Fatima Rumah’s Story:
Fatima Huruna Rumah was a charitable soul, always helping those in need. When she and her family moved into a new community in Kaduna, Nigeria, Fatima quickly noticed the many children wandering the streets, searching trash cans for food to eat or things to sell. Fatima was deeply bothered by the fact that these young children were not attending school due to their disadvantaged circumstances and was determined to make a difference.
Fatima insisted to her mother that they do something to help these children. Her mother, Hawwa Abba Rumah, was initially reluctant to help, feeling that these children were not her responsibility as she had her own family to care for. However, with the push of Fatima’s persistence, Hawwa agreed to help and asked Fatima what she wished to do next.
Fatima wanted to provide these children with an opportunity to gain an education, and wished to do this by tutoring them in her family home. Hawwa agreed, with the following conditions:
- Her mother would not sponsor any of her classes
- The family home was to be kept clean
- Under no circumstances was her mother responsible for feeding the children
- She could not cut time out of her own schooling to tutor
- She could only tutor 2 days a week, at 2 hours per day
Fatima happily agreed to her mother’s conditions and began tutoring in the living room of her family home in 2013. She started with 4 students, then 7, and then 12. Fatima tutored these students for 3 years. On October 2nd, 2016, at the age of 15, Fatima suddenly fell ill and passed away.
Hawwa was left with Fatima’s 12 students. With a deep love for her daughter, and an awareness of the impact the tutoring had on the children’s lives, Hawwa decided to continue Fatima’s efforts. She eventually took in the 12 students, feeding them breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hawwa was working on opening two shops before Fatima passed, which she later converted into classrooms for tutoring.
Five years later, as of 2021, the Fatima Rumah Model School has over 250 children from nursery to grade 5.
However, Hawwa did not have enough financial resources to cover both food and water for the school children all by herself. EnvironFocus was able to help Hawwa by providing the Fatima Rumah Model School with a Lifestraw Community microbial water filtration product. Lifestraw Community filters water instantly to protect against bacteria, parasites, micro plastics, dirt, sand, and cloudiness, providing safe, clean drinking water for 100 people per day.
“Now we have clean drinking water for the school. Thank you so much, we really appreciate you. May God bless you abundantly.” – Hawwa Abba Rumah
The Safe Drinking Water Project
According to UNICEF Nigeria, 70 million people, out of a population of 171 million, lack access to safe drinking water (UNICEF, 2021). It is estimated that each year, 124,000 children under the age of 5 die from diarrhea, mainly due to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene (UNICEF, 2021). Water is a fundamental human need and human right. EnvironFocus is dedicated to helping disadvantaged Nigerian communities to gain access to safe, clean drinking water, free of pathogenic microorganisms that cause waterborne diseases through our Safe Drinking Water Project (SDWP).
EnvironFocus serves as the backbone organization for change. We facilitate outcome-focused, cross-sector collaboration to deliver measurable, meaningful changes for low and lower-middle income Nigerian communities.
The SDWP is a collaborative project, bringing together various for-profit and nonprofit organizations and individuals to provide microbial filtration products to Nigerian schools, villages, orphanages, internally displaced persons (IDP) camps, and health centres, drill boreholes, and/or provide sanitation and hygiene workshops to beneficiaries. This project’s objective is to help meet SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation. Improving WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) services can improve health, life expectancy, student learning, gender equality, and other key international development targets outlined in the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (UNICEF, 2022).
Call for Action to Organizations:
Collaborate with EnvironFocus on the Safe Drinking Water Project to strengthen your organization’s ESG and CSR initiatives! We offer fully customizable partnership packages to help us carry out larger projects with greater impact. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
Call for Action to Individuals:
You can help this cause by donating to our Safe Water Fund today! For more information about the impact of your donations, see: www.environfocus.com/waterproject
This article was written by Hope Elizabeth Tracey, EnvironFocus Research Assistant. May 17, 2022.
UNICEF Nigeria, “Nearly one third of Nigerian children do not have enough water to meet their daily needs.” Press Release: 22 March, 2021. https://www.unicef.org/nigeria/press-releases/nearly-one-third-nigerian-children-do-not-have-enough-water-meet-their-daily-needs
UNICEF Nigeria, “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.” Programmes, Accessed May 17, 2022. https://www.unicef.org/nigeria/water-sanitation-and-hygiene
The Beautiful Story of Young Nigerian Tutor, Fatima Rumah