Feed and Read Program

Providing meals and education to children in Nigeria

Follow the activities of a California woman who has taken initiative to help educate and feed the innocent victims of Boko Haram in Northeastern Nigeria. Learn how you can help too!

In March of 2016, San Francisco business owner Elizabeth Cologne joined the American University of Nigeria (AUN) and Conover + Gould in their mission to provide needed supplies and food to the children of northeastern Nigeria. The AUN’s program, Feed and Read, provides literacy and math lessons to children displaced and often orphaned by the activities of Boko Haram. Elizabeth was moved by the compassion of AUN and their dedicated president, Dr. Margee Ensign, who she learned about in a magazine article. She reached out to Dr. Ensign and was put in touch with Conover + Gould, the company handling US donations. Since then she teamed up with her brother, Tim Cologne, to provide school uniforms and other needed clothing. Tim’s business, Vicki Marsha Uniforms in southern California amassed one ton of new school uniforms to send to the children in the program. The daunting task of shipping was generously provided by Fed Ex through the efforts of Conover + Gould. You can learn more about that donation here.

Since this incredible experience, Elizabeth Cologne has been inspired to include more donors in this effort to inspire hope and peace for these unfortunate, innocent victims. More uniforms and school supplies will be sent. She is seeking donors to contribute needed items to these shipments, as well as simple monetary donations to help the AUN purchase food. The needs are increasing daily and they struggle to keep up with the crisis. Please consider anything that you may be able to do to help. Contact us about donating items to be sent to Feed and Read, or donate directly to the AUN Foundation.

The Crisis in Northern Nigeria and Humanitarian Effort for the Children

In April of 2014, 276 schoolgirls were abducted from Chibok by the extremist group, Boko Haram in northern Nigeria. Most of these girls are still missing and presumed to have been married to the extremists or executed.  Much of the world knows this. Much of the world knows that these terrorists have been active in northeast Nigeria and neighboring countries for years now. As the various news of the world floods in, this humanitarian crisis is being overlooked.

For the people of northeast Nigeria, however, this remains their reality. Living in fear of raids, bombings, kidnappings and now famine. Many have been severely traumatized. Unfortunately, many of the victims are children who have been orphaned by the kidnap or murder of their parents.

Boko Haram’s terrorist activities have displaced 2.3 million people with only 250.000 leaving the country. This means there is a huge population of internally displaced people still facing the threats of famine and war. Most recently a report from Doctors Without Borders documents the possibility of famine and starvation in the northeastern state of Borno.

In Yola, Nigeria, there is glimmer of hope. The American University of Nigeria provides a safe place for internally displaced people to focus on their future and has provided food to close to 300,000 people during the crisis. Since this crisis has begun, they have been taking in young schoolchildren as well. 27 of which are Chibok young women who escaped their abductors and are working toward an education to become doctors, engineers, teachers, etc.

Through the program Feed and Read, hundreds of displaced children are receiving lessons and a meal a day. The conflict has left many orphaned and without schooling for years and has exacerbated already low literacy levels. These lessons are intended to catch them up and lead them into higher education. This is for the safety and well-being of the children as well as for the future of Nigeria.

An educated population is the only way the communities can have a full recovery from these dark times. The classrooms are very sparse, many aren’t even rooms. Lessons are often taught on the ground outdoors. Their need for funds for the daily feeding and supplies and comfort are great. And we hope you can help. Donations of goods go directly to Feed and Read. Monetary donations are used to purchase purchase food and are sent directly to Feed and Read. All are tax deductible. More detailed material is available upon request.

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Vicki Marsha Uniforms: Long-distance assistance How does a California school uniform supplier help children in war-ravaged Nigeria? By tapping into its surplus inventory — and the power of global connections. Last year, Elizabeth Cologne was flipping through a copy of...

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