There has been an awakening to the quandary of inmates in our Nigerian prisons like other prisons across Africa, the gross terrible condition they live in and the very harsh situation they have found themselves in. Over the years, there has been serious concern about the state of the Nigerian prisons, because of the dilapidated state of the buildings, the quality of health care received by the inmates, abuse of human rights and the congestion of the prisons. The Prison system in Nigeria ought to serve as an institution of correction, reformation and rehabilitation; geared towards disabling its inmates from further criminal pursuit but this is not the case.
There is an ill-conceived believe that prison inmates have no rights within the general population. Their rights may be limited; but they have a degree of human and civil rights that is guaranteed by the Constitution, by international conventions and the UN Declarations. For instance, the UN General Assembly adopted the Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners otherwise known as the “Mandela Rule”, on December 14, 1990, which guarantees the basic human rights of prisoners. Therefore, prisoners cannot and should not be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment; they are to have full access to due process and equal protection and should not be discriminated against. Inmates are to be protected against discrimination and not to be subjected to inhuman and degrading punishment which borders on abuse of their rights. Furthermore, they are entitled to adequate medical and psychiatric care. And their physical safety must also be assured at all times.
Another primary concern surrounding the Nigeria Prison system is the congestion of the Nigeria prisons which, has been a major concern for almost a decade, among stakeholders in the country. Congestion constitutes a major problem creating a negative effect on the welfare of the inmates in the Nigeria prisons. On further investigation it was discovered, that an average Nigerian prison contains three times more persons than its capacity.
The genesis of this problem can be traced to poor administration of criminal justice in Nigeria and unethical activities of the Nigeria Police which has constantly threatened the physical, mental and social well-being of inmates. Consequently, the Nigeria prison has failed to achieve its major role of rehabilitation and reformation of inmates but rather the scenario has been that of dehumanizing situation and hardening of the inmates.
The congestion of the Nigeria Prisons lays a foundation for a whole bunch of other pressing issues that directly deal with the welfare of prisoners ranging from the quality and quantity of food they are served to the quality of water for drinking and domestic affairs, to mattresses they sleep on, and the list goes on and on. This cause definitely comes along with its appalling effects which are not limited to but include; poor sanitation, poor medical services and increase in human right abuse. The congestion of the Nigeria prison is gradually leading to an apparent decay not just of the horrifying infrastructures but also of the institution as a whole. We can consequently say that the Nigeria Prison system is a walking corpse gradually edging it is way to an end, if no severe holistic intervention is put in place.
This is why each year we strive to free 1000s of poor prisoners in Nigeria by providing free legal services for those awaiting trial and paying off court fines for those in prisons for inability to pay court fines ranging from N10 000. 00 to N50 000. 00 for minor offences like hawking, loitering, street trading, and traffic offences. Poverty is the major reason why most of these categories of prisoners stay in prisons for too long and in the process some contact chronic diseases which in some cases leads to death.
PLHS is our legal aid services which is dedicated to meeting the legal needs of low-income people in Africa with emphasis on innovation, language access, and a holistic approach to client care. We support clients with case evaluation, advice, and counsel, clinics, workshops, self-help centers, direct representation impact litigation, policy advocacy and Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanism.
HOW TO GET HELP
There are four ways to get help today. You can contact us, attend a free workshop, visit one of our Human Rights Office or find more information about our referral programs.
- CONTACT US
Call our Hotline at 07010011461 or 09083191010. Our Hotline offers free evaluation, advice, and counsel. Once you are connected with any of our officers, you will be provided with a plan to assess and address your needs. You can also visit our Human Rights Office at No 34 Isolo Road Ijegun Lagos State Nigeria or fill our online complaint form and your complaints will be attended to promptly and effectively.
- FREE WORKSHOPS
We provide free workshops to assist low- income earners to understanding some basic legal principles and processes to enable them manage their day to day activities.
We offer workshops covering the following topics:
Have you been served with an eviction notice? Our Unlawful Detainer (UD) Workshops provide litigants with an overview of the rights and duties of landlords and tenants and the process of recovery of premises
Debt Collection/Debt Relief Workshop
The workshop provides information and assists litigants who have questions about debt collection practices, litigants who have been sued in court on a debt collection issue, and litigants who have had a debt collection judgment entered against them.
Small Claims Workshop
Led by a Small Claims advisor, self-represented litigants learn how to prepare a case and how to collect a judgment. These workshops are free and open to the public at our office location (first-come, first served basis).
