By Bennett Oghifo
Thirty non-government organisations have been awarded grants of approximately $381,220 by the United States Consulate General in Lagos.
The Consul General, F. John Bray, stated this at a recognition ceremony for recipients of U.S. public diplomacy grant awards in 2016.
Bray said, “All told – taking our small grants, Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative, also known as CYFI Fellowship programme, and Priority American Space awards together – the United States Consulate General in Lagos has awarded approximately 381,220 U.S. dollars in Department of State funds to thirty recipients in 2016.”
He said, “All of you, as recipients, are working to solve hugely important problems for your communities in southern Nigeria. The United States Mission to Nigeria is proud to stand with you in your efforts, because we share those priorities with you.”
The recipients, he said work in critical areas such as: empowering women and girls, including underserved women, and women living with disabilities; training new entrepreneurs; cleaning up the environment and recycling waste; bringing medical care to rural areas; educating hearing-impaired persons on the rights of persons with disabilities; mitigating human trafficking; and reducing gender-based violence in Nigeria.
According to him, “Our 23 small grant recipients have been through a very competitive selection process. I congratulate you on having put together the strongest proposals that we received.
“I also want to recognise two other categories of award recipients.
“Six recipients today are helping to implement our Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative, also known as CYFI. The U.S. Consulate in Lagos began this Initiative in 2011 to encourage community service by energetic young leaders. After a competitive selection process, our new CYFI Fellows form teams in Lagos and also in Port Harcourt.
“With mentors from the U.S. Consulate, these outstanding young women and men design and work on projects that improve the health, economic empowerment, education, and good governance of their communities.
“Finally, we are also recognising a unique award to the Co-Creation Hub. The Co-Creation Hub is a partner of the U.S. Mission to Nigeria to set up and operate a new Priority American Space at their business incubation facility in Yaba, Lagos.
“This Priority American Space will, when ready, be a publicly accessible space for Nigerians to access a broad range of information and materials about the United States and our culture, take part in English language learning, learn about opportunities to study in the United States, and especially to participate in programs on technology and entrepreneurship.” He congratulated the Co-Creation Hub for their hard work and cooperation on this top priority of U.S. public diplomacy in Nigeria.
He noted that by making these awards, “we seek to increase the capacity of non-governmental organizations and individuals to strengthen communities – bringing more opportunity to more Nigerians through creative projects that have lasting benefits in society.”