Humanitarian crises have led to increased out-of-school children in parts of Nigeria. Unfortunately, children in low-income areas are the most affected. TACCI uses advocacy, campaign, and community engagement to sensitize, advocate and raise fund to reduce the menace.
Problems and Purpose
Nigeria is contending with multiple humanitarian crises worsened by the high rate of out-of-school children. Among the areas of manifestation include maternal, neonatal, infant, and child mortality rates that have remained extremely high.  Apart from the crises-ridden northeastern regions of Nigeria that have experienced wanton destruction of lives, livelihood, and property, other regions of the country likewise have uncharitable records of child molestation, forced labor, and other forms of abuse. Families and communities face the challenge of access to children’s education and unedifying threats of malaria, pneumonia, and inadequate safe water and hygiene among others. Also, the lack of safe water and unsafe sanitation has consistently resulted in cholera and measles outbreaks. 
To this extent, The Acalypha Child Care Initiative (TACCI) was born out of a burden to reach out to children, especially in low-income communities that were uprooted and disadvantaged by violence, and other multidimensional forces of poverty. The initiative was established to ensure a society where children can live a fulfilled life regardless of their place of birth, status, and location and to achieve good health and well-being as well as quality education of the Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 4. https://sdgs.un.org/goals The initiative hopes to assist more children to have access to a better life in some of these low-income communities. It facilitates quality education and enhances improved health status across territories and borders through advocacy in the form of awareness campaigns, intense sensitization through deliberations with relevant community groups, mentorship and charity, and educational sponsorship among others. The overall purpose is to reduce the alarming and ever-increasing out-of-school children in the country and give the children the opportunity to have a better life. 
Background History and Context
The Acalypha Child Care Initiative, formerly known as Acalypha Initiative was born out of a burden to reach out to vulnerable children. It is an innovation to raise awareness, consciousness, support, and campaign toward improving the lives of children in low-income communities. It was unveiled on January 21, 2018, with the logo, social media platforms, etc. Acalypha Initiative began with Mr. Kehinde Oyeleye, a.k.a. Acalypha, who is the founder, and a couple of friends at Buruku Local Government in Benue state, where he was serving his fatherland as a Youth Corp Member. The nature of the environment they found themselves where most of the children in the community were not in school influenced the formation. Subsequently, the initiative facilitated the payment of school fees of some indigent students. Also, it witnessed the encouragement of Miss Lucy, the founder of the Purple Star Care Initiative that came through and supported the birth of Acalypha Initiative as a mentor in the non-profit organization intervention.
In May 2018, Mr. Oyeleye and Mr. Nelson, the founder of Empire Foundation, collaborated and held a public outreach program tagged the Safe Flow Campaign at the New Jerusalem School in Benue State. On June 22, 2018, at the same New Jerusalem School, Acalypha Initiative partnered with Fun Living Foundation to carry out Oral Health Campaign and provided toothbrushes and toothpaste for the students.  Since the last 4 years, it has been able to hold community outreach across 20 communities and 9 states of Nigeria, including the FCT. Some beneficiary communities include Ikire, Fiditi, Okeho, Makoko, Agboyi, Osogbo, Ile Ife, Ayetoro, in Oyo, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Ondo, Benue, Kaduna, Abuja irrespectively. However, the project that brought it into the limelight is the Kit Up A Child project which has reached out to more than 15,000 children, men, and women in the last four years. On April 5, 2022, the initiative became registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), which led to the change of name from Acalypha Initiative to The Acalypha Child Care Initiative (TACCI). The organization started with 3 volunteers and grew from 50 volunteers to over 200 volunteers in 2022.
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
TACCI functions mainly through advocacy, campaign, and community engagements. It sensitizes and advocates through mentors on skills needed for the future while embarking on training and raising of consciousness of the children to combat social menaces militating against their development. Through charity projects that are centered around the sustainable impact on lives. TACCI organizes a yearly project calendar. The projects include Career Awareness School Tour (CAST), My Body Is My Body (MBIMB), Oral Health Campaign (OHC), Safe Flow Campaign (SFC), and Kit Up A Child (KUAC). The central executive council consists of State Leads, Unit Heads, and the CEO
Since 2018, and towards the actualization of the purposes and objectives of the initiative, it has been involved in collaboration with other sisters Non-Governmental Organizations as recommended in Goal 17 of the SDG in organizing different projects.
The organization raises funds by organizing fundraising events and accepting donations from private individuals, companies, charitable foundations, partners, and governments (local, state, and federal) and/or any of its agencies. TACCI also charges membership dues which are paid by the volunteers of the organization. 
Participants, Recruitment, and Selection
Participation in TACCI is voluntary and open to the general public within 18-35 years. However, the recruitment process is handled by the 7-man recruitment team under the office of the Volunteers Resources Manager (VRM) with other members as may be appointed by the Executive Director. Participation/volunteering opportunities are open to people from all walks of life and backgrounds who align with the initiative’s core values, vision, and objectives of the organization. It places adverts on various social media handles of the organization to invite prospective participants/volunteers who are qualified, interested, and imbued with relevant skills that align with its vision, even as volunteers are encouraged to reside in any state within the scope of the organization.
