Ajara is a poor border-town caught between Nigeria and Benin Republic, where chronic poverty has taken its toll on the indigenous people and their children. Forced by poverty to sell their farmlands, and dispossessed by the rich and powerful settlers from both sides of the border, the natives, also known as the Eguns, have become helpless in their own land.
Their forests have been eaten up by the logging companies. Their rivers, the source of livelihood for the fishermen, have receded due to climate change. The farmers, on top of struggling with drought and low yield, have had to compete with subsidized farm produce from EU and the United States. Average life span is under 50. Less than 30% of the population can read and write. Infrastructure is in total collapse.
The result: hopelessness, death, poverty, hunger, malnutrition, destitution, illiteracy, and sorrow. Many children in the villages of Ajara are happy to get one meal on any given day. Instead of being in school, they wander the streets, get taken advantage of, and infected with sexually transmitted diseases.
Poverty in Africa is largely political. The privatization of public services, corrupt leadership, and the embezzlement of public funds at the expense of development projects, are breeding poverty in the developing countries.
The poor in Ajara cannot afford the services provided by private schools, clinics, and transportation. Most of the indigenes cannot afford to feed themselves. Their children are dropping out of school for lack of funds. Majority of the children go to bed hungry. There is no library for them. No clean water. The public hospital is as good as dead, and the private clinics are unaffordable to them.
Death rate is on the rise in the community. Chronic hunger and preventable diseases have cut lives short, rendering the indigenous people a vanishing minority in their own land. The voice of the government is not the voice of the people; it is the voice of multinational corporations whose sole purpose is to exploit the resources of Africa.
Why We Need Your Help
Aid does not seem to get to that part of Africa easily because most charities are focused on the war-torn areas and places getting sensationalized television coverage. As a result, the deplorable situation in the little-known villages like Ajara doesn't get any attention.
The big corporate charities, such as World Vision, etc., cannot be in every village. We are going into these forgotten villages, where help is badly needed.
More importantly, our goal is sustainability--to use local resources and the skills of the villagers themselves to help uplift their community by generating employment.
The world is leaving these villages behind. Despite the fact that the children have to walk several miles to school, most of them cannot afford to buy the books they need. Like in most parts of Africa, there is no public library in Ajara. Imagine a population of 17,000 people across 19 villages without a single library!
Yet we all know that knowledge is power and education is the key to success. The proposed library and computer lab may be the only opportunity for training and self-development that these people will ever have to improve their lives. For the kids living in these villages, the Ajara Project is the only hope for a future.
These people need all the help they can get. Please donate to the Ajara Project.