The Grassroots Aid Initiative started as a photography documentation hobby on my
various social media handles in March, 2017. The pictures taken were used to tell Tcompelling stories of the struggles and daily activities of people at the grassroots
levels in Kwara State, Nigeria. These compelling pictures started attracting the
engagement of people from different parts of the world. The rationale behind choosing
a rural setting is because most social activism drives focus their attention on urban
settings thereby ignoring the struggles of people in rural areas. It is usually forgotten in a
hurry that the foundation of a nation is its rural settings. In other words, the rural setting is
the natural resource stage of any finished product of any nation. I strived to change the
status quo and narrative by contributing a positive difference to the lives of people at
It was later on that what was initially a photography documentation of rural areas later
metamorphosed into an Non- Governmental Organization outfit named The Grassroots
Aid Initiative (TGAI) which was finally incorporated in December, 2017 after certifying
the rules and regulations of the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria. With my
knowledge in Corporate Communications, Digital Media and Photo-journalism, I was
able to give an admixture of rural activism and engagement backed up with pure
photography. TGAI used compelling pictures to achieve five Sustainability
1. Social Development Goal 1 (No Poverty)
2. Social Development Goal 2 (Zero Hunger)
3. Social Development Goal 3(Good health and wellbeing ).
4. Social Development Goal 4 (Quality Education).
5. Social Development Goal 6 (Clean water and Sanitation) in various communities in
Social media crowd funding and donations from family and friends have been the
major source of funding for the projects embarked on by this young organisation. So far,
the NGO has been able to touch over 5000 lives in different rural communities across
BREAKDOWN OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT GOALS
1. The wellbeing of old people is one of the core values that have been neglected far
and wide. It poses to be a value of great importance at TGAI. This was why TGAI was
able to provide a decent one bedroom apartment for an old woman who was initially
living in a dilapidated, muddy home in accordance with SDG 1 (No Poverty).
The muddy house was indecent for human survival and TGAI sensed the need to give
the old, childless 100 year old woman a befitting accommodation. The project was
achieved within 2 months of social media crowd funding.
2. In December 2017, TGAI donated relieve materials such as foods, clothes, shoes,
soaps etc. to widows and kids in Ara village in Moro Local Government of Kwara State.
The project,which was under SDG 2 ( Zero Hunger) and which was tagged
#100widowsandkids was aimed to feed 100 people however over 500 people received
relieve materials in the village. Social media crowd funding was used to raise funds and
get those relieve materials.
Mechanised borehole water was donated to villagers in Asileke village of Surulere Local
nd Government of Oyo State on June 22 , 2018.
Provision of another mechanised borehole water was donated to villagers in Asileke
rd village of Surulere Local Government of Oyo State on 3 of August, 2018.
There was also the donation of hand pump borehole to residents of Ago-Oja, Asa Local
Government. Used and equally good conditioned clothes were handed over to
villagers in Ago-Oja, Asa Local Government.
In a bid to improve to the welfare of pupils in public and secondary primary school
across Nigeria, over 1200 shoes were given away to kids in secondary and primary
schools in 4 states (Ogun, Oyo, Osun and Kwara states) in Nigeria. Apart from the shoes
donations in various communities, clothes were also given out to the needy people in
the Ago Oja village in Kwara State.
3. The difficult places to reach in Nigeria are the rural areas. These rueal areas constitute
about 70% of the country’s population, yet there is an alarming case of health issues and
infrastructure. Buoyed by this realisation, SDG 3 (Good health and Wellbeing) became a
target and in an effort to achieve this, TGAI organised a malaria seminar for villagers in
Ago-Oja in March, 2017. The seminar was anchored by health personnel who educated
the villagers on the peculiarities of malaria, its causes, consequences and how it can be
prevented. The seminar also tested the villagers for malaria and those who were found
positive were given malaria medications. All the pregnant women present at the
seminar were given mosquito nets and mosquito repellent creams while a great
number of old people’s blood pressure were checked and adequate medical advice
Drug abuse campaign and scholarship drives were activated in Jalala Secondary
School in Ilorin, Kwara. Drug abuse is a major problem in Nigeria especially among
youths. 2018 reports from the Nigeria Ministry of Health states that 60% of young people
resort to drug abuse in order to get away from life’s challenges. In order to reduce the
consequences of the prevalence in drug abuse, TGAI organised a drug abuse
sensitization lecture in June, 2018 and February, 2019 in grassroots secondary schools in
Ilorin, Kwara State. A medical personnel/drug abuse advocate enlightened the
secondary students on the need and reasons why they need to stay away from drugs
because of the deteriorating consequences that it has on the lives of the individuals,
families and societies at large.
4. On SDG 4 (Quality Education), TGAI has also made its mark since its inception in 2017.
The future of a nation is traced down to the youths and children of that nation. If this new
generation lack proper esucation, then there will be a disastrous result at all levels in the
affairs of any nation. The major aspect of the new generation in are concentrated in this
hard-to-get rural areas of Nigeria. It is why TGAI has placed an undilluted level of
importance to quality education in the rural settlements. At different intervals, there
have been different scholarship drives that cater for the school fees and materials of
indigent students in different public schools. For instance, in October 2017, about 20
students benefited from full scholarship for one academic year at Ara Primary School in
Moro local government area while over 300 students enjoyed from the school materials
that was disbursed.
Before the end of the academic calendar in 2017/2018 session, TGAI paid for the school
fees of 20 students in a government secondary in Jalala, Kwara State.
Students in secondary schools were tutored on how to unleash their potentials through
capacity building on their digital prowess. A lot of young people are missing out on
great opportunities today because they do not have requisite knowledge in digital
training. Hence, the training was deliberately used to enlighten the student on how they
can use computer for computer based test (CBT) examination which was organised by
Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB), an examination board responsible for
setting university qualifying examinations in Nigeria. Apart from educating the students
with digital skills, they were also educated on how they can use digital media to
achieve huge leverage in whatever capacity that they want to use it.
5. Provision of safe water in different communities has been part of the core values of
TGAI. 70% of households in rural communities do not have accesss to safe, clean
water.Water is an essential commodity for human existence, however several rural
communities in Nigeria are still denied this basic infrastructure for human survival. This
pose threats to all concerned, even the nation. A lot of money is being lost yearly to
cover the damages, both human and material, the resources (also human and
material) incurred in the name of unsafe wayer. TGAI stumbled on this narrative and
SDG 6 (Clean water and Sanitation) was created. In May 2017, a borehole was provided
for rural dwellers in Ago-Oja village, Kwara State to solve their perennial water crises.
In June 2018, another borehole was sunk in Asileke village of Oyo State whose water
crises resulted in downturn in health and socio-economic problems.
In August 2019, another was sunk in Elewuro village in Oyo state.
June 2nd, 2019 witnessed the action of another water project at Asileke village, Oyo.
TGAI travelled to Oshin Gada, Kwara,a place where prior to the NGO’s entry, people’s
fates were decided just from dirty components that flowed from the rocks. On the 30th
June, 2019, a water project was established.