Family Life workshops
The workshop provides information and assists to families on marriages, child rights, women’s rights
Human rights workshops
The workshop provides information and assists to the general public on issues of violation, enforcement and defence of human rights.
Crime prevention workshop
The workshop provides information and assistance to the general public on security tips and tips to stay out of crime
Where we can not resolve a case, we have a tradition of referring the case to sister agencies (Government or Non Government organizations) for further actions.
So many children are living part or full-time on the streets driven by the loss of family, lack of financial support or intolerable living situations at home. Once on the street, normal childhood ends and going to school can be impossible. Living on the streets is an option of last resort for children who have no alternatives for either income or accommodation, but on the streets, children face a myriad of challenges. Street life can be extremely traumatic, exposing children to high levels of hunger, violence and disease.
Both boys and girls face high levels of verbal, physical and sexual abuse, with girls at particularly high risk of being forced to engage in commercial sex work. Children are routinely exploited and paid significantly less than adults for the same jobs. Street activities carry physical risks, such as dangerous traffic, health risks, poor levels of ahygiene and sanitation, and other environmental hazards. Children often turn to substance abuse as a way of escaping the harsh realities of life on the street.
Street children face stigma and discrimination as they are labelled as criminal vagrants.
Periodical round-ups, and brutality from the police, reinforce street children’s criminalisation, and prevent these children from gaining the support and rehabilitation they need. Street children still have the right to an education, yet school systems do not accommodate this highly vulnerable group. Street children are routinely denied the opportunity to grow and develop through education, due to a variety of barriers:
Most street children are unable to attend school simply because they have to work to support themselves. The few street children who do go to school are regularly absent and achieve poor learning outcomes due to having a lack of time to study. Street children often struggle with low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, and a sense of worthlessness and shame. The stigma of being on the streets makes it difficult for children to integrate into education and with their peers. Teachers have not had adequate training to deal with such sensitive issues as vulnerable children, inclusive education, and child protection.
Due to the negative labelling of street children, there is poor awareness amongst communities of the need to support the reintegration and education of these children. Street children need to be able to access school. Education can make living on the streets a temporary experience instead of a lifelong sentence. In order for street children to be able to go to school, these children need a supportive and flexible environment where they are made to feel like valuable pupils, not criminal vagrants.
SIFA works to bring street children back into the education system and make the transition away from street life. We support a comprehensive approach to street children’s education, including:
Partnering with local organisations, such as ‘Children’s Outreach’ in Nigeria, that offer school preparation courses alongside psychosocial support to help street children readjust to mainstream life.
silly boys street child
Working with schools so they can understand the unique situation faced by street children and help support their reintegration into the school system.
Facilitating coordination between schools, police, district government and the community to raise awareness of these issues and improve attitudes and support for street children. Providing street children and families with school starter kits, which include uniforms, exercise books and other materials they may need to start their journey into education.
SIFA’s preparation classes, counselling and recreation activities provide a valuable foundation for bridging the gap from street life to formal school, helping children to regain their self-esteem, address the trauma they have experienced, and leave behind the street environment. Once the children are in school, there is a need to work closely with teachers to promote positive attitudes towards street children, as their inclusion into mainstream schools, their performance in class and their behaviour all relate to how well they are treated.
Help give street children a second chance.
Get Involved today.
The world is hungry, but the emptiness goes far beyond the table. The need is physical and spiritual. People hunger for opportunity, starve for resources, and have been stripped of value. These injustices keep us up at night.
We seek to end ALL forms of human poverty by going to the hard places and walking with Africa’s most vulnerable people. We’ve been serving through purposeful relief and development. We believe in the fight against poverty, which is why we serve the vulnerable in Africa. We’re moved and inspired by our Christian belief that every person has intrinsic value, and that it’s our responsibility to advocate for the poor and marginalized without regard to race, creed or nationality and without adverse distinction of any kind. We serve on the basis of need alone. We strive to respect the culture and customs of the people we serve in order to preserve their humanity and dignity.
Food is one of the most basic necessities of human life, yet one in seven people are hungry. Approximately 815 million people are suffering from chronic undernourishment, and inadequate nutrition is a leading cause of death in children under five. Without enough healthy food to eat, people in developing countries cannot work, go to school, or take care of their families.
