Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, Blogger, Speaker

Third EU Grant to Borno State

EU Grant to Borno State

Boko Haram: EU offers N60 billion grant to Borno govt

For the third time the EU is providing a grant to Borno State in northern Nigeria, the center of Boko Haram activity. “Tagged the ‘Borno Package’, EU officials said the grant is to support the state government in three main areas of Response, Recovery and Resilience in the next three years.”

Supplying food and services for internally displaced persons are a major component of the grant. “Basic services in the area of health, water, sanitation, sustainable energy and to enhance livelihoods and employment opportunities for communities affected by the Boko Haram insurgency,” are further goals.

Implementation of the EU Grant to Borno State

Several international relief agencies are part of the implementation plan. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), International Rescue Committee (IRC), Mercy Corps, Norwegian Refugee Council and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) are a few.

When I read this: “Of the €143 million grant, the EU head of cooperation said 20 million Euros would go to the World Bank as fund to service the technical needs of the project,” I wondered if the money was simply being re-allocated to other agencies. Would it really meet the needs of the people in Borno State who have suffered so deeply at the hands of Boko Haram?

But as I read further, I see that the plans seem solid. The article specifies which agencies will support farmers with agricultural inputs, which will rehabilitate schools. and which will help the people in camps. The need is great and I am hopeful. You can read the full article by clicking on the video.

My Sister’s Visit

My sister Beth came to Westport for a brief visit.

Beth at Westport's Compo Beach on Sunday

Beth at Westport’s Compo Beach on Sunday

She had suggested driving to the beach on Sunday when the weather was decent. We watched the sunset. We also saw a man with his young son operating a drone. It disappeared from view and we wondered if it was lost.

She got out of the car to ask the dad. “No, it’s over Cockenoe Island,” he said. “We can’t see it now, but we’ll bring it back in a few minutes.” And they did. When we’d finished our picture-taking, we saw the drone return!

When she’s here, we like to have a “sighting.” Many years ago, it was seeing Paul Newman at Stop and Shop, where he was checking the aisle where Newman’s Own products were shelved. Another year, it was seeing her photo in Norwalk Hour after the photographer had captured her looking out over the water.  We declared the drone a “sighting.”

Kenechi and Mary Come for Dinner

Last night my grandson Kenechi and his girlfriend Mary took the train from New York to have dinner with us and play a game of Scrabble. They missed their first train and finally arrived at 9:11 pm! Beth and I had already started on the Indian food we’d ordered from Coromandel. They were both really hungry and dug in.

As soon as they had cleared the table I pulled out the Scrabble game. We couldn’t finish, but Beth was so far ahead it didn’t matter! We drove them back to the train station for the 11:28 to New York.

She and I finished the game when we came home. We ended with 3-2 overall game score, with her in the lead!

The sunset at Compo Beach in Westport on Sunday

The sunset at Compo Beach in Westport on Sunday

I drove her back to the Westchester County Airport this afternoon. The same man who had pushed her wheelchair into the Arrivals Hall on Saturday came out as I pulled into a parking spot in front of the terminal. “Do you need help?” he said. “Do you need a wheelchair?”

“No, I can walk into the terminal,” she said. But I was relieved as he took her suitcase which I’d pulled from the back seat and led her in. We embraced and said goodbye. I watched them enter the terminal before I drove home.

Now we’ll go back to playing Scrabble online.

Teaching Math in Igbo

Cynthia Onwuchuruba Bryte-Chinule has discovered that teaching math skills in Igbo or pidgin English helps her students. She was inspired, she told an interviewer, “by her students in the Port Harcourt prison and some other 40 children she teaches for free every Thursday and Saturday.”

She decided to record videos and post them to YouTube. Many of her students, she said, don’t speak English. She has found that the videos in Igbo gain a wider audience. I love this video where she tells her audience how to multiply an even number by 5. I admit I did not know this trick! Did you?

Apart from her desire to help her students understand, she also devotes her attention to encouraging girls to learn the STEM subjects. Good for her!

Dr. Elizabeth Garner, photo from article in

Dr. Elizabeth Garner, from article in

My Daughter Beth on Women’s Health

Beth was quoted in an article about women’s healthcare needs. She says, “We believe we need women to start having much more of a voice and talking about health and pushing companies to come up with solutions.”

“When discussing the complexity of clinical trials and the inclusion of women, Dr. Garner raises an interesting point. When she and her colleagues talk about Agile’s products they don’t speak about women as patients.

“ ‘Contraception isn’t a disease state,’ she says. ‘Neither is menopause, which is a natural aging condition, or its associated quality of life issues,’ she says, adding that the industry needs to think differently about how to design clinical trials and ways to include women and do no harm.”

Do I need to say I am proud?

Author: Catherine Onyemelukwe

Author, blogger, speaker. Born in New York, grew up in mid west United States, lived in Nigeria for 24 years, back in U.S. since 1986. Advocate for racial justice.


  1. Great post, Mother–learned a lot! Thanks for linking to the PharmaVOICE article!