Disadvantage to Advantage Initiative

Introduction

Fair Life Africa Foundation set up the Care Continuity Challenge Initiative in January 2011, with the objective to minimise and ultimately eradicate the street child phenomenon in Nigeria. As a first initiative, its focus was on street children, their care and empowerment in society. Disadvantage to Advantage (D2A!) is the second initiative of Fair Life Africa, which focuses on lending support to disadvantaged children in society. The decision to adopt an initiative like this was based on lessons learned from the operation of the CCC Initiative. The Foundation would like to see more children, who are also more likely to excel as a result of its intervention, benefiting from its support.

Objectives

Through the Disadvantage to Advantage Initiative, Fair Life Africa aims to:

• Seek out children with potential for excellence, who are disadvantaged in society to support;
• ‘Adopt’ these children, and provide them with long-term succour and opportunities for growth (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, intellectual and academic);
• Enrol children in schools/universities or vocational centres/technical colleges to learn and thrive;
• Groom and guide each child to locate their unique gifts and train them to utilise them for the betterment of themselves and society;
• Mediate between children/youths and societal agencies and structures, to enable them to navigate through the commercial, creative and political world and function successfully.

The project goal is thus summarised:

“To identify and support children with potential, but disadvantaged in society, and help them achieve success in life.”

Programme Plan

The main criteria for support through the programme are:

A. Recipients of support are children, boys and girls, who qualify for assessment between the ages of 9 and 17;
B. Recipients of support are disadvantaged in society, either by poverty in health or in wealth;
C. Recipients of support are bright and capable, with potential for excellence with adequate aid.

All referrals/candidates will be subjected to a period of assessment, to ascertain their claim to poverty in health or in wealth, and also to determine their skills and potentials. A decision to adopt will be taken on a case by case basis, subject to the capacity of the organisation to provide long-term benevolence to the child. Those who qualify for support from the Disadvantage to Advantage Programme will gain access to the following opportunities:

  • Primary and/or Secondary education
  • Tertiary education
  • Vocational and/or Technical education
  • Arts and Sports Training/Development
  • Life Skills Training
  • Guidance Counselling
  • Mentorship
  • General health care and treatment
  • Internships and Apprenticeships
  • Small Business grants
  • Employment support

Fair Life Africa will be a medium, a facilitator and a benefactor to children within the community, who require assistance to defeat an inherent or structural disadvantage.

Conclusion

The heart of this programme is to provide an opportunity for the able, but hindered, to rise above their situation and achieve! It recognises that many that constitute the wealth of our nation are wasting away for lack of nurture, whether on the streets or in impoverished homes.  Fair Life Africa believes that everyone deserves a fair chance at life, and given that chance, the whole of society stands to benefit from the maximisation of its resources.

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