This is our Second Project in partnership with the Lovatt Foundation focused on Promoting Education to Achieve Peace. We collect used laptops and Kindles in the US, refurbish them, fill with e-books and educational materials and send to Kano, Northern Nigeria, to help educate Children of Borno (COBs) and IDPs.
WHY WE FOCUS ON THIS PROJECT?
We place a lot of focus on Education and recognize that Education leads to peace by boosting confidence & hope, promoting independent thinking, inspiring problem solving skills, and building communication skills by opening doors, by reducing poverty, and by increasing conscious political involvement. Education reduces support of terrorism & militancy, builds empathy & tolerance and cultivates respect.
There are approximately 2,152,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in Northern Nigeria most of whom are children and women. Since 2011 Fiona Lovatt, through the Lovatt Foundation was able to help about 500 IDPs to find new homes and start new lives ($135 per family for 6 months). She also opened 5 orphanage homes for young children which give shelter and education to over 120 kids.
Those kids are victims of sectarian violence, who at a very young age witnessed sheer barbarism. Insurgents either killed or maimed their parents, destroyed their homes and sent them fleeing for cover to Kano. The children have vivid memories of the cruelty with which militants slaughtered their parents and relatives.
Only a couple of years ago many of those kids had no capacity of dreaming to become teachers, medical doctors, builders, herdsmen, and journalists or of any other profession that a regular child can dream of. When you go through such hardship, the psychological trauma carries on for a long time and most of them never get a chance to recover fully.
Thankfully, The Lovatt Foundation brought a spark of hope into their lives. Fiona was determined to create a home environment for the orphaned kids, securing Proper Care, Literacy and Numeracy Programs, Hands-On Education, Learning of Crafts, Individualized Attention, Work With the Land for Healing and Food Security, Animal Therapy, and a Lot of LOVE. Currently she runs 5 homes (COBs) with over 120 children under her care and the results are amazing (See our blog post on children’s drawings before and after). The Lovatt Foundation is planning on opening more COBs in the future as fast as incoming donations allow for it.
HOW WE DO IT?
Before moving to Nigeria, Fiona ran a project for 11 years called Books Without Borders. She coordinated second hand book donations from New Zealand to Nigeria and enough container loads were sent to stock 190 libraries. The shipping was always a problem and the most expensive part of the project.
So Mangoes to Share and The Lovatt Foundation partnered up and figured out that getting stuff across the Atlantic has got to be easier and the less that stuff weighs the better. Therefore we came up with the idea of getting second hand laptops and kindles in the US, filling them with e-books and other educational materials and sending to Kano, Nigeria. Each laptop or Kindle can hold between 3000-3500 e-books, and weigh under 5 pounds, which saves a lot of shipping costs.
There are a few challenges we are working on. Internet connection is slow and not always available, so of course all the books and programs must be downloaded beforehand. The power supply is erratic therefore either solar panels must be installed to supply homes with continuous power as a long-term solution or external batteries for laptops used as a short- term solution (we are working on both at the same time). One of the COBs’ homes already has its solar power generator installed, so it is fully self-sufficient energy-wise. We hope to achieve the same for the other 4 homes.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
You can help us bring education to the displaced children and families of Northern Nigeria by SHARING:
Donations in kind:
- Used (or new) laptops
- Tablets that can be used for reading e-books
- Educational software and programs that can be installed on several laptops or computers
- Already purchased e-books that can be installed and shared (below is a tentative list of types of books we need for the children and a link to the wish list on Amazon)
- Contact information of any shipment companies who could donate their services or provide shipping to Nigeria at a discounted price
- External batteries for electronics
Monetary donations for:
- Purchase of e-books
- Shipments from USA to Nigeria
- Refurbishment and minimum repair of collected electronics (although most of the work will be done pro-bono by our collaborating ITs)
Donations for Other Essential Items:
Since the electric power goes on and off, COBs children and IDP families often spend days without access to electricity, to prevent this from happening and secure continuous power supply, Fiona is in the process of installing solar panels in the orphanages.
The following estimate is to set a humble household up with solar power, guaranteed for 25 years.
- Solar panel, batteries and inverter (per household) – approximately $1300
(IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE AND IT IS NOT ON THIS LIST PLEASE LET US KNOW)
HERE IS THE LINK TO THE AMAZON WISH LIST TO BE USED AS A GUIDE AS TO WHAT TYPE OF BOOKS AND MATERIALS WE ARE LOOKING FOR:
WE THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR ALL YOUR HELP, NO AMOUNT OF HELP IS TOO SMALL, WE CAN MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF THESE ORPHANED KIDS AND DISPLACED FAMILIES BY SHARING FROM THE HEART.
Contributions are tax-deductible under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3)
To Give by Mail:
Simply mail your check made to “Mangoes to Share” specifying the project you would like us to apply your donation to or just write “general” to apply it where it must needed to
Mangoes to Share, 1300 Brickell Bay Drive, Ste 500, Miami, Florida 33131
To Give by Phone:
786-600-7394 and ask for “Donation by Phone” options
For wire transfers, other payment options, or sponsorship for events, you may contact us at the number above or firstname.lastname@example.org