Blog

15 Oct
0

DONATE NOW TO SAVE FLOOD VICTIMS IN EGBEMA IN IMO STATE, NIGERIA

The devastating effects of the flood in Opuoma, Obiakpu, Mmahu and Abacheke communities in Egbema in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State have become unbearable with over 25,000 inhabitants displaced from their homes.

Now, there is sudden hunger in these communities that were originally the food basket of Imo State. As oil producing communities already suffering the devastating effects of the oil exploration activities on their land, environment and water resources, the effects of the flood have added more salt to injury.

The situation is pitiable as people of these communities have become more impoverished with the loss of their houses, farmlands, properties, etc. to the flood. Worse still is their deteriorating health conditions following the lack of good drinking water and shelter as well as the famine that suddenly broke up in the area.

The negative impacts of the flood have also hit the entire Imo Community and its environs with the sharp rise in cost of food items, such as rice, beans, garri, etc. Today, in Owerri, a cup of garri now sells for fifty naira (N50) while twenty cups were sold for only two hundred naira (N200) last two weeks. In Egbema, a cup of garri now sells for one hundred naira (N100).

In order to assist the government in alleviating the sufferings of these victims in Egbema, Imo State, we in African Youth Development Foundation through our “Put a Smile on Someone’s Face Project” are mobilizing both financial and non-financial resources from the general public.

The immediate needs of these victims include: food items, water, clothing, temporary housing and healthcare services.

We are therefore asking you to send us food items, clothing, medical supplies, etc or make a donation NOW! No amount is too small, over 75 currencies are acceptable on our highly secured online donation portal at ammado.com.

To make a donation NOW, please, click here!

Remember, he that gives to the poor and those in need is lending to the Lord and the Lord will pay him back, even more than he has given…

Click here NOW

God bless you and thanks in advance for your kind donations!

Sincerely yours,

Put a Smile on Someone’s Face Project Team,

African Youth Development Foundation (AFRYDEF),

9 Mbari Street (2nd Floor, Flat 1), Ikenegbu Lay Out, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.

Tel: +234 (0) 803 870 2075, +234 (0) 818 102 2662,

E-mail: afrydef@yahoo.com, website: www.inspireyouths.org

 

Read More
30 Sep
0

Happy 52nd Independence Anniversary, Nigerians!

Happy birthday, Nigerians!

As we celebrate our 52nd Independence Anniversary tomorrow, October 01, 2012…..we all need to check ourselves, are we on the right track?

Are we fulfilling the purpose for which God Almighty brought us together as a nation? This is a question we all should answer tomorrow as Nigerians…..

These killings and kidnappings should stop, how about the activities of the Boko Haran in the north? What about the looting spree embarked upon by our leaders?

Nigeria is our country, a nation blessed by the Almighty God with abundant natural and human resources….where did things go wrong?

The question that deserves an urgent answer is…. What do we do to save this country from total collapse?

God bless Nigeria! From AFRYDEF Team, www.inspireyouths.org

Read More
21 Sep
0

Okambenz Relief Foundation interviews Remy Chukwunyere, AFRYDEF CEO

Ques: May we meet you, Sir?

Ans: My name is Remy Chidi Chukwunyere. I am from Umuokanne in Ohaji/Egbema LGA of Imo State.

Ques: You are the founder of AFRYDEF, what is it all about? What motivated you to start the foundation? How were you able to source for fund at the initial stage? What has been the wisest decision taken by you since you started CHARITY WORK? What are the principles guiding the foundation?

Ans:  First of all, AFRYDEF is the acronym for African Youth Development Foundation. Yes, I founded AFRYDEF in 1999 in far away Kaduna, when I was just a Youth Corper serving my fatherland, Nigeria. I started the organization as an avenue to contribute to the urgent need to improve the lives of young people, children and women of Africa who are living in abject poverty as a result of the system they found themselves here in third world countries of Africa. A system whose polity is unstable, a system where good education is now reserved for the rich, a system where people are daily living in fear of the unknown, not sure of going out and coming back alive. These were some of the motivating factors that led me into founding an organization like AFRYDEF, which has today made name for itself across the world.

