problems caused by the depletion of ozone layers and increasing green-house effects. Providing the underdeveloped nations with proper education and employment would bring the awareness among the people about the climate change, which leads to international cooperation. This is how NGO plays very important role in bringing balance to the world around us. Our NGO, Support Women and Children in Nigeria (SWACIN), located in Tokushima, Japan proposes project fund to the Japanese government in order to create education and skill acquisition training for the poor in Nigeria.
Why do I want to be a Voices of Our Correspondent? Our world today is inter-dependent: what one country does affect the conditions of other countries. Therefore, representing the voice of voiceless is critical in today’s world. As a Voices of Our Correspondent, I am hoping to bring out voices of voiceless, and offer solutions to the problems of the world around us.