Angels of Hope Foundation is based in Kano and has championed notable causes like the Justice for Musa Movement in 2016. The NGO was able to garner attention to the case of the barely two year old boy who was mutilated by his stepmother. This is only one of the many achievements of the NGO in its one and half years of existence.
In this interview with YNaija’s Impact365, we are enlightened on the mission of Angels of Hope Foundation and how it has impacted the lives of its beneficiaries in Northern Nigeria and other parts of the country.
Please tell us more about Angels of Hope Foundation.
Angels of Hope foundation is a non-governmental organization that takes care of orphans, traumatized women and people with special disabilities in Nigeria. We provide them with education, healthcare, clean water and sanitation, food and nutrition, welfare and youth empowerment and shelter with a mission to create lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and social injustice.
What inspired the decision to set up the NGO?
A young philanthropist Umar Naveed Mohammed Abdul Malik who turned his passion in to reality and teamed up with his very supportive friends founded it. Mr. Naveed has always been active in helping the less privileged especially the orphans since childhood, so he decided to establish an organization that will be specifically focused on the less privileged. The founder who is a strong believer of the “law of Karma” based the foundation in the most ancient philosophy of karma, whatever good you give out in the world will surely come back to you. The circle of good deeds is endless. He convinced, urged likeminded youths to join hands with him and his friends in the monumental humanitarian task in the advancement of our society’s most needy. And that was how they started renovating Torrey homes, drilling boreholes, providing scholarships, healthcare, food, rehabilitation, mentoring etc. to the less privileged.What is the scope of your work and do you reach out to people outside of the Northern region?
As stated earlier, AHF focuses on Orphans, traumatized women and people with special disabilities. We provide them with Education, healthcare, clean water and sanitation, food and nutrition, welfare and youth empowerment and shelter.
Yes we reach out to people outside Northern Nigeria. In fact, we have hosted events in Lagos state and Edo State (Modupe Cole and some other homes) and we intend to do more in other states too because our projects are not restricted to the North only.
Do you have a means of keeping tabs on the orphans, women and less-privileged you’ve helped to ensure they do not retrogress?
Yes we do. The foundation has a record of every orphanage/ orphan, person with special disabilities/Torrey Homes we help or are helping in our database we also provide the orphans (we don’t like calling them orphans btw, we call them our brothers or our children), so we attach them with mentors to monitor their progress, advise them and are always there for them. As for the traumatized women, we provide psychologists for them, empower them and a lot more (that is all I am allowed to disclose about them). We are always in touch with the people the foundation helps or is helping so as to ensure they’re doing very well.
You’ve visited IDP camps in Borno state, what is the state of living there? Is the government doing enough?
Yes, we’ve had our members visit some IDP camps in Borno, Abuja and Kaduna states.
As at the time of our visit, the camps were in a deplorable state, the IDPs were living in a hand to mouth situation. There was no food, no medicine, tattered clothes, babies were dying, and young women were resorting to prostitution just to survive. It was very heart breaking. Sadly, there was only so much we could do, because the foundation wasn’t financially capable of providing for all the IDPs. The government and other organizations cannot do “enough” for IDPs because these are people who have been through physical, emotional and mental trauma which will take a long time for them to heal. So, the questions are “is the world doing enough”?, “are we as individuals doing enough”?… We all need to put a little more effort in paying it forward. Imagine having an estate of 50 houses contribute old clothes, shoes and books to IDPs, these things will go a long way. If the government’s allocation isn’t enough for the IDPs, we should urge them to do more while we also give our quota of help to them.
How do you get funding for your projects and what is your volunteer strength?
We get our funding from individual donors and we tax ourselves (members) through monthly dues and donations. We have applied to various organizations for funding and hopefully, some of these organizations will agree to fund us on some of our projects.
We have a lot of volunteers. At the moment the foundation has 25 volunteers and 70 members. Volunteers register via our website www.angelsofhopefoundation.org and are added to a WhatsApp group (if they want to be added) and are updated on our activities.
What are the major challenges the NGO has faced?
Funding is one of the major challenges the foundation is facing. Lack of cooperation from some agencies, especially in carrying out projects
Any major projects in 2017?
Yes, we have a lot of major projects lined up for the year.
The first is “Harmony Fair Trade Exhibition and Funfair” a fundraiser meant to raise funds for our upcoming projects and also showcase what the foundation taught the orphans and traumatized during our skills acquisition project.
The other project is the Welfare and youth empowerment project which is aimed at empowering the orphans, people with special disabilities and traumatized women.
We also have the renovation of the Library for orphans and Torrey home for traumatized.
Just like last year, the foundation intends to feed over 15,000 less privileged this year.