To address this global need, SIFA distributes and funds thousands of meals through periodic food distribution outreach programs, network of schools, orphanages, rescue centers, community-based missions and local partners across Africa. These feeding programs ensure that the neediest members of society receive nourishment to escape the vicious cycle of poverty. Please consider donating to one of our food projects to feed the hungry and help children, pregnant mothers, the elderly, the disabled, and other vulnerable populations fulfill their God-given destinies. GET INVOLVED NOW!
Social vices is an act of indiscipline. They are those acts and conditions that violate the societal norms and values. They are habits or behaviours of immoral activities such as cultism, robbery, ritual killing, kidnapping, smoking and drug peddling etc.
The word “vices” came from a Latin word “Vitium” meaning defect or failing.
It is rare to find a school or an institution void of social vices. This
depicts that they are found in educational canters primary, secondary and tertiary and the environment around us. Vices are common among young males and females, examples include prostitution, indecent dressing, robbery, cultism, pocket picking, drug addiction, examination malpractice, hooliganism thuggery, gambling, Smoking, premarital sexual activities and rape. Recently it has developed to militancy and terrorism among others social vices are bad traits, unhealthy and negative behaviours that are against the morality of a society.
The causes of social vices today includes: Lack of fear of God, Ungodly parental examples, Lack of parental responsibility, Broken homes, Bad company, Laziness, Hostile economic climate, Unreasonable love for fast money, Lack of parental care, supervision and attention, Child bullying, Authoritarian methods, bad staff behaviours in schools, harsh schools rules, poor communication results, lack of adequate schools facilities, influence from home etc.
The effects of social vices in the life of our youths, and societies can not be over emphasized. Knowing the pivotal role the youth of every Nation play on the wheel of development, progress and prosperity, at SIFA, we are deeply evolved in the fight against social vices in Africa. In collaboration and partnership with CSOs and Government agencies, we periodically organize youths and parent’s sensitization workshops and seminars, poverty alleviation programs, empowerment and skills acquisition programs among other youths oriented programs to help in reshaping the mindset of our today’s youths for a better tomorrow. GET INVOLVED!
ENTREPRENEURSHIP CLINIC AND BUSINESS SUPPORT PROJECT
Many individuals in underserved communities dream of starting businesses for years, but obstacles like lack of access to start up funding and limited business training and resources, get in the way. Those in low-wealth funding for businesses due in part to poor credit, lack of capital, and limited access to financial services.
Our entrepreneurship training, allows participants to master business basics and gain access to funding to support a strong launch and the ongoing growth of their businesses.
We work to empower aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools and skills to successfully navigate the path to small business ownership—combining business training, personal development, access to professional services, and financial counseling through partnerships with a direct network.
We expose prospective entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs to different transactional matters and related legal issues for a variety of start-ups and emerging growth companies, including pre-venture counseling and founder agreements; entity selection counseling; entity formation and organizational document drafting; intellectual property protection and licensing; independent contractor and employment agreements and accompanying equity compensation plans; supplier, vendor, and customer agreements and other commercial contracts; joint venture and collaboration agreements; and start-up financings.
Our beneficiaries are empowered business owners offering products and services across the spectrum of industries and specialties—representing an infusion of innovation that benefit their local communities and our nation’s economy. Join us and together we can build a prosperous Africa. GET INVOLVED!
GOSPEL SUPPORT PROJECT
SIFA is founded on the rock of christian faith. As partners in the gospel, we are called not only to share our faith with others, but to support the work of the gospel with our finances as well. Read Philippians 4:14-23
As Christians we are called to support the work of the gospel with our finances. We take that call seriously here at SIFA. Periodically 26% of our funds goes to support missions across Africa and indeed around the world. On top of that, we designate additional gifts to specific missions, so the actual percentage is even higher.
We encourage churches that preaches the gospel and seek to live out the gospel as a fellowship of believers. Every mission we support as a church has a gospel witness. So you can rest assured when you give to our work, you are indeed supporting the gospel.
First of all, when you support the gospel with your finances, you further spread the gospel. It is not something you grow into, but it is part of your basic Christian commitment. God calls you to give generously of your finances to the work of the gospel. Paul called this fellowship of giving “sharing in his troubles.” Paul experienced the trouble of persecution and trials while spreading the gospel, and the Philippians experienced the trouble of financial sacrifice at home while supporting the spread of the gospel abroad.
We also are privileged to share in this whole matter of giving and receiving with our missionaries. When we commit to their financial support, we enter into a relationship with our missionaries where we support them in the work of the gospel with our finances and with our prayers. It is a sacred fellowship. We are partners in the gospel together.
