Nigeria has been rated as the country with the highest number of poor people in the world. According to a report by the Brookings Institution, (2018) Nigeria has over 87 million people living in poverty. This report is a confirmation of the earlier report by Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in 2016 which painted a worse picture of Nigeria poverty index when it reported that no fewer than 112 million Nigerians live below the poverty line. Research has shown that poverty and hunger are key triggers of violence in communities and often pushes people into despair and, in turn, exacerbate many of today's security challenges. This is evidence in the unprecedented level of violence ... read more Nigeria has been rated as the country with the highest number of poor people in the world. According to a report by the Brookings Institution, (2018) Nigeria has over 87 million people living in poverty. This report is a confirmation of the earlier report by Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in 2016 which painted a worse picture of Nigeria poverty index when it reported that no fewer than 112 million Nigerians live below the poverty line. Research has shown that poverty and hunger are key triggers of violence in communities and often pushes people into despair and, in turn, exacerbate many of today's security challenges. This is evidence in the unprecedented level of violence that has characterized Nigeria and has claimed thousands of lives with tens of thousands maimed and millions displaced and dispossessed in the past five years. As an attempt to reduce poverty and violence in Nigeria, Violence Free Nigeria Initiative was incorporated in 2014 by Corporate Affairs Commission in line with the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a Nonprofit and Non-governmental organization to among other things advance public awareness of the root causes of violence and the means to prevent and reduce violence in Nigeria, to develop and deliver high quality prevention programs such as educational programs, Youth engagement programs, Skills acquisition programs, agriculture value chain development and training programs for small holder farmers, parental training programs, mentoring programs and to partner with multi-agencies to provide appropriate responses and prevention strategies to incidence of violence in Nigeria. To achieve the above objective, The Organization has developed the following thematic areas to reduce poverty and violence in Nigeria: Agriculture: over 90 million Nigerians are involved in farming and 95% of this population is small holder farmers that lack access to inputs, training, finance and market and need to be empowered. 80% of Small Holder Farmers are people living in extreme poverty in Nigeria. To solve the challenges confronting Small Holder Farmers in Nigeria, Violence Free Nigeria Initiative has designed and initiated a project known as ONE FARMER ONE HECTARE INPUTS. The projects brings together small holder farmers into cooperatives of 25 members per geo-cluster and provide each farmer access to one hectare worth of inputs, training and finance at a very low cost compare to existing solutions. To participate in the project, each farmer in a geo-cluster must hold at least one hectare of land. The essence of the cooperative or grouping is to group the small holder farmers together for them to benefit from the economies of scale which would be impossible for a single farmer operating as an individual to achieve. For instance, 25 or more farmers in a cooperative can access farm inputs, training etc at lower cost than one farmer operating as an individual. Our innovation also maps each farmer against his farmland using GPS and remote sensing technology. The project 'One Farmer One Hectare Inputs' was introduced in 2014 as a solution to challenges confronting Small Holder Farmers in Nigeria. The Project created a data base of some small holder farmers that needed intervention in two states in Nigeria (i.e. Kebbi and Benue State under it pilot scheme) but due to financial challenges was able to successfully addressed the challenges of 380 farmers out of 11,349 identified farmers using the procedure and activities outline below: (1) Farmer Registration, Mapping and Financial Inclusion (see pictures) (2) Farmer Training (see picture) (3) Input disbursement (4) Planting (5) Monitoring of Vegetative growth (6) Harvest and aggregation services (7) Market/off take services. Education: It has been estimated that over 15 million Nigerian children are either school dropout or are not attending school. If nothing is done to stop further school dropout and recover these children that are currently out of school and return them back to school or provide them with appropriate skills for gainful employment, the rate of violence will increase. To address the challenge, Violence Free Nigeria Initiative has designed a primary and secondary school guidance and counseling program with the aim of assisting students to understand and recognized who they are and their capability. The program also assists students to make inform choices about their careers as well as improve instructional methods in schools with the aim of making learning more interesting to students. These strategies help in keeping students in school. Youth Engagement and Skills Acquisition: There is a saying that 'an idle mind is the devils workshop' .Unengaged youth are easily manipulated into violence. There is therefore the need to engage the youth in productive ventures. In other to take away the youth from violence, Violence Free Nigeria Initiative has put together a set of programs to provide the youths that are previously unemployed as a result of block economic opportunities with skills that will make them employable. Mentoring Programs: These programs provide the youth with the opportunity to learn from people who have distinguished themselves in their various fields. Research and Response Programs: These programs provide security agencies and government agencies with research on conventional policing techniques and sound government policies respectively. Our mission is to make Nigeria a violence free country thereby creating an environment that will lead to social, political and economic growth and prosperity of the country.
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