Today we continue our Not All Heroes Wear Capes series with a special focus on individuals who committed themselves to aid the IDP situation in Plateau State.
In the last two weeks we shared the story of Dirnan Samuel and Yil Fomwul Gonsum and today we share the story of Nimdir Nansoh who also wasn’t content to sit at home while humanity suffered and got up, assembled a team and engaged in an outreach campaign. Enjoy the read and be inspired to do something.
Q. Hello Nimdir, Please briefly tell us about yourself and your team? (A team photo would be highly appreciated)
A. 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 and communications, and a project management consultant.
Q. I’m curious to know what inspired the outreach to the IDP’s beyond the normal one IDP camp visit people engage in.
A. 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.
Q. How did you assemble your team? And how has work been with them?
A. 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 country and so they each saw an opportunity to make Nigeria better and joined the cause on their own.
Work 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.
Q. How would you gauge the response of both the government and private individuals to the IDP crisis?
A. 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.
NGO’s and individuals have been a lot more responsive in bringing in all forms of support including food items and sanitary items, Medicare, clothes etc.
Q. Where have both groups fallen short?
A. Realistic expectations are that government should have immediately responded to the crises by providing basic necessities such as shelter, food, clothing, medical supplies but their response came really slowly and have been sparse; as I mentioned earlier, almost non-existent.
Thankfully, NGO’s and individuals have quickly taken on the challenge and although it can be better, the situation is not as bad as if they had been left to government alone.
I wish that groups and individuals would make the effort of going beyond Anguldi IDP camp to camps outside of Jos Metropolis and beyond even Barkin Ladi. There are camps in Riyom, Bokkos, Mangun and Mangu.
Q. What was the response of people on both social media and life to your call for support and contribution of relief materials?
A. Overwhelming! People supported 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.
Q. What are the major misconceptions you feel people have about victims of violence?
A. 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, 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.
Q. Beyond hunger and lack of clothing as well as healthcare, what are the other problems IDP’s have that are not so obvious but as real as others?
A. A major challenge is the psychological trauma gotten from their experiences and it unfolds in parts. Remember that these people were attacked, some of them have physical injuries, 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 from scares the people livng in these camps These terrible memories cannot be erased but it 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 IDP’s through vocational training and job opportunities and we hope that more individuals and organisations will step in and take on the challenges.
Q. What is your advice to embittered Nigerians who sit at home and wail all day when there are people not far from us in need of help?
A. 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.
Q. How can people still contribute to the care of the IDP’s?
A. The current challenges are food, medical supplies especially first aid drugs for ailments like headaches, ulcer, and malaria. Mosquito nets are also a major need. They can also contribute sanitary items such as sanitary towels, baby diapers, amongst other things.
People can reach us on the following numbers:
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 heard from all three heroes.
Don’t sit at home. Don’t shake your head and shed few tears only. Do something.
Like one wise man once said,
“You have never really done anything till you do something for someone who cant repay you”