The participants/volunteers are selected through a rigorous application process, review of applications, and screening of shortlisted applicants. Thereafter, an onboarding session is organized to orientate the candidates about the mode of operation of the initiative. The recruitment process includes filling out the application form, waiting for the organization’s response regarding the application, and signing the volunteer agreement/commitment form. This is followed by attending required induction/ training/ orientation (remotely/in-person). There are two types of volunteers in TACCI – the Active Volunteers (AV), that is, those that participate fully in all meetings and projects of the organization, both online and in person; and the Project-based Volunteers (PV) that participate only in the projects of the organization in person. Meanwhile, full participation in all meetings and events is optional.
Methods and Tools Used
The Voice of Africa on May 12 2022 released a survey and gave insight into why there is a high degree of Out-Of-School Children in Nigeria.  Other pieces of evidence have also shown there are educational and health demands across the country but the worst hit area remains the communities populated with people with low income.  Following this, TACCI adopts the survey method to identify the community to reach out to, as well as their immediate and specific needs. Further, it uses a purposive sampling method in distributing the material interventions and supports such as payment of school fees, provision of school wears and sandals, provision of school bags, books, and writing materials as well as sanitary pads and safe hygiene materials especially for the girl-child that constitutes the larger number as well as the more vulnerable group. However, it makes open the advocacy to ensure a good number of residents benefit from the awareness, advocacy, and public training delivered on the field by a team of experts who are partners of the initiative.
What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
TACCI focuses on Low-Income Communities (LIC). It does it through awareness, campaigns, community identification, problem identification of the community engagement through a community survey model, and involving the relevant stakeholders in the host community. Thereafter, it selects a project that fits into the problem identified that could solve their problem and chooses a date for the physical outreach.
As earlier mentioned, TACCI was established to positively influence abundant life for children in low-income communities around Nigeria. To this end, some of the initiatives include
i. Career Awareness School Tour (CAST),
ii. My Body Is My Body (MBIMB),
iii. Oral Health Campaign (OHC),
iv. Safe Flow Campaign (SFC), and
v. Kit Up A Child (KUAC).
CAST provides opportunities for children from different backgrounds, especially the less privileged to gain insights into different career options and various facets of industries. During this project, various industry leaders and experts engage in dialogues; sharing insights on requirements for various careers and assisting vulnerable children in making the right choice of careers. Also, the children are exposed to how to make the most of their education and what qualities the skills employers of the 21st century would want them to possess. This project is targeted at adolescents in secondary schools. Also, MBIMB as a campaign is targeted at raising awareness of the alarming increase in sexual assaults and rapes. TACCI spread these messages through the empowerment of young boys and girls with information on how to reduce the incidents of sexual assault and rape in society. The team makes use of demonstrations, short skits, pamphlets, and discussions in passing across various messages on how sexual menace can be prevented and curbed in society. This particular project is targeted at adolescents in secondary schools.
Also, the OHC project involves a series of events targeted at increasing awareness of oral cancer and the importance of dental hygiene. In achieving this, TACCI partners with dental health professionals to educate children about the risks associated with oral health and plaque build-up in teeth and gums. The initiative distributes toothbrushes, toothpaste, and educative pamphlets on dental hygiene. This campaign is targeted at children between the age of 10-14 years. Also, the SFC project focuses on spreading awareness, destigmatizing as well as educating youngsters on menstrual hygiene. The initiative gives out sanitary pads to girls, as well as educates the girl-child on how to use them, including the dos and don’ts. While on the awareness and enlightenment intervention, experts in reproductive health give lectures and necessary information to enable young girls to cope effectively with the struggle of menstrual periods. At the same time, the boy-child is encouraged to be empathic and understanding of the girls while they are going through their menstrual period.
Lastly is the KUAC which is currently the biggest project in TACCI and is aimed at providing school needs (such as school uniforms, school sandals/shoes, exercise books, and other stationery) to children. They are supported to help students progress in their studies and make it easier for them to attend school. This project was initially for children in primary schools, but it is currently being extended to post-primary school students. These interventions are executed across the states in Nigeria. 
Influence; Outcomes, and Effects
Nongovernmental organizations make valuable contributions in areas of health care and education not only in Nigeria but sub-Saharan Africa. Although few governments are equipped to integrate their operation, NGOs find ways to influence communities positively  Since the launch of the TACCI in 2018, it has facilitated several campaigns virtually in at least nine locations out of the 36 States of the federation including Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo, Imo, Kwara, Benue, Kaduna, and the Federal Capital Territory. The initiative has facilitated projects in twenty low-income communities in Nigeria with over 15,000 people impacted. Through the campaigns, TACCI has been nominated for several national and international awards as well as honored to receive awards for its commitment to the development of children. More importantly, it has created awareness of the challenges of children in low-income communities as well as bridged some gaps, and further expose the dire needs in the education and health sectors for community and national responses.
