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Since Safe Child Africa began over 10 years ago, one of the biggest challenges facing young people in the Niger Delta, has been access to education. Figures from UNICEF show that although Primary School enrolment has increased in recent years, net attendance is still only about 70% and overall, Nigeria has 10.5 million out-of-school children, ranking it the highest in the world. Although in theory the Nigerian Government has made Primary School education free for children aged 4-11, the reality of accessing that education, is quite often beyond the reach of many families. Children are regularly refused a school place on the grounds of poverty, disability, superstition or their family's status.

For the past 10 years Safe Child Africa has been providing 140 school places a year in the Niger Delta, to enable primary school aged children, affected by poverty, to reach the education that they so desperately want, and deserve. 

At Bebor School and Stepping Stones School, we have helped hundreds of children to attend school over the past 10 years, giving every child a chance to break free from the poverty trap that has held back their parents and the generations before them. Thanks to your support we have given these children the chance to face a future full of hope.

In the next 5 years we want Bebor School and Stepping Stones School to become fully self-sufficient, so that they can take control of helping future generations. That's why in 2016, we embarked on a programme, generously supported by Guernsey Overseas Aid Charity, to build snail and fish farms at both Bebor and Stepping Stones School. The farms will not only generate a reliable source of income for each of the schools, but will also provide an additional source of protein to the local community.

The area surrounding Bebor School is plagued by oil spills. These have devastated fisheries, farmlands, livelihoods and the local economy. Protein is highly sought after and can be very expensive. Our fish and snails are in great demand because they are locally grown, free from toxic chemicals and fairly priced. Bebor School Head Teacher, Reverend Moses, believes so much in the future of snails as an opportunity for enterprise within his community that he recently held a workshop on the importance of good quality protein and safe farming practices and over 1000 people attended!

Our farms are almost ready for their first harvests and Reverend Moses and his team have been busy making links in the community to sell the protein where it’s needed the most. In our next newsletter we hope to bring you the results of their first harvest! 

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Safe Child Africa September 2017