The Ogonis, a tribe from Nigeria who are asylum seekers and living in Ouidah, Benin, have recently got access to electricity, with all the other benefits which go along with the opportunity of having an available source of energy, through the common efforts of the AACC Regional Office, based in Lome, Togo, under the leadership of the Special Envoy to West and Central Africa, and the Protestant Methodist Church in Benin, in partnership with the Methodist Church in the United Kingdom.
Since 1999, when they arrived in Benin, the Ogonis have been struggling with issues inherent to their status as asylum seekers: very high rate of illiteracy, poverty, vulnerability of all kinds due to insecurity, etc. The All Africa Conference of Churches had been supporting them in the past, but the support had been suspended at some point for lack of funding. Fortunately, the Methodist Church in the United Kingdom has recently funded a project from the Ogoni community which was aimed at providing them with access to electricity.
The positive effects of that move are the following: their dignity is greatly restored, they can now have light at night, which will allow the children who are in school to study their lessons and do their homeworks, they can store their fresh produce and goods in freezers and their security can be better assured.
Some challenges remain, which they really hope will also be addressed in the medium term: the women expressed their desire for adult literary courses and parents wish to have the means to send the other children to school.