The Street Store Nigeria 4.0 event on Saturday, December 21, 2019, in Agungi Lekki, Lagos, was an occasion that was rewarding to internally displaced people of Chibok community trying to resettle in Lagos. Household items such as mattresses and food items like bags of rice were given out free along with the customary free clothing and shoes.
According to Rebecca Eno- bong Roberts, Lead Coordinator, Street Store Nigeria: “This edition’s target beneficiaries were the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) from the Chibok community and with the assistance of our partners––such as Nestle Nigeria, Mouka Foam and Western Lotto as well as our numerous individual friends and families––we were able to reach 121 households.”
The Street Store––a volunteer-based global charity that relies on crowdsourcing cloth- ing donations that are then used to organize a shopping-for-free event for vulnerable people–– started in South Africa and it has been hosted in over 97 countries around the world. It was first hosted in Nigeria in 2017.
The choice of beneficiaries for the fourth edition according to Roberts stemmed from “our research of vulnerable groups [which] suggested that, IDPs who are currently living as internal refugees in cities across Nigeria are extremely vulnerable and in Lagos, this group are the new set of homelessness people.”
She further avowed that she and her co-cordinators–– Andrew Zovehe, Joseph Aro, Nejeeb Bello, Miriam Moses, Camylle Fleming and Olaotan Towry-Coker–– seek out “vulnerable groups to give a helping hand at least twice a year through the Street Store.”
Beyond this outreach out, she further affirmed, “we are working with this community to find temporary host communities to integrate this group as well, as [provide] soft skills acquisition to harness their livelihood.”
Around the world, the Street Store is an only cloth-and-shoe event. But it has evolved in Ni- geria to include essential household and food items.
“In 2018, many of the beneficiaries told us that as important as clothing is, they would give anything to exchange their clothing items for the small portion of non-perishable food and right there and then, we were able to internally raise money to buy some food items and mattresses for the event in 2018 and we have continued the culture ever since this year,” Roberts disclosed.