The Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion in conjunction with the Nubian Rights Forum recently held their first Humanitarian Food Distribution event for members of the Nubian Community that is at risk of Statelessness on 3rd September 2020. The food distribution program saw at least 20 families receive donations including maize flour, wheat flour, salt, tea bags, soap, milk and cooking oil. The objective of the event was to cushion families that had been affected by COVID-19.
Prior to the event, the Nubian Rights Forum conducted interviews with members of the community to gain insight on awareness levels on citizenship, including registration and processing of birth certificates and National Identity Cards. The paralegals who conducted the interviews noted a lot of gaps in the level of understanding of the community members on the structural understanding of the process of registration. They therefore took the community members through an awareness training. The project also sought to understand the challenges they faced during the COVID-19 period in an attempt to understand the immediate needs of the community during the pandemic.
From the responses collected, there are a lot of challenges that grass root communities are facing that are rarely prioritized or addressed by the government. Families lack adequate food, there is a challenge in accessing basic education during the pandemic as well as healthcare. The communities also have a challenge with water. With such findings, there is a possibility in rectifying the state of living of the community members, to ensure they enjoy their rights with dignity.
It is therefore up to philanthropic individuals and organizations to take up the mandate to ensure that no one faces the risk of food insecurity, lack of access to healthcare, or access to education. There are diverse basic needs that need to be met, and it is all about addressing an area that an individual or an organization can sustainably cover over a period of time.