Drum roll, please!
We are thrilled to introduce the driving force behind positive change in creating access to of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) in Nigeria - a country where only about 10% of all Nigerians have access to the full range of water, sanitation, and hygiene services and over 200,000,000 people face some form of struggle with gaining access to clean drinking water, hand washing facilities, and modern toilets.
These 6 social businesses led by remarkable individuals make up the heart of our Fight for Access Accelerator program, and are eager to make a lasting change in improving access to WASH through their innovative models and impact-oriented solutions. Let's meet the six brilliant social entrepreneurs who are ready to tackle WASH challenges head-on.
Let's Build for Humanity is about more than just building toilets, they create opportunities. How? They craft high-quality mobile toilets and sell them to micro-entrepreneurs who install the sanitation units in private homes, schools, or residential compounds. On a daily basis, the waste is collected and sent to a specialized facility that then transforms the human waste into organic fertilizer and livestock feed.
Through this simple yet effective method, the waste which once posed as a health and hygiene threat to local communities becomes a resource which benefits economic and environmental development.
Imagine school water systems that are powered by the sun where clean, safe water flows freely, and hygiene education thrives. That's precisely what the Onyeisi Care Foundation's WASH Project is all about. They are focused on installing solar-powered boreholes and toilet facilities in schools with the objective of increasing access to quality education, improved health, and promoting hygiene practices to young Nigerians who need it the most. Onyeisi Care Foundation is also developing an impact monitoring app to maintain their commitment and transparency to the bold target of 500 installations of their solution across Nigeria by 2030.
"As the youngest of 23 children, I remember waking up early every day and going with my brothers and sisters to collect water from the single water stream which was shared by our entire community. Having to do this every day made me late for school, which in turn affected my grades. With Onyeisi Care Foundation, our vision is to make sure that this doesn't happen to any children in the future." says founder, Kenneth Ogbodo.
"Being a young girl in Nigeria and having to face your period can be very challenging" tells Sarah Kuponyi, founder of Alora Reusable Pads. She tells from the lived experience which she shares with over 37 million Nigerian girls and women who are unable to afford menstrual hygiene products. To keep up with their monthly cycles, girls create makeshift napkins out of old cloth, a solution which can be both unsanitary and ineffective. Often, girls opt to stay at home throughout the entire length of their bleeding, missing school on a regular basis in fear of ridicule and shame.
Alora strives to solve "period poverty" by producing and selling eco-friendly, reusable menstrual hygiene products that offer an affordable and environmentally friendly alternative to disposable napkins.
"It is our mission that every girl in Nigeria can experience her period with dignity" says Sarah.
According to a 2021 WASH report on Nigeria’s sanitation status, 48 million people still practice open defecation with the root of the problem being twofold: individuals not having access to toilets, and the market seeing a lack of demand for toilets to be built. Toiletpride aims to solve those two problems at once with their innovative market-facilitation approach.
Through their Accelerating Access to Rural Sanitation in Nigeria Project (AATRISAN) project, Toiletpride creates an environment in which businesses are supported to provide quality, affordable toilets for households through marketing and promotion, direct sales, and facilitating access to credit. At the same time, they deploy creative behavior change campaigns through events, school programs, and direct communication which stimulate education and motivation to use toilets at a community-wide level.
"Our approach works to encourage greater household investment in basic sanitation, while supporting local businesses to respond to this new demand at the same time" says ToiletPride founder, Chukwuma Nnanna.
SOSO Care is an insurtech social enterprise on a mission like no other. They're turning recyclable garbage into a financial lifeline, making micro health insurance accessible to millions of uninsured slum dwellers, including pregnant women and children. The way it works is that local community members can collect recyclable waste such as glass and plastic bottles, and drop them off at specific SOSO Care locations. Partner agents then sell the collected waste to recycling companies and turn the earnings into a health fund that covers the modest $1 monthly individual health insurance premium offered by SOSO Care.
By partnering with over 3000 healthcare providers and pharmacies across Nigeria, SOSO Care aims to uplift over 40% of the 200 million people in Nigeria with access to micro-health insurance. "Exchanging my waste, things I throw away for insurance seemed too good to be true at first but SOSO care makes it work. Such a great deal, now i dont have to worry about health bills." says a SOSO Care user.
Kiddies and Brands Company is on a mission to transform hand washing into a vibrant, memorable adventure for primary school students. Knowing that habits are formed at an early age, the team makes use of a range of methods to teach children how to practice proper hygiene. From classic storytelling approaches that play on the emotions, to interactive UV light demonstrations bring a "wow factor", Kiddies and Brands transforms an every day activity into a source of fun and imagination.
Having written and supplied over 100,000 copies of hand washing and oral hygiene storybooks, the team is committed to pursuing their mission of establishing proper handwashing techniques to 300 primary schools in the Lagos state of Nigeria.
To stay tuned about our progress at the Fight for Access Accelerator, make sure to like and follow our Yunus Social Business LinkedIn account here.
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