$25m endowment fund launched for children

The scheme tagged ‘Sustainable Mechanism for Improving Livelihoods and Household Empowerment’ (SMILE) was a collaboration among ActionAid Nigeria, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), WESTAT and will be funded by the USAID Nigeria.
Speaking at the launch, SMILE project Chief of Party, Sasha Angelevski, said the scheme is designed to cater for 500,000 orphans and vulnerable children (VC) apart from the 125,000 caregivers.
“It will be implemented through an umbrella grant mechanism (UGM) whereby CSOs receive sun-grant to support capacity strengthening and program implementation at the community level.
“All VC in the states will benefit from improved state-level capacity with at least 50 percent of the LGAs in the five states for direct service delivery from CSOs. Population and VC prevalence will drive selection target based on their identified needs using relevant national assessment tools,” he said.
ActionAid country director, Dr. Hussaini Abdul, said the era of paying lip services to the emancipation of orphans and vulnerable children should be over, hence the organisation’s commitment to the SMILE scheme.
CRS country director, Christopher Bezly, said the funding and other processes of the scheme are such that the impact will be positive and maximum.

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