My brother, funding is always a major challenge for non-for-profit organizations like AFRYDEF and for almost all ventures of life. Permit me to use this opportunity to inform that no big organization or venture that is succeeding today was started with funds already available, waiting to be used for start up. To succeed in any venture, first, you must be convinced about what you want to achieve, that will be the driving force and because I was determined to make a change in the lives of the people that come across me, especially the less privileged among us, I committed my little resources as a youth corper in a foreign land to establish AFRYDEF in 1999.

The wisest decision I have ever taken in the course of this journey is “don’t ever lose hope or interest in what you’re doing….whether, there is funding from the government, individuals, donor agencies or not!”

You know, down here, the government cares less about what we do in the development or civil society sector. They assume we get so much money from international donor agencies and so do not support our work, no matter how laudable they may be. Again, the government or politicians who occupy government positions think development actors like us are always against their policies because there have been several times when civil society organizations had cause to oppose their unfriendly and unpopular policies.

Talking about principles, we have a passion in “putting smiles on someone’s face every day!” and we have in AFRYDEF have always tried to abide by this principle we set for ourselves and the organization.

Ques: Between 2000 and 2003, after your NYSC, you became a stakeholder of the National Congress of Ohaji Youths (NACOY) and was elected the National President of Umuokanne Progressive Youth Movement (UPYM) in 2003. You also served as a Member of the Local Government Monitoring Committee of the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State. In 2004, you were also appointed the Secretary to the Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Council of Imo State under the able Chairmanship of Chief Luke Chukwu. How did you achieve all these within this short period?

Ans: Yeah, the zeal I have to change the system from within which led to the founding of AFRYDEF in 1999 was what pushed me into youth politics after my NYSC in 2000. Meanwhile, by December 2000, my organization partnered with the United States Agency for International Development and equipped youths of oil producing communities of Imo State, which included youths from Ohaji with special skills in peace building and conflict resolution as well as in group processes and collaborative problem-solving.

By this time, I was already a model for the youths, having established such an organization and having attracted funding from such an international agency, therefore, electing me as the President of UPYM was like a beckoning to contribute my expertise in building the association. Interestingly, I was still the President of the group when I was again appointed into the Local Government Council as the Executive Secretary in 2004. My appointment into NAPEP Local Government Monitoring Committee in 2002 was as a result of my contributions in setting up the office at the LGA level. In fact, I was like a Consultant to most of the LGA Coordinators then because of my expertise in community development and information technology, which was almost strange to them, by then.

In summary, I can say that I was able to achieve all these then because of my selfless services and contributions to humanity. You know, the NGO sector is all about humanitarian services and most of the achievements in this sector do not go unnoticed and unrewarded. In the Bible, it is clearly written that “He that gives to the poor, lends unto the Lord and He would pay him back”. There is another very popular one “give and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down and shaken together shall men give unto you….”

There are in fact several other verses in the Bible that recommend giving to the poor and doing good to others with their attendant rewards from God. I strongly believe that those attributes of mine at the early stage of my life after school were what shot me into limelight and have continued to sustain me till date.

Ques: How do you cope with politics and at the same time running the affairs of AFRYDEF and your private Information Technology company, Zenith Computer Technologies?

Ans: This is very interesting. May I use this opportunity to inform that for our polity to change, we, who call ourselves change agents must go into politics in order to change the system from within. We cannot achieve so much when we in the civil society continue to fight from outside. We cannot continue to oppose unfriendly policies of the government from the outside. I strongly believe that it would be a lot easier if we win elections as State Governors and as Law Makers and begin to apply our zero-corruption, human rights and democratic principles in the discharge of our duties as government officials. That explains why I chose to play active politics as a card-carrying member of my party. When I was the Secretary of my Local Government Council, I know how much I used my development expertise and democratic principles in influencing our policies then. My boss, Hon. Luke Chukwu, the then Executive Chairman of Ohaji/Egbema LGA and now, the Hon. Member representing Ohaji/Egbema State Constituency at the Imo State House of Assembly, Owerri once confessed in a meeting I had with the Civil Society Coalition for Rochas (CISCOR) that it was me, when I was the Council Secretary that persuaded him to build thirty-three (33) homes for indigent families across the LGA during our tenure in the Council. That is exactly what I mean. That feat may not have been achieved if I was not appointed the Secretary of the Council then.

