The cold and windy harmattan season in Kano, with temperatures dipping to as low as 9 degrees Celsius can be unbearable for vulnerable people in the city who have inadequate shelter and warm clothing. This is even worse for street children and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). For this reason, the Kano Hub of the global shapers community has been conducting an annual clothing drive to get people to donate their clothes, including warm clothing to be distributed to these vulnerable groups.
This year the clothing drive flagged off with a social media campaign on 10th of January 2020 which lasted for 2 weeks. Donations were received, including cash donations which were used to purchase blankets. Shapers from other hubs in Nigeria, like Lagos hub also sent in some donations of clothes. Subsequently, these clothes were sorted according to age group and sex with the assistance of our long-term partners, Ku Matso Marayu, a Non-Governmental Organization which caters for the needs orphans, IDPs, street children and those living in extreme poverty.
On the 25th of January, a team of Shapers from the Kano hub went on to distribute the clothes to scores of beneficiaries identified with the help of Ku Matso Marayu. Beneficiaries cut across all age groups, including children and the elderly. This exercise was carried out together with interns of the hub’s GSC STEAM Internship Programme in order to expose them to the plight of vulnerable populations in the city and the activities that the hub does to help improve the state of our community; as well as to inculcate in them a sense of responsibility and the need to be part of the solution. The GSC STEAM internship programme is being carried out in partnership with a digital education company, Steamledge limited and is a 12 weeks internship programme for graduates to help them upskill for the job market of today and the future of work. The programme comprises of sessions to learn digital skills and software development; “soft skills” like team building and topical issues like Climate change; community outreach like this clothing drive and mentorship.
The beneficiaries expressed their happiness and gratitude for this kind gesture, and together with the founder of Ku Matso Marayu, pleaded for more of such projects. The interns were also excited and appreciative to have been part of the project. The day was finally concluded with group photographs, some of the kids were already excitedly trying on their warm clothes.