Fantsuam Foundation, a member organisation of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) network in Nigeria, has for many years stood out as an exceptional community initiative. Thanks to the fact that Fantsuam is closely engaged with the communities that host its activities and that Fantsuam serves, it has been able to work and live through a number of political crises and waves of sectarian violence that have swamped Nigeria's Kaduna state over the last decade. The organisation has suffered staff loss because of people leaving due to the worsening security situation, and disruption of its activities due to threats and risks associated with its fieldwork. Fantsuam has not given up and continues helping more than 20,000 members of Kafanchan communities to cope with these hardships. Fantsuam is empowering people by connecting thousands of households to data and voice services via its Zittnet network , by providing communities with training on ICT usage, and by building community training centres which offer services ranging from standard telecentre services to training, counselling and e-health. Fantsuam works with local communities to build renewable energy solutions where there is no access to the electricity grid. Its approach to development is holistic and its activities go far beyond community access to the internet and other tech solutions. Working on the premise that without safety and social justice there can be no sustainable development nor peace, Fantsuam mainstreams gender justice in all its projects , and works with vulnerable children , as well as with disadvantaged members of the community. APC fully supports Fantsuam's plans to become the West African Hub for the Savory Institute, and to help tackle the current wave of violence in the region. Fantsuam is uniquely positioned to help organise the local economy and use of shared resources in a way that could revert the escalation of the conflict. Fantsuam has decades of experience in strengthening local communities by promoting community ownership and management of resources and community decision-making models. It has already been exceptionally instrumental not only in the region where Fantsuam is based and works, but also within the APC network, which has on many occasions benefited from Fantsuam's knowledge and experience.
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) is a global network of civil society organisations with a principal office in Johannesburg, South Africa. APC’s mission is to empower and support organisations, social movements and individuals in and through the use of information and communication technology (ICT) to build strategic communities and initiatives for the purpose of making meaningful contributions to equitable human development, social justice, participatory political processes and environmental sustainability. Our vision is for all people to have easy and affordable access to a free and open internet to improve their lives and create a more just world. APC was granted category one consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1995. Fantsuam Foundation has been a member of APC since 2001 and its director, John Dada, has served as a board member since 2014. --------- 1) Zittnet began when Fantsuam Foundation established the first rural-based information and communication technology (ICT) education facilities in Nigeria in 2001, in Bayan Loco, Kafanchan. The school’s first intake of 11 students had grown to 250 by 2005. That year, Fantsuam Foundation was awarded the first Hafkin Africa Prize for the innovative use of ICT (https://www.apc.org/english/hafkin/2001/haf_finalists.shtml).Fantsuam Foundation has also won several other awards and recognition for its work, as the first rural internet service provider (ISP) in Nigeria, the first rural Cisco networking academy in Nigeria, and winner of the first Global Knowledge Partnership Seed Grant and Small Innovative Projects Fund. 2) https://www.apc.org/en/news/gem-hard-times-sectarian-violence-nigeria-can-be-b 3) https://www.apc.org/en/news/all/world/technology-provides-vulnerable-children-support-li and https://www.apc.org/en/news/development/world/building-vulnerable-childrens-service-nigeria