The Environment and Our Journey “SOFER”
It’s a fast moving world. We make and break rules as we go. Things come in and out of fashion but one thing will never change; humanity. No matter whom we are or what we do, we will always need love, care, health, protection from abuse, neglect, exploitation etc. These never come in full supply and we never have our ideal world given the physical/economic wars, diseases, hunger and starvation that plagues us. It’s a sad human condition. We never pay attention to the things that matter and most times, it behoves certain individuals and groups to strategize and address some of these unmet socio-economic problems/needs they see around their immediate environment.
All around the world, certain individuals have been on the front-line of making the world a better place through creating products and services to ease the burden of living. They have successfully created businesses, employed thousands of people, giving them financial independence. There are however others, who don’t run businesses or sell products, but carry out activities and needs the world government and private businesses for one reason or the other may not be able to meet. These are the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO). Since 2014, the 27th of February of every year is usually set aside to celebrate the strides and efforts these groups contribute to humanity.
Right from the 18th Century, there have been several NGO’s the world over contributing their quota to maintaining a secure society and functional environment, encouraging healthy, active populations, reducing rates of diseases, strengthening the local populace and providing succour for economically and socially stressed communities. For the past ten years, we at SOFER INITIATIVE have been on the leading edge of environmental reforms, educating and creating awareness through working with youths and other bodies to provide practical opportunities for positive behavioural change. Today being The World NGO Day, we are joining the train and counting our gains.
The journey “SOFER” has been amazing as we have been able to actively engage various communities in Nigeria, sensitizing them through different programmes such Green Christmas project, Envirotainment, The Serene Uyo Campaign, Slam Dunk Your Trash, Beat Air Pollution, Boot camp Environmental Education (BEE), Beach Clean-up Exercise as well as our most recent, The Fishing Net Gains Project. Given the fact that fishery as a sector employs about 12 million Africans, we must do everything to ensure that the ocean and the lives in it are sustained and consequently, the source of livelihood it provides equally maintained or perhaps, improved. We have succeeded in raising awareness on the impact of Abandoned, Lost or otherwise Discarded Fishing Gears, (ALDFGs) and also proffered practical solutions and training for fishers on acceptable international best practices.
This was made possible by our sponsors; The Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), Ocean Conservancy (OC), The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), Canada as well as the countless volunteers who brought their skills to bear in this cause. This is only the beginning and we will not stop. The world is ours and if we don’t take care of it, it’s our loss. It’s a duty we owe to ourselves and generations to come. As we mark the World NGO Day today, we say thank you to our sponsors, volunteers and other stakeholders who have made it possible for us to make tremendous impact over the last decade. Let’s make a toast to better things to come and renew our pledges to Stand Out For Environmental Restoration!