Societal needs refer to the things required by the individuals of that society to maintain the basic standard of living. In Nigerian society, there is an ever widening gap with the needs of the society and the resources available to meet them.
According to the United Nations, these needs can be classified into 4 major categories
3. Health Care
Being the most populous black nation in the world with a population of over 200 million people, the growth rate of the standard of living of the average citizen in Nigeria has been outstripped at least 5 times by the growth of its population.
To paint an even clearer picture, let us examine some statistics that describe the Nigerian reality as far as these needs are concerned.
According to the global hunger index Nigeria ranks 103rd out 121 countries on the index scale, just ahead of Ethiopia and behind Rwanda. According to UNICEF only 61% of 6-11 year-olds regularly attend primary school and only 35.6 percent of children aged 36-59 months receive early childhood education. In the northern region of the country, the picture is even bleaker, with a net attendance rate of 53%.
The Health access quality (HAQ) index, which measures the quality and accessibility of healthcare based on 32 causes of death which is preventable with effective medical care, ranked Nigeria 187 out of 195 countries, beneath Egypt (64th), Kenya (112th) South-Africa (119th) and Rwanda (173rd).
These statistics have proven to be less than desirable on all fronts. However, certain bodies within our nation have committed themselves to change the narrative one life at a time and this article is for them.
Non governmental organisations have an increasingly important role to play in narrowing the needs gap as it has become clear that the organs of the state cannot solely cater to the needs of the teeming population. Non governmental organisations typically go uncompensated for their work with the exceptions of the receipt of grants and other forms of support from well meaning contributors. This strengthens the credibility of their noble contributions to society as they often have little or nothing to gain.
Not out of compulsion but from a place of compassion and a desire to see change, we will be sharing some organisations that are ensuring the average Nigerian is not robbed of their basic needs which I dare refer to as a right.
1. Education as a Vaccine: They are a non profit founded in the year 2000 that works towards the education and development of children, adolescents, and young people. The organisation has adopted child and youth-friendly approaches to strengthen the capacities of children and young people to facilitate and sustain social change in the area of development and education.
2. Homeless not Hopeless Nigeria: This is a student led initiative founded in 2020 that is working to create a Nigerian society void of homelessness. They tackle homelessness through advocacy, outreach programs and sensitisation campaigns.
3. Lagos Food Bank Initiative: Lagos Food Bank Initiative is the largest hunger-relief non-profit in Nigeria. They are committed to improving the nutrition of children and youths in the Nigerian Society.
4. Health Emergency Initiative: This is a nonprofit that works to provide emergency health care services especially to indigent receipts. These include subsidised ambulance care, affordable ICU care etc. These are just a few of the many change makers that are continually striving to make the Nigerian Society a more live able one.
To all the organisations working to make the Nigerian society a better, the NigerianNGO community salutes you.
Lagos Food Bank Initiative
Health Emergency Initiative
Homeless not Hopeless Nigeria
Education as a Vaccine
Global Hunger Index
Health Access Index