Analysis and Lessons Learned
There is so much work to be done in the areas of health and education deliverables in Nigeria. The activities of NGOs can be local, national, or international, yet, they have contributed to the development of communities around the world and are important partners of many governments.  Meanwhile, assessing the roles of NGOs in health care services in Nigeria, Mahmudat Muhibbu-Din stated that “…even though multiple actors are engaged in health delivery, emphasis on the government as primary health providers overshadowed or dwarfed the immense potentials of the Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in health delivery”. This suggests that TACCI and other NGOs require more acceptability by the government to really function at full capacity to facilitate improved health, especially in the LICs.  Similarly, Global Partnership for Education stated that Nigeria is the largest country in Nigeria in terms of population and has approximately 20% of the total out-of-school children population in the world with over 18.5 million figure,  adding that demographic pressure will make it increase by 11,000 newborns every day,  the additional challenge revealed the direct threat to schooling especially for girls, to achieve the desired quality education owing to the disastrous political insecurity playing out through insurgent attacks, poor funding, inadequate instructional materials, and inadequate teaching and support staff recruitment in the country.
Meanwhile, Oyeleye Kehinde, the Executive Director of TACCI stated the main challenge confronting the initiative and other sister NGOs is funding, such as limited or no access to grants and shrinking donations. Also, he identified that NGOs sometimes contend with hostile communities’ ignorance and sense of entitlement, and inadequate understanding of the activities of TACCI as an NGO, even as some host communities deliberately make the channel of engagement quite strenuous, and as such, making interactions with the people extremely difficult.
1. UNICEF in Nigeria (2023) Millions of children in Nigeria require humanitarian aid to survive and thrive. https://www.unicefusa.org/where-unicef-works/africa/nigeria#:~:text=UNICEF%27s%20humanitarian%20action%20plan%20for%20Nigeria%20focuses%20on,screening%20and%20treating%20children%20for%20severe%20acute%20malnutrition
2. UNICEF in Nigeria (2023) Millions of children in Nigeria require humanitarian aid to survive and thrive. https://www.unicefusa.org/where-unicef-works/africa/nigeria#:~:text=UNICEF%27s%20humanitarian%20action%20plan%20for%20Nigeria%20focuses%20on,screening%20and%20treating%20children%20for%20severe%20acute%20malnutrition
3. United Nations (2023) Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Sustainable Development Accessed 03/03/2023. https://sdgs.un.org/goals
4. Interview with Oyeleye Kehinde, Executive Director – Acalypha Child Care Initiative, Nigeria, on 2nd June 2023.
5. Interview with Oyeleye Kehinde, Executive Director – Acalypha Child Care Initiative, Nigeria, on 2nd June 2023
6. Interview with Oyeleye Kehinde, Executive Director – Acalypha Child Care Initiative, Nigeria, on 2nd June 2023
7. Agence France-Presse (2022) 18.5 Million Nigerian Children are out of School, UNICEF, Says. Voice of Africa. May 12. https://www.voanews.com/a/millions-nigerian-children-are-out-of-school-unicef-says/6569716.html
8. Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (2022) Nigeria Multidimensional Poverty Index. file:///C:/Users/hp/Downloads/NIGERIA%20MULTIDIMENSIONAL%20POVERTY%20INDEX%20SURVEY%20RESULTS%202022.pdf
9. Interview with Oyeleye Kehinde, Executive Director – Acalypha Child Care Initiative, Nigeria, on 2nd June 2023.
10. Jocelyn DeJong (1991) Nongovernmental Organizations and Health Delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa. Working Paper. Policy, Research, and External Affairs. https://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/243221468768303233/pdf/multi0page.pdf
11. Vanguard (2022) Top 5 NGOs making real impact in Nigeria’s health sector. May 20. Accessed 06/03/2023. https://www.vanguardngr.com/2022/05/top-5-ngos-making-real-impact-in-nigerias-health-sector/
12. Mahmudat Muhibbu-Din (2019) Assessing the Roles of NGOs in Health Care Services in Nigeria. Journal of Nation-building and Policy Studies. 3(2) 163-183. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/338001532_Assessing_the_Roles_of_NGOs_in_Health_Care_Services_in_Nigeria
13. Agence France-Presse (2022) 18.5 Million Nigerian Children are out of School, UNICEF, Says. Voice of Africa. May 12. https://www.voanews.com/a/millions-nigerian-children-are-out-of-school-unicef-says/6569716.html
14. Global Partnership for Education (2023) Nigeria: Keeping boys and girls in school and learning. Accessed 03/06/2023. https://www.globalpartnership.org/where-we-work/nigeria
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70PzTrV4NJ8. Establishing AN NGO & Funding it; All You Need To Know
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8VmrmCLBsk 4 NGOs That Support Education in Nigeria- FREE School Fees
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Note: The original version of this entry was written by Tunde Abioro.