There are approximately 7,000 unreached people groups in the world today. These are groups with no discernible gospel witness. There are over 7 billion people alive in the world today. Nearly 3 billion of them live in unreached people groups with little or no access to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have been called to go into all the world with the gospel. It takes vision; it takes strategy; it takes planning to spread the gospel to all the world. And yes, it takes money, and it takes sacrifice.
We will never fulfill the Great Commission without shared sacrifice for the furtherance of the gospel. When you support the gospel with your finances, you supply the needs of Christian workers. The people we support in missions are real people. Just like you they have real needs. They are not superhuman. They require food, clothing, medical attention, rest, relaxation, and support for their families. Trust me, none of them are getting rich off their work as missionaries. As partners in the gospel we have the privilege of meeting their needs and making sure they are well provided for.
When you support the gospel with your finances, you store up treasure in heaven. Financial support of the gospel has a strange accounting procedure. What you give for the gospel gets credited back to your account. Your debits become credits!
When you give to the gospel, you are not spending; you are investing in the kingdom of God. You are storing up treasure in heaven that will never be taken away. In fact that treasure is earning compound interest! How is your heavenly account looking these days? What does your heavenly ledger look like compared to your earthly ledger? Everything in your earthly ledger you will eventually lose, but what you give to God remains forever.
When you support the gospel, you ultimately are giving to God. Yes you are furthering the spread of the gospel, yes you are supplying the needs of Christian workers, but worship is your primary reason for giving. This must come first. In the long run Christian giving is not measured primarily by financial value, but by the giver’s heart towards God.
When you support the gospel with your finances, God promises to meet all your needs. “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
With all this talk of giving sacrificially for the gospel, someone might ask: What will happen to my own needs if I support the work of the gospel financially? We have here a wonderful promise from God, a wonderful word of assurance, that God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ.
God will not merely meet some of your needs. He will meet all of your needs. God has whatever you need for any situation. Is your need financial? God owns the cattle on a thousand hills! Do you have emotional needs? The Holy Spirit is the great Comforter, and God will fill you with the fruit of his Spirit. Do you need guidance or direction? God gives you wisdom through his word. Do you need protection? God watches over his children. Do you need salvation? God gives the free gift of salvation to everyone who comes to him through Jesus Christ.
When you support the gospel, the work of the gospel goes forth, people are saved, and God is glorified. People need to hear the gospel. People cannot be saved apart from the knowledge of what God has done for them through Jesus Christ. Previous generations have sacrificed so much for the gospel to go forth. It is our turn now. We need to make the financial support of the gospel the highest priority in our personal lives. There is no greater investment with no greater return than supporting the gospel with your finances. To God be the glory!
MEDICAL OUTREACH AND WELLNESS ADVOCACY PROJECT
In rural African communities many people lack access to basic healthcare, and there is little education available on health promotion in remote communities. A large and geographically dispersed population means only half of Africans living in rural areas have medical facilities within 5km, and poor roads and a long rainy season make these few facilitates even harder to reach. A national healthcare workforce crisis means that there is only one doctor for every 16,000 people, compared to one for every 600 in the Europe.
Our aim is to improve access to healthcare in rural Africa. With the help of volunteer medical personnel, we work to strengthen and augment, rather than replace, the capacity of existing health services. We do this in three ways: Treating, Teaching and Training.
Our mobile clinics deliver primary healthcare directly to patients in rural villages. Volunteer doctors diagnose and treat common complaints. We also provide laboratory services capable of diagnosing HIV, Malaria, STIs and pregnancy without requiring patients to travel to the city.
Our Health education empowers communities to live healthier lives. As well as our clinics, we deliver interactive health education sessions in rural communities to address the health issues they identify as most pressing, where we put the emphasis on prevention over cure. Nutrition, HIV/AIDS and access to safe drinking water are among the most commonly covered topics.
We also work to achieve a system of sustainable healthcare in the areas we work in by increasing the capacity of community health workers (CHWs) to attend to the health needs of their village. Our volunteers train CHWs directly and help to make sure they are motivated to perform their role effectively, as well as working to improve their access to essential medicines and to better integrate their role with existing health services. We have also undertaken a number of small public health initiatives in rural communities, including teaching school children how to make soap from locally available ingredients and installing low cost hand washing stations and demonstrating how to operate them.