As far as I am concerned, AFRYDEF is my contribution to the society and will never interfere with my participation in active politics and in my businesses. I have a number of other businesses that I do, not only information technology and computer services which are being provided by Zenith Computer Technologies. I also have companies that provide services in development consulting, management consulting, audio and video studios, online publishing, real estate management and development, modeling management, etc.

I will not be mincing words if I say that AFRYDEF is being sustained from funds raised from my private businesses. As you know, securing funds from the government and/or international sources is not always easy, so for AFRYDEF to remain afloat, I must fund it so that the vision I set out to achieve will not die half way.

Ques: Where do you see AFRYDEF in the next ten years?

Ans: So far, so good, AFRYDEF has come to stay since we have managed to sustain it from 1999 till date without much support from external sources. As I speak with you, AFRYDEF has its headquarters in Nigeria with chapters in USA, South Africa, and Ghana. We are also working towards establishing new chapters in Germany, UK and in the major cities of Nigeria, like Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt.

My brother, in the next ten years, I see an AFRYDEF that would be recognized and supported internationally by major UN agencies and other bilateral agencies across the world. We also dream of an AFRYDEF that will operate chapters all over the countries of Africa because our dream as in our name is all about the whole of the African continent.

I will not end this interview without thanking all those that contributed immensely to the founding of AFRYDEF in 1999. I will not fail to acknowledge the support of Evangelist Julie Amego and Engr. Ogbanje, all of Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, Kaduna where I did my primary assignment then as a youth corper. Back home here, I am most grateful to my cousin, Hon. (Barr.) Golden Nwosu, former Hon. Commissioner in Imo State; HRH Late Eze S.N.A Uzor, the then Nze Obi of Egbema; my boss, Chief (Hon.) Luke Chukwu; my Bishop, Dr. Nelson Nnannah and my lovely wife, Mrs. Linda Chukwunyere for all their kind supports during the early years of AFRYDEF.

Also worthy of mention here are our partners, USAID/Office of Transition Initiatives; Actionaid; Committee for Advancement of Justice; Soulwinners Evangelistic Ministries Inc.; Imo State Secondary Education Management Board; National Poverty Eradication Board; Cars4Causes; Ammado; etc which at one time or another supported us in the implementation of our development programs.

You, Thomas Ifere, my colleague in the development sector also deserves a big thank you for spotting me and my little contributions to the society via AFRYDEF out.

More information about AFRYDEF and how you can get involved is available at www.inspireyouths.org. You can also email us at afrydef@yahoo.com or call 0803 870 2075.

God bless Nigeria!

Read More
07 Apr
0

This Easter, put a smile on someone’s face….make an online donation Now!

As we celebrate Easter, I wish to urge you to find time to give to the less privileged….those who cannot even afford a meal this Easter period, those who are lying critically ill in their hospital beds without any hope of paying for their hospital bills….. those who do not have decent clothes to wear….

What is the essence of this celebration without giving to those that need help?

Now, we give you an opportunity to make a donation to support d less privileged, visit: http://www.ammado.com/donate?afrydef

ammado.com provides us a secure online donation platform and accepts donations in over 75 currencies and all major – and many local – payment methods.

Thank you so much for helping us to put smiles on the less privileged this Easter!

God bless you….

Read More
02 Apr
0

AFRYDEF launches her new website!

We hereby announce the launch of our new website at www.inspireyouths.org….

The choice of this domain came from our renewed commitment to inspire the youths with our programs.

As future leaders in their various communities and nations, the youths are our target audience and have been the major beneficiaries of our programs.

We see youths as very important stakeholders in the development of the continent of Africa and therefore should be equipped as players in all efforts to develop and transform the continent.

You are welcome to African Youth Development Foundation….the organization dedicated to inspiring the next generation of leaders in Africa!

Call +234 (0) 803 870 2075 or email: info@inspireyouths.org or afrydef@yahoo.com for more information.

God bless you!

Read More
04 Nov
0

Free the Drugs: Stop the Deaths!

REPORT OF THE GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION ON AIDS, WITH THEME “FREE THE DRUGS: STOP THE DEATHS”.

