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Our Services and Programs

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The BEFA Women and Child Care Foundation, Nigeria provides programs to address poverty and its underlying causes. We advocate for the enforcement of individual rights, particularly that of the less privileged, women and children.

Legal Aid

At BEFA, we have observed that the psyche of the citizenry has been abysmally disoriented. The citizen wallops in crass ignorance as her civic literacy on human rights is poor and she cannot, therefore, observe or enforce the rights, which in the first place she does not know exist.


Undoubtedly, the most delicate and difficult aspect of human rights is its enforcement. Therefore, BEFA gives the basic necessary legal education, legal aid, access to the court and provides the injured woman with the wherewithal to seek redress and prosecute same to its logical conclusion.

Education

Education is empowering. It strengthens individuals, families and communities. BEFA believes that working to improve the quality and accessibility of basic education is one of the best investments we can make in efforts to overcome poverty. We seek to ensure that the right to education is fulfilled, even in the most difficult circumstances and for the most vulnerable groups.


Schools must be built, books secured and teachers trained. Equally important, communities must confront the attitudes and assumptions that prevent children from attending and excelling in school. BEFA and our participants must find creative ways to change people’s views about the value of education for children and to foster a social environment in which children and even adults are encouraged to attend school.


We not only encourage parents to send and keep their children in school but also reduce child labour and incidences of forced marriage.


BEFA is dedicated to securing basic education for all. Experience shows that learning attacks poverty at its roots. Educated people can make thoughtful and informed decisions that will positively affect their lives, their families, their communities and their world. Mothers are more likely to have healthier children and higher incomes. We will work with communities, governments and partner organisations at many levels to address all aspects of basic education.


Our comprehensive approaches will include training teachers and other school personnel to improve the quality of education; linking education programs to health, nutrition and livelihoods to better address reasons why children are out of school—involving communities in assessing and overcoming their unique barriers to learning and conducting broad campaigns that promote the right to education for all people.

Water

Around the world, girls and women are primarily responsible for hauling water to meet their families’ needs. In some parts of Africa, women walk four hours to the nearest well, spring or river. In various parts of Nigeria, water is sold for a price. Hence, the quantity available for drinking, cooking and washing is limited. The result is poor hygiene, which drives much of the transmission of diarrhea and other diseases that are so deadly to children in developing countries.


Poor women regularly cite water—accessible, clean and with sufficient supply—as a priority in their vision of a better future. Without effective water management, women’s capacity to achieve a healthy, secure and dignified life is considerably compromised.


Because women are so severely affected by water supply and sanitation, BEFA will ensure that they are involved in our water projects from the first moments of planning. They will be engaged in choosing sites for wells, public taps or cisterns, selecting appropriate technology (hand pumps or motorized pumps) and learning to manage new infrastructure.


All our water programs will include education in hygiene and disease prevention and often extend to other relevant topics.

Sexual and Reproductive Health

Sexual and reproductive health encompasses a woman’s ability to exercise her right to control what happens to her body; to make choices about whether, when and with whom to have intimate relationships, and if and when to have children. It is to protect herself from diseases associated with reproduction and to have informed access to health services.


As a prerequisite to sexual and reproductive health, quality health services are necessary. Women and girls must live in environments that enable them to seek services and practice healthy behaviours.


We intend to embark upon sexual and reproductive health projects to improve the social, political and cultural environment that limit women’s well-being and even threaten their survival.

Child Care

One of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals is to reduce child mortality. In our pledge to support and implement the Millennium Development Goals, BEFA works to increase the capacity of local organisations and communities by harnessing partner strengths, implementing a multi-level tiered approach, building on existing community mechanisms, empowering community mobilization and providing quality services defined by children.


Most of our periodic community sensitisation tours delve extensively on child care, especially prescribing concrete ways of reducing child mortality.

Economic Development

BEFA’s economic development programs improve the economic security and income opportunities of impoverished families by supporting moneymaking activities, especially those operated by women. BEFA initiated resurgence programs to provide technical training to help women begin or expand small businesses that will increase family income. These programs include the following:

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    • Empower Community Resurge Program
    • Inspire Community Resurge Program

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  • BEFA Vocational Training Centre (VTC)

BEFA Refuge

The fight against poverty is never more difficult than in times of crisis. Our project intends to directly assist survivors of domestic violence, natural disasters, conflicts and accidents through both immediate relief and long-term rehabilitation, including food, temporary shelter, clean water, sanitation services, medical care, legal aid, family planning and reproductive health services, seeds and tools.


