Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Nigeria: Please Support Project Alert


The appeal
I am writing this blog to ask you to support the work and activities of Project Alert, an NGO that caters for incidences of violence against women in Nigeria.
I believe Nigeria is quite needful of agencies that challenge and address societal, cultural, traditional and religious attitudes that tolerate, condone or encourage the abuse of women and minors. There are too many victims suffering in silence, left in abominable hellish lives because of the stigma of acknowledging problems they have experienced and because the law places undue strain on them giving advantage to perpetrators to terrorise with impunity.
Support for agencies like Project Alert and Prevent Abuse of Children Today (PACT) that I wrote about a few months ago is necessary to ensure that victims of abuse are not permanently damaged without respite, succour or comfort; it is also important that we are able to refer victims to these organisations at the earliest opportunity to get help which might include treatment, counselling, material support or even legal advice – all of which are critical to the healing process.
What you can do
Project Alert requires your support in cash and kind as listed on their Donate page, I hope we can engage some expertise to facilitate an online donation kiosk as well as a courier service to help first as collection points of gifts and then to deliver the gifts to the agency.
  • Pledge to support Project Alert
  • Help create an online payment kiosk with minimal administrative costs (Pro-bono web gurus?)
  • Make material donations to the women’s shelter
  • Make cash donations to help run Project Alert
  • Offer to ease administrative burdens of collecting and delivering gifts made to Project Alert
  • Share information about the services Project Alert offers
  • Support activities that promote the rights of women and minors (On blogs, Twitter, Facebook, media, etc. )

Josephine Effah Chukwumah, the Executive Director talks about the activities of Project Alert here and you can find references to Project Alert in the news here.
Project Alert - Contact Details
Ultimately, people need to know they can get help and we all can support those who deploy resources to help. Thank you.
The Backstory
I write a lot and probably do not write enough. However, I have found that much of what I write revolves around human rights; the rights of children, the rights of women, the rights of the poor, injustices, sexual abuse, sexuality and other taboo subjects that need the clear light of day.
The difficult subjects I write about come from my experiences and observations, I may not be able to empathise but I hope that I can at least sympathise with victims of all sorts of abuse and neglect and in the process use my writing to stimulate honest debate and possibly the change that will ensure victims can get help, seek redress and receive justice.
Sharing my own personal experiences has helped me reach out to others who have encountered similar and sometimes more heinous violations of their persons that are beyond description but until we acknowledge the prevalence of these evils we will never be anywhere near being able to help and heal – sometimes, what the other person needs is just someone to believe their story first whilst our society would rather deny the existence of such evils.
Only a few weeks ago, I had someone challenge the notion that boys could be sexually abused, the import being it was more a pleasurable educational experience than a violation of their person and a loss of innocence – only one word could sum up that thinking – IGNORANCE!
My Sex Post
It was just over 5 years ago when some of my blogging friends were writing excited blogs about their first sexual experiences, most of them strove for and lost that innocence in their late teens having exercised curiosity and interest for many years before.
Then, it was customary for these blogs to be written with a template that comprised a series of questions that you had to answer after which you tagged 5 other friends and in the process you socially networked your intimate experiences with boasting and much else.
I was tagged and I did not have the kind of story my friends had to tell, in fact, I could only answer the first question about when I first had sex, the other questions would have been too difficult to answer for a 7-year old even if he had the luxury of putting almost 40 years between that experience and now. [My Sex Post]
We are many, not a few
What surprised me about that blog was the number of people who had had similar experiences as mine, male and female, in the apparent comfort and safety of their homes without anyone to talk to about the violations of their bodies and the loss of their innocence, many still bearing the scars until today.
We need to move on from the constant indifference and denial of the sexual abuse of minors and women in Nigeria and have to appreciate that victims need all the help they can get to deal with paedophiles, incest, rape, harassment, prostitution, battering, mutilation and other unmentionable evils.
If there are other agencies in Nigeria that you know of who address these issues, please do not hesitate to leave a comment.
Thank you.

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