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June 26, 2022 – Project TEACHING TO EMPOWER – NIGERIA:

Its the rainy season right now in Nigeria and austerity measures are being put into place all over the country due to the upcoming elections. As of today three of my film students, Elechi, Emeng and Obinna, have been off line for close to two weeks now, so I am a concerned for their well being. For the past 9 months, we’ve been working together to get their scripts and storyboards ready, so they can begin filming their music video project. Obinna, just reached out to me through text, and described their dire situation this way.

Picture taken by Alex

“It’s kind of hard here sir. We’ve been going through a lot of hard time, to get food and all that. Its rainy season right now. Lately, we have not been able to get in and out to work on construction sites for about a month now. Its kind of hard in this community.

That is why we haven’t been able to come online lately, to do our classes. It’s not that we can’t work or we are lazy to do any work. The problem here is there is actually no work to do at the moment.

To get better work, you have to have better connection. The whole time we have been struggling…we had to borrow money to get this data to talk to you. The thing right now is that its the rainy season, so we cannot travel and find any kind of manual day work. There is no money in our pockets… even to feed, I hope you understand me? We have not eaten since two days ago.

The government is trying to tighten the economy in because of the coming elections, so things are just hard. The only thing keeping our sanity is the burning desires we had to succeed despite the harsh government conditions and a constitution that is aimed at ruining the lives of the youths. They kept telling us we are the leaders of tomorrow…but we don’t see a tomorrow coming anytime soon.

We even have rent issues at the moment, but our landlord is a little bit understanding. If not, our things would have been thrown out of the house.

I am very far from my parents. I came across three states to be here in Port Harcourt, where I’m actually trying to make out a life on my own. It’s like that sir. We appreciate your efforts towards us and we believe so much in you. We see you as our dad because your words is what keeps us going each and every day, to hear your courage, your speech. We love you so much Mr. Hayden and we want this to become a reality in our life, and know that you a have very big plans for us, and that is why when it gets tough on us, we have to run to you (for help).”

Obinna

All contribution large and small are welcomed. Your generosity will help them sustain each month while they are studying and learning critical life skills to be independent, collaborative, self-reliant and leaders in their own communities. Below is a breakdown of where your contribution would go to supporting three young students.

Monthly Expenses ($267.51/month)

Rent: N17,000 ($40.97)

Water: N8,000 ($19.28)

Food: N50,000 ($144.60)

Electricity: N2,000 ($4.82)

Internet: N24,000 ($57.84)

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Expenses for three students for one month

Your kind donation will pay for all of the food, water, rent, utilities and internet for one month.

$267.51


June 18, 2022 – Project TEACHING TO EMPOWER – NIGERIA:

A few weeks ago, Perekime, one of my first students and friend was physically assaulted and had his phone stolen from him at gun point. The phone he had was the only thing of value he was carrying at the time, which SEE to ACT was able to get donated to him. This phone is his only means of communication with the outside world, and his only access to the film classes he was attending.

He has been very instrumental in spreading the word to help our program thrive, so that we may empower more young men and women like him to be more resourceful and give them a sense of control in their own lives.

Picture taken shortly after the assault.

Just this morning when I awoke, we received this beautiful message from him.

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