Executive Summary

Lighting of candles at the event

Lighting of candles at the event

The 2007 Global Week of Action on AIDS, scheduled for May 20 – 26, 2007 with theme: “Free the Drugs: Stop the Death”, started in Owerri, Imo State on Sunday, May 20, 2007 with an International AIDS Candlelight Memorial organized by the African Youth Development Foundation (AFRYDEF) in collaboration with the Soulwinners International Churches and a number of other churches, civil society organization, NGOs and some government agencies.

A press conference and an interactive session on the theme of the celebration were also organized by AFRYDEF with the support of the Actionaid International, Nigerian office.

In the spirit of the AIDS Week, AFRYDEF also took to the street and interviewed some young people to assess their knowledge and level of awareness on HIV/AIDS issues, including modes of transmission, prevention and care.

Introduction

The International AIDS Candlelight Memorial is a grassroots mobilization program of the Global Health Council against the spread of HIV/AIDS. The 2007 event is the 24th year of the event, coordinated globally by the Global health Council. The memorial honours the memory of those that died of AIDS and it demonstrates our support, love and care for those living with HIV.

It is being observed internationally every 3rd Sunday of May. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Leading the way to a world without AIDS” and it is being observed in more than 4,000 communities and in more than 92 countries.

In Owerri, Imo State of Nigeria, a coalition of NGOs, civil society groups and the church community was formed by the African Youth Development Foundation (AFRYDEF) for the local observance of the memorial in Owerri. Such organizations included the Soulwinners International Churches; Community and Youth Development Initiatives (CYDI); Center for Development, Constitutionalism and Peace Advocacy (CD-COPA); the New Era Youth Club; Alpha Charity Health Care Services; and the Imo Orientation Agency. The memorial started with voluntary HIV counseling and referred services and film shows.

Official Opening by Her Excellency, Lady Ada Okwuonu, Deputy Governor of Imo State, Nigeria.

Her Excellency, Lady Ada Okwuonu, Deputy Governor of Imo State

Her Excellency, Lady Ada Okwuonu, Deputy Governor of Imo State

The event was flagged off by the Deputy Governor-elect of Imo State, Her Excellency, Dr (Mrs.) Ada Okwuonu. In her opening remarks, she said, “the time for denial of the epidemic has gone as all of us seated here has at one time or the other, lost someone, a relation, a friend or a colleague to this dreaded disease. Even, when in obituaries we do not mention the cause of the deaths, right inside our minds, we know it is AIDS that killed them”’

As the Deputy Governor-elect of Imo State, she said that she feels highly challenged by the theme of this event, which is “Leading the way to a world without AIDS”. In her own words, she said, I am particularly touched by it because in the next few days, I would be sworn in as the Deputy Governor of Imo State. So, how will I be leading the way to a world without AIDS in Imo State is the question in my mind now”.

She further affirmed that as a mother, a woman and the Deputy Governor of Imo State, that she would utilize her God-given abilities and resources in influencing policies that will support the reduction of the incidences of HIV/AIDS in the state.  This according to her is because, “we, the women and our children are more vulnerable and the worst hit in this AIDS crisis. She said, “We, as women are helpless when it comes to negotiating safe sex.

When the men get infected, we are automatic victims of the disease and it is our children that would suffer the impacts”. She again pointed out that already there are so many children orphaned by AIDS that are roaming the streets, contributing to the high rates of crime and other social vices in the society.

Finally, she said that her office will be very “women friendly, youth-friendly as well as children-friendly” in carrying out her responsibilities as the Deputy Governor of Imo State.

