30th May 2012

Silver Slam raises money for Stepping Stones Nigeria

It is inspiring and great to read stories about how we can help charities, like Nigeria Stepping Stones.
Such as, the Story of Bebor International Model School and Stepping Stones Nigeria in their newsletter
“The air stinks, the water stinks, and even the fish and crabs caught in Bodo creek smell of pure “sweet bonny” light crude oil. The Guardian, Aug 3rd, 2011.
The initial inspiration for our director, Gary Foxcroft, to visit the Niger Delta was provided by the actions of one man – Ken Saro-Wiwa – and his people’s struggle against the extreme environmental damage caused by years of oil exploitation in the Ogoni region of Nigeria. Saro-Wiwa led a non-violent struggle against the devastation of Ogoniland’s water, air and soil and was an outspoken critic of the Nigerian Government.
On 10th November 1995, after a widely criticised trial, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other activists were hanged by the military government. The deaths of these innocent men caused widespread international outrage and led to more attention being placed on the activities of the oil companies operating in the region, especially Shell. Reverend Moses Lezor, founder and director of the Bebor International Model School was Saro-Wiwa’s friend and bookseller. Moses is one of the most likeable, dynamic, inspirational people
that you are ever likely to meet. After visiting Ogoni in 2006 SSN founder’s Gary and Naomi became good friends with a number of Saro-Wiwa’s friends. Indeed their young daughters, Amelia and Ruby were bestowed with the honour of Ogoni middles names from the community. Amelia’s is Dornubari, meaning “Gift from God” and Ruby’s is Kilsi, meaning “progress”.
Today the community in Bodo, where the school is situated are still suffering the terrible impacts of the massive oil spills that have devastated the land and waters. This has led to a recent groundbreaking legal case against Shell in London. In response to the hardship faced by the local community, SSN has increased the amount of scholarship places that we support at the school from 40 to 60 this year, thus helping provide more children with hope for a brighter future. SSN has also recently funded the refurbishment of the school so that the children have a better learning environment. Combined with the boreholes we provided to the community, school computer centre and training programmes for the teachers, SSN is proud to have played a small part in improving the lives of the children and their parents in Bodo.
Finally, a quote from Rev Moses: “We appreciate the contribution of SSN to Bebor’s transformation and wish to send our sincere thanks and love to all of the generous supporters who have helped make this happen”.
Read more about our tennis slam now.