NIGERIA – The Illmi Children’s Fund (ICF), a Nigerian non-governmental organization, has successfully implemented the Ambassador’s Special Self-Help (ASSH) project to empower the Fulani community in Katampe Ruga, Abuja.

This initiative, aimed at enhancing dairy milk production and overall livelihood, received funding from the United States mission in Nigeria.

The grand finale of the project, themed ‘Toolkits and Dairy Equipment Distribution Event,’ marked a significant milestone in the socio-economic development of the community.

Acting Deputy Chief of Mission and Counsellor for Economic Affairs at the U.S Mission in Nigeria, Christine Harbaugh, highlighted the uniqueness of the self-help program, which started in 1964 in Togo and has since spread across African missions.

“The program is unique, and it allows our embassy to support communities directly and see tangible results within a short period as we are witnessing here.”

The ASSH project, tailored to the Fulani community in Katampe Ruga, aimed at providing them with the necessary tools and equipment to improve their dairy production methods.

Christine Harbaugh applauded the Illmi Children’s Fund for collaborating with the Fulani community to enhance their livelihoods while preserving their traditions and culture.

Emphasizing the importance of basic education tailored to the needs of RUGA communities, Ibrahim Sha’aban Sharada, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Almajiri and out-of-school Children, assured the community of the government’s commitment to their welfare.

Expressing gratitude to the U.S Mission in Nigeria, government agencies, the Ruga community, and all attendees, Maryam Augie-Abdulmumin, the Executive Director of ICF, celebrated not only the completion of the program but also the remarkable progress made by the participants.

The distribution of essential toolkits and dairy equipment was highlighted as a crucial step in enhancing the Fulani community’s capabilities, ultimately leading to increased milk production and improved livelihoods.

Abdulsamd Isah, the Project Coordinator, expressed joy at the successful completion of the project and suggested its potential replication in other Ruga communities.

Participants like Isiyaku Haruna, now a certified Community Animal Health Worker, shared their positive experiences, emphasizing the newfound knowledge that would benefit their community.

The ASSH project’s highlights included training the Fulani communities in modern milk production techniques, encompassing processing, packaging, storage, and preservation.

This comprehensive approach is expected to significantly reduce milk waste and contribute to the sustainable development of the Fulani community.

Dignitaries from relevant government agencies, including Dr. John Edeh from the National Commission for Adult Literacy and Non-formal Education, and Mr. Ahmed Ismaila, the FCT Liaison officer, were also in attendance, underlining the collaborative efforts for positive community impact.

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