Who we are

Great Step Initiative (GSI) is a refugee-led community-based organization (CBO) that supports Cameroonian refugees living in Nigeria. It currently operates in Cross River and Taraba States with recent attempts to expand to Benue state. The organization aims to reach all Cameroonian refugees and their host communities. Founded in 2019, GSI has a core workforce of 14, including 6 Nigerian nationals, and 120 community volunteers, with 37 Nigerian nationals. The organization focuses on four key thematic areas:

Vision

Empowerment: To prioritize empowering Cameroonian refugees to take ownership of their lives and communities, promoting self-reliance and autonomy.

Integration: To facilitate integration of refugees into Nigerian society, fostering positive relationships between refugees and host communities.

Education and skills development: To provide education and skills training opportunities to help refugees acquire new skills and knowledge, enabling them to contribute to their host communities.

Health and well-being: To prioritize the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of refugees, providing access to healthcare services and promoting mental health support.

Community engagement: To encourage community engagement and participation, ensuring that refugees have a voice in decision-making processes that affect their lives.

Advocacy: To advocate for the rights and needs of Cameroonian refugees, raising awareness about their situation and promoting their inclusion in humanitarian response and development initiatives.

Mission

To improve the quality of life for refugees and host communities, it is essential to advocate for sustainable relief and livelihood programs. These programs can help address the hardships and hunger experienced by both refugees and the host community, leading to long-term improvements in their well-being.

Core Values

      Equality: Every one is equal be it refugees or nationals hence opportunities should be give to both parties

       Transparency: We ensure transparency in all our activities

       Hard-work:We are committee to ensure a better life for each beneficiary we work with.

  • Compassion:Demonstrating empathy and care for those in need.
  • Integrity:Upholding honesty, transparency, and ethical behavior in all actions.
  • Dedication:Committing to the mission and serving the community with passion and perseverance.
  • Collaboration:Working together with stakeholders and partners to maximize impact and effectiveness.
  • Accountability:Taking responsibility for actions and decisions, and being answerable to stakeholders, and accountable to everything we are doing

OUR THEMATIC AREAS OF INTERVENTION

Our activities centered on the following sectors below

  1. Psycho-social counseling & Economic Empowerment: Providing support to victims of trauma and abuse.
  2. Awareness and response to issues Gender-based violence: Identifying and supporting victims of rape, early marriages, and teenage pregnancies.
  3. Preventive Health and Sanitation: Producing liquid soaps, face masks, reusable sanitary pads, and organizing community clean-up and sensitization campaigns.
  4. Child protection: Establishing Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) clubs and distributing sanitation materials in schools.

Psycho-social counseling

Gender-based Violence

Preventive Health & Sanitation

Child Protection

GSI's work aligns with the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) thematic areas, focusing on improving protection capacity, supporting education outcomes, addressing health gaps exacerbated by COVID-19, and creating economic opportunities for both refugees and host communities.

According to UNHCR, there are approximately 86,000 Cameroonian refugees registered in Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Benue, Cross River, Enugu, and Taraba States. In Cross River State, where GSI operates, there are 25,782 registered Cameroonian refugees in Adagom and Ukende settlements. GSI has been involved in distributing face masks and raising awareness on sexual and gender-based violence prevention, mental health, and COVID-19 safety measures in these settlements.

GSI's efforts are crucial in addressing the needs of Cameroonian refugees and their host communities, contributing to both humanitarian and developmental gaps in the settlements. The organization's focus on community-based approaches and local resource utilization demonstrates its commitment to empowering refugees and adopting local best practices.

Great Step Initiative (GSI) is a refugee-led community-based organization (CBO) that supports Cameroonian refugees living in Nigeria. As a CBO, GSI is a key stakeholder in addressing both humanitarian and developmental gaps in both the settlements and the host communities. GSI implements all its programs to benefit both refugees and their Nigerian hosts and employs local human and material resources in the implementation of its programs. This approach taps into the agency of refugees and adopts local best practices that emanate from local solutions.

The work of GSI aligns with the thematic areas of the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) in improving protection capacity, supporting education outcomes, meeting the health gaps which have been compounded by Covid-19, and creating economic opportunities for both refugees and the host communities. A key highlight of the organization’s achievement is the role it has played in responding to the Covid-19 crises that was at its peak in Nigeria early 2020 with underserved communities being the hardest hit. To mitigate the impact of Covid-19, GSI produced and/or procured and distributed key items targeting essential services such as health centers and schools that serve both refugees and host communities.

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