BEFA seeks to provide a Refuge which will serve as temporary shelter to victims of crisis ranging from natural disasters, health problems to family issues. Our buildings will accommodate homeless widows, victims of domestic violence, natural disasters and children orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS.

Save Women in Prison Initiative (SWIP)

The fastest growing prison population worldwide is women. The increasing number of women in prison is clearly linked to the evisceration of health, education and social services. Women are often incarcerated miles away from their homes and families—they lose their relationships with their children and their mental health in the process.


Statistically, women tend to commit less crime and their offences are generally less serious. Despite their low risk to re-offend and their high likelihood of not recidivating, there are too few resources to assist women in successfully integrating into the community after prison.


Fewer resources for research and program development for incarcerated women result in inadequate and insufficient programs that address the realities faced by women, particularly poor and vulnerable women. Only 2% of academic work and prison-related articles address issues pertaining to women prisoners and most neglect the issue of gender altogether.


On this premise, BEFA established the Save Women in Prison Initiative (SWIP). SWIP is intended to limit, and where possible, prevent the damage and disruption done to women as a result of their contact with the criminal justice system through developing and promoting practical interventions and campaigning.


SWIP also campaigns for better treatment of women within the criminal justice system by providing legal aid, lobbying policymakers and briefing parliamentarians, speaking at conferences, talking to the media, students and academics, responding to consultations and sitting on strategy groups.


It is essential that we institute a viable litigation system in the prison that will be accessible to every prison woman. It should be well noted that statistical report shows that the poor are arrested more often, convicted more frequently, sentenced more harshly and rehabilitated less successfully than the rest of society.


By litigation, experience has shown us that the reason we find “the innocent in prison”, whether on awaiting trial or as convicts, is consequent upon inept litigation. When an innocent person is thrown into jail, the psychological trauma is immense. This is contributory to various suicide cases in prison.


Sometimes, due to tactless litigation, the defence may even find it difficult to institute bail proceedings even when the offence is bailable. In some cases, when the inmate is granted bail, she may remain in prison for not fulfilling even paltry bail requirements.


We seek to develop high-quality teacher training programs, devise curricula relevant to the prison women and organize tutorials and training in basic administration and relevant management procedures. Parallel to this ambitious program, we need to address local biases that hinder prison women from attaining formal education.


Everything BEFA has learnt about fighting poverty tells us that the most profound changes arise when we work not only with the most disempowered but also with the people and structures around them that can support or undermine their struggle. We have been working with the Nigerian Prisons Service since 2011 to ensure access to legal aid for women in prison across Nigeria.

Health Care

A family cannot be economically healthy if it is not physically healthy. BEFA’s health projects focus on mothers and children who are often the most vulnerable to diseases and malnutrition. We are particularly interested in increasing the capacity of our local partners to deliver quality

health services.


This includes training local health volunteers as counsellors, mentors and monitors of community health. BEFA will focus on interventions ranging from nutrition and education to birth spacing and clinical services.


Our reproductive health projects will encompass family planning, prenatal care, labour and delivery services, and the prevention, detection and treatment of STDs such as HIV/AIDS.

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HIV/AIDS

We believe that our HIV/AIDS programs must provide information and services to vulnerable groups while addressing the underlying factors that lead people to make choices that put them at risk of infection. BEFA’s HIV/AIDS programs will link with other sectors, including health, education and economic development.


Through our programs, we will help communities care for children orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS, develop peer education and outreach in communities and increase access to services such as condoms, voluntary counselling and testing, antiretroviral treatment and STI prevention and treatment. Advocacy on behalf of marginalised populations is also an important part of our work.

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Nutrition

BEFA places a special focus on the maternal nutrition practices and care for infants and young children. Proper nutrition is vital to a child’s healthy development and an adult’s ability to work and care for her family. We will protect, promote and support optimal growth and development for children under the age of five to ensure their best chance of survival.


Our projects will focus on teaching techniques and practices that help prevent malnutrition, including proper breastfeeding techniques, educating families and communities about how to cultivate and prepare nutritious complementary food and strengthening local health systems.

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Agriculture and Natural Resources

BEFA will help families produce more food and increase their income while managing their natural resources and preserving the environment for future generations. BEFA will work with farmers to increase their crop and livestock yields through activities such as planting new seed varieties, animal husbandry, home gardening

and irrigation.

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Give a Life-Changing Donation

By donating and/or partnering with BEFA, you support our efforts to ensure the  livelihood security of impoverished women and children in Nigeria. 

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