Setting the stage

AFRYDEF's CEO presenting the opening speech

AFRYDEF’s CEO presenting the opening speech

In setting the stage, the Executive Director of AFRYDEF, Hon. Remy Chukwunyere informed the audience that the essence of the candlelight memorial was to renew our commitments in the fight against the spread of the epidemic, which is ravaging our society. According to him, we are not here again to talk about statistics. Statistics only tell us that our loved ones are dying in their great numbers. Statistics only remind us that not so much is being done to stop these deaths that are actually preventable. Statistics only put fears in us…”

Our Charter of Demands

He further charged the participants to take actions in any little way they can to lend their supports to this global struggle and said they could do so by writing to their State Governors or the State Houses of Assemblies, Local Government Chairmen and other government officials and demand that they do the following:

  • Give all People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) access to comprehensive and qualitative treatment, care and support services and programs.
  • Make all diagnosis and monitoring tests free, ensure that the rights of PLWHA, other Vulnerable Children (OVC) and Persons affected by AIDS (PABA) are respected and protected.
  • Ensure that all public and private organizations employ at least one PLWHA every year.
  • Make anti-retroviral (ARVs) and drugs for Opportunistic Infections (OIs) available at all primary health centers.
  • Make all forms of stigma and discrimination against PLWHAs and PABA a criminal offence, and,
  • Ensure that our local pharmaceuticals produce generic drugs

He concluded by saying that by lending their voices to these campaigns, they could be saving a life, and then implored them to make use of the opportunity offered by the Global Week of Action on AIDS, which just started with the candlelight, to take action.

Brief Remarks from Special Guests

  • Rev. (Dr.) Nelson Nnannah, Bishop of Soulwinners International Churches
Bishop Nelson Nnannah of Soulwinners Churches making a presentation

Bishop Nelson Nnannah of Soulwinners Churches making a presentation

In his speech, Rev. (Dr.) Nelson Nnannah, the Bishop of Soulwinners International Churches said that the church decided to join this program because HIV/AIDS is one of the plagues, Satan, the enemy invented to lead people to their early graves. He said that the disease came because human beings deviated from the original sexual practices approved by God and now engaged themselves in immoralities like homosexualism and lesbianism.

As a way out of this mess, the man of God said that God’s people should stay away from pre-marital sex and adulterous practices. According to him, since the church is in the business of saving people’s lives, the church should not then shy away from saving people from contacting HIV infections.

He therefore advised other churches, especially the Pentecostals to be part of this campaign, so that the entire community of God’s people could be acquainted with the necessary information on how not to be infected with this dreaded virus.

Finally he affirmed that God’s mercy and grace is still available to heal those affected by the virus.

  • Sir Angus Oguike, Director-General, Imo Orientation Agency

Lending support to these voices, Sir Augus Oguike, the Director-General of Imo orientation through his Special Assistant, Chief C.T. Okoro said that the agency joined in this campaign because they are at the forefront of the campaign on behavior and attitudinal changes in the state and should therefore support all HIV/AIDS prevention activities in the state.

He said that the epidemic has become the leading killer of young people and further pledged his agency’s support to future activities of AFRYDEF and the coalition.

  • Dr. (Mrs.) Phil Oshieze Ehirim, CEO, Alpha Charity Healthcare Services
Dr. Phil Ehirim, CEO of Alpha Charity Healthcare Services at the event

Dr. Phil Ehirim, CEO of Alpha Charity Healthcare Services at the event

In her brief remarks, the immediate past Chairperson of Owerri Municipal Council and the CEO of Alpha Charity Healthcare Services, Dr. Phil Ehirim said that her NGO also provides Voluntary HIV counseling and referral services.

She said she is lending her voice to this struggle because, she does not want more young people to become infected with this virus, which has already claimed so many precious lives.

  • Uche Wisdom Durueke, CEO, Center for Development, Constitutionalism and Peace Advocacy
Uche W. Durueke, CEO, Center for Constitutionalism, Development and Peace Advocacy

Uche W. Durueke, CEO, Center for Constitutionalism, Development and Peace Advocacy

The President of the Center for Development, Constitutionalism and Peace Advocacy (CD-COPA), Barr. Uche Wisdom Durueke also said that HIV/AIDS is a development issue and should be given top priority by the government for significance progress to be made in stemming the virus.

He called for  the Government, other NGOs and the Civil Society organizations in the state to support the work of the coalition.

  • Paul Adepegba, Program Officer, Community and Youth Development Initiative
Paul from CYDI presenting the keynote paper

Paul from CYDI presenting the keynote paper

The Keynote Paper on the theme “Leading the way to a world without AIDS” was presented by Paul Adepegba, Pragram Officer of the Community and Youth Development Initiative (CYDI).

