18 December 2012

Nigeria: NGO to Spend U.S.$100,000 Prize On Youth Centre

A Nigerian charity organisation, which won the 2012 Stars Foundation Impact Award in the education category, says it will spend a total $100,000 (more than N15 million) prize money it got on youth centres to increase awareness HIV and AIDS.

Education as a Vaccine (EVA) which at least 20 health and empowerment programmes for youths in Niger, Abuja, Nasarawa, Benue and Cross River, says it will cite the centres in Benue and Abuja.

EVA executive director, Fadekemi Akinfaderin-Agarua, who received the award in London, said Benue was chosen because of its high HIV prevalence rate and general indicators of maternal health in the north central zone.

"In terms of the north central zone, around maternal health issues, Benue state also has one of the worst," said Akinfaderin-Agarua at a press briefing in Abuja.

"We looked at places that have a combination of issues, where you know that if you do something small, it will go a long way. It was Benue."

Abuja, where EVA has been based since 2000, was chosen on grounds of corporate social responsibility.

Holding attention

Decision to build youth centres comes against the backdrop of the prize money given under the classification "unrestricted"--meaning recipients are at liberty to choose programmes they will spend on.

But EVA has insisted its youth centres will differ by being manned by local staff, breaking barriers to young people seeking information about HIV/AIDS.

The organisation was among 731 applicants from Africa and the Middle East contesting for Stars Foundation award, founded by the international business family of al-Dhaba.

Competition for the award has increased after 653 organisations from both regions put in for the award last year, up from 500 in 2010.

In the last two years, EVA expenditures has doubled from $233,214 in 2011 to $499,526 this year, according to the group's communications officer Wemimo Adekoya.

More than 60% of its funding comes from international development agencies, EVA announced in its annual report Tuesday.

But up to 80% of its spending is on programmes which target young men and women.

Its programmes in advocacy, capacity building, behaviour change and services reached an estimated 211,000 boys and girls, majority of them aged between 18 and 30 years.

It is an increase from 111,200 young men and women reached between 2010 and 2010.

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