Today we continue our Not All Heroes Wear Capes series with a special focus on individuals who committed themselves to aid the IDPs in Plateau State. In the last two weeks, we shared the story of Dirnan Samuel and Yil Fomwul Gonsum. Today we share the story of Nimdir Nansoh who through her NGO, assembled a team and engaged in an outreach campaign.
Hello Nimdir, Please briefly tell us about yourself and your team.
My name is Nimdir Nansoh and I’m a social crusader for good governance and responsible citizenship. I am also the co-convener of TransforNation- My Nigeria Dream Foundation, an NGO that promotes the ideals of Patriotism, Good governance and responsible citizenship. I am also a media, communications, and project management consultant.
I’m curious to know what inspired the outreach to the IDPs beyond the normal IDP camp visit people engage in.
A love for humanity and the call to walk the talk of responsible citizenship which we’d been preaching.
There was a need and we just jumped in to provide the support we could. It wasn’t even something we paused to think about and once we started, we made the decision to stick it through.
How did you assemble your team? And how has work been with them?
First of all, we have an amazingly awesome team, one that I cannot take credit for assembling. Everyone on the team is driven by altruism and a love for the country. So they each saw an opportunity to make Nigeria better and joined the cause on their own. Working with them has been really good. I love the fact that we’re all driven and focused individuals. We all understand that our ultimate goal is a better society and that has helped to maintain a smooth workflow.
How would you gauge the response of both the government and private individuals to the IDP crisis?
The response of government at all levels has been despairingly slow almost to the point of negligence. I am very disappointed with the government and have aired my views on-air and on my social media platforms. NGOs and individuals have been a lot more responsive in bringing in all forms of support including food items and sanitary items, Medicare, clothes etc.
Where have both groups fallen short?
Realistic expectations are that government should have immediately responded to the crises by providing basic necessities such as shelter, food, clothing, and medical supplies but their response came really slow and has been sparse; as I mentioned earlier, almost non-existent. Thankfully, NGOs and individuals have quickly taken on the challenge and although it can be better, the situation is not as bad as if it had been left to the government alone. I wish that groups and individuals would make the effort of going beyond the Anguldi IDP camp to camps outside of Jos Metropolis and beyond even Barkin Ladi. There are camps in Riyom, Bokkos, Mangun and Mangu.
What was the response of people on both social media and life to your call for support and contribution of relief materials?
Overwhelming! People supported us in ways that we didn’t even expect and from everywhere! We had people sending in as much as N50,000 and as little as N500. Bags and boxes of clothes poured in from people here in Jos, Keffi, Abuja and as far as Lagos and even from the United States. People gave their time and cars to help convey support material to the camps. The support has been amazing. It just shows that our humanity is alive.
What are the major misconceptions you feel people have about victims of violence?
That they have an entitlement mentality. It is wrong. These people just want to go back home. Can you imagine coming from living independently and as free as a bird to suddenly having no home, and no source of livelihood? You can’t even provide the tiniest thing for yourself. You’re at the mercy of people. All that you have worked for, you lose all so suddenly. I think we ought to empathise and make excuses for them as much as we can.
Beyond hunger and lack of clothing as well as healthcare, what are the other problems IDPs have that are not so obvious but as real as others?
A major challenge is a psychological trauma gotten from their experiences and it unfolds in parts. Remember that these people were attacked, some of them have physical injuries, and a lot of them watched their relatives killed right before their very eyes. Sadly, they were overwhelmed by the situation that they didn’t even mourn their loved ones. Then they lost everything. The thought and fear of where to start scare the people living in these camps These terrible memories cannot be erased but they can be managed and they need help with that.
Social integration is another issue that must be handled.
The children should be able to go back to school. Thankfully, individuals and organisations are contributing educational materials and volunteers have already moved into some camps to start teaching.
Another issue is security in the camps. Most of the camps are porous and open to fresh attacks.
Another major issue is how to support them to start over after they are resettled back in their villages. We are talking to a couple of people who are willing to empower a few of the IDPs through vocational training and job opportunities. We hope that more individuals and organisations will step in and take on the challenges.
What is your advice to embittered Nigerians frustrated with the different situations around the Country?
Live responsibly. Bishop Desmond Tutu said ‘My humanity is bound up in your humanity for we can only be human together. If we all take responsibility for each other, then Nigeria will be better, because it is the people that make up the country.
How can people still contribute to the care of the IDPs?
The current challenges are food, medical supplies especially first-aid drugs for ailments like headaches, ulcers, and malaria. Mosquito nets are also a major need. They can also contribute sanitary items such as sanitary towels, and baby diapers, amongst other things.
People can reach us at the following numbers:
Nimdir Nansoh: 08093397476
They can also visit our website: mynigeriandream.com.ng to see what we do.
Well, we are at the end of our Not All Heroes Wear Capes Series Jos IDP outreach edition.
You’ve can check up on the previous series on IDPs and other stories here
A wise man once said,
“You have never really done anything till you do something for someone who cant repay you”