Drama presentation

Other side attractions

Musical and drama groups provided edutainment at the event. The dramas and songs drew their themes from love, grief, sorrow, loss, etc to actually reflect the essence of the memorial.

The highpoint of the event was the lighting of candles in honour and memory of those that died of AIDS and in support, love and care for people living positively with HIV.

A minute silence was thereafter observed for all those that died of AIDS and prayers said for those living positively with the virus.

  • PRESS CONFERENCE  AND INTERACTIVE SESSION ON THE GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION ON AIDS.            

With the support of the Actionaid International/Nigerian Office, the African Youth Development Foundation (AFRYDEF) organized a press briefing on the theme of the celebration tagged “Free the Drugs: Stop the Death”.

AFRYDEF's CEO, Hon. Remy Chukwunyere at the Press Conference to mark the 2007 AIDS Week

AFRYDEF’s CEO, Hon. Remy Chukwunyere at the Press Conference to mark the 2007 AIDS Week

The press briefing and interactive session was held on Thursday, May 24, 2007 with nine journalists representing Radio Nigeria (FRCN); Imo Broadcasting Corporation; Champion Newspapers; Nigeria Tribute; New Nigeria Age Newspapers; Announcer Express; Newspoint Newspapers; National Question and New Nigeria Newspapers in attendance.

Copies of the Nigerian Charter of Demands were later submitted to the Office of the Imo State Governor, his Deputy and the Speaker of the House of Assembly.

  • Q&A/Discussion/Interactive Session

During this section, the summary of some of the salient issues raised included:

Question 1.

Mr. Felix Odunze of the Imo Broadcasting Corporation demanded to know whether the Candlelight that was celebrated on Sunday, May 20, 2007 provided treatment to PLWHA by way of distributing ARVs and drugs for Opportunistic Infections.

Answer:

Responding, Hon. Remy Chukwunyere, CEO, AFRYDEF informed that the Memorial celebrated annually is only an awareness and educational program, where people are further provided with information about how to avoid contracting the virus and how they can support the global fight to stem the spread of the virus. He again said that the memorial was designed to honour and remember the memory of all those that have died of AIDS and to mobilize support and care for others that are living with the virus.

Question 2.

Mr. Emeka Ihegbulem of Champion Newspapers said he was worried about the Coalition’s demand on the government to ensure that all public and private organizations employ at least one PLWHA every year. According to him, employing PLWHA in workplaces may scare people away, especially in the private sector and wondered how the government could implement that.

Answer:

In his answer, the Executive Director of AFRYDEF said that stigma and discrimination have been the major factors that are fueling the continued spread of the virus in our society. He said that for us to make meaningful progress, that we should all come to terms with the fact that the virus cannot be contracted through social contacts and that PLWHA are still human beings like us, who need our love, care and support.

He further said that it has become a criminal offence for any establishment to lay off its employees on the grounds of their HIV statuses and that associating with PLWHA this way would reduce the shame, fear and stigma PLWHA suffer.

He also said that such relationships would reduce people’s fear towards making themselves available for HIV counseling and testing as well as sharing positive results.

He concluded by advising everybody to know their HIV statuses as early detection of the virus helps in reducing its devastating impacts on the people and the society.

2008 International AIDS Candlelight Memorial in Owerri.

Song presentation at the event

Music presentation at the memorial

Music presentation at the memorial

 

Read More
16 Sep
0

Welcome to AFRYDEF blog!

AFRYDEF rebranded

Welcome to the African Youth Development Foundation (AFRYDEF) blog!

The African Youth Development Foundation (AFRYDEF) is a not-for-profit, non-governmental development organization established in Nigeria in 1999 to mobilize resources and to promote and support sustainable youth empowerment and rural development initiatives in Africa.

In AFRYDEF, our major business is to put smiles on people’s faces by helping to provide their basic needs: food, shelter and clothing.

Since inception in 1999, we have implemented a number of impact-making projects in collaboration with both local and international organizations, such as USAID/OTI, UNESCO, ActionAid/Nigeria, Global Health Council, CDCOPA, etc.

For more information, please, visit our website at www.inspireyouths.org or email: afrydef@yahoo.com or call +234 803 870 2075.

Read More
456