TGAI was born out of a passion for telling the stories of people at the grassroots level through compelling photography. Founded in 2017, we have grown into a fully-fledged NGO, committed to achieving five Sustainability Development Goals: No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health and Wellbeing, Quality Education, and Clean Water and Sanitation.
In our quest to improve health and well-being, we have organized malaria seminars, and drug abuse campaigns, and provided medical assistance to the elderly. Our commitment to Quality Education has seen us offer scholarships and donate school materials to indigent students, as well as provide digital training to secondary school students.
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The Grassroots Aid Initiative (TGAI) was born out of a photography documentation hobby in March 2017. The images captured the struggles and daily activities of people at the grassroots level in Kwara State, Nigeria, and were shared on various social media platforms. These compelling stories told through pictures began to attract global attention.
The focus on rural settings was intentional, as most social activism tends to concentrate on urban areas, often overlooking the challenges faced by rural communities. It’s important to remember that the foundation of any nation lies in its rural settings, the natural resource stage for any nation’s finished products. With this in mind, I aimed to change the status quo by making a positive difference in the lives of people at the grassroots level.
What began as a photography documentation project eventually evolved into a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) called The Grassroots Aid Initiative (TGAI). It was officially incorporated in December 2017, after meeting the requirements of the Corporate Affairs Commission of Nigeria. Leveraging my expertise in Corporate Communications, Digital Media, and Photojournalism, I was able to blend rural activism and engagement with pure photography.
TGAI used compelling pictures to achieve five Sustainability Development Goals:
- No Poverty
- Zero Hunger
- Good Health and Wellbeing
- Quality Education
- Clean Water and Sanitation
These goals were pursued in various communities across Nigeria. The primary sources of funding for TGAI’s projects have been social media crowdfunding and donations from family and friends. To date, the organization has positively impacted over 5000 lives in different rural communities across Nigeria.
Breakdown of Social Development Goals
- TGAI values the well-being of the elderly, a demographic often neglected. In line with SDG 1 (No Poverty), we provided a decent one-bedroom apartment for a 100-year-old woman who was previously living in a dilapidated, muddy home. This project was funded through social media crowdfunding within two months.
- In December 2017, TGAI donated relief materials such as food, clothes, shoes, and soaps to widows and children in Ara village in Moro Local Government of Kwara State. This project, under SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), aimed to feed 100 people, but we were able to provide relief materials to over 500 people in the village.
- In line with SDG 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing), TGAI organized a malaria seminar for villagers in Ago-Oja in March 2017. Health personnel educated the villagers on malaria, its causes, consequences, and prevention methods. Those who tested positive for malaria were given medications, pregnant women received mosquito nets and mosquito repellent creams, and many elderly people had their blood pressure checked and received appropriate medical advice.
- TGAI has made significant strides in SDG 4 (Quality Education). We have provided scholarships and school materials for indigent students in different public schools. We also organized digital skills training for secondary school students, preparing them for the digital age and enhancing their potential for success.
- In accordance with SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), TGAI has provided safe water in different communities. We have sunk boreholes in several villages, providing access to clean, safe water and significantly improving the lives of the villagers.
Through these initiatives, TGAI continues to strive towards improving the lives of people in rural communities across Nigeria.