Tag Archives: community development

Environmentally friendly litter

CERCOPAN has yet more exciting new additions to the growing family of pigs in Iko Esai village with the birth of four more healthy babies to our newly acquired female ‘Punch’. This project is proving to be an excellent flagship for our efforts toward alternative livelihoods in the communities surrounding Cross River National Park. Alternative sustainable livelihoods are a vital part of our larger goal to reduce reliance upon the dwindling rainforest resources and increase the financial and physical health of people in the area.

New baby pigs.jpg

The newest babies at 2 days old

The Iko Esai Ubhena farm co-operative made further improvements to the pig sty facilities to prepare for the babies, adding a new extended roof and cementing the floor of the ‘nursery’ to ensure the best possible welfare conditions for the piglets. The group is planning to develop a good breeding stock of females before commercial sales begin to ensure a constant and sustainable supply of protein for the village.

As with all CERCOPAN’s efforts, this project and others like it are only possible with the support of generous individuals and organisations around the world. CERCOPAN is entirely non-profit making and is managed by a dedicated core of international volunteers in conjunction with our fantastic Nigerian staff. If you wish to help us to continue touching lives please visit our website and donate today . Find us at www.cercopan.org or follow us on our facebook fan and cause pages.

‘Laying’ the foundations for good health and family financial stability in rural Nigeria

CERCOPAN has worked in its host village of Iko Esai for 10 years but, as of 2010, we have also expanded our alternative livelihood community work to over 100 people in Agoi Ibami, a neighbouring village. One of the larger projects targeting women is poultry farming for egg production, which can be done effectively at household level.

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Caroline with her partially completed enclosure

Eggs are an excellent source of healthy protein which are difficult and expensive to buy at village levels due to the poor state of access roads to external markets. Local chicken breeds do not produce high quality eggs for consumption and so CERCOPAN, with funding from BNRCC (Building Nigeria’s Response to Climate Change), has provided assistance to 15 women in Agoi Ibami to purchase agricultural layers that can provide a long term source of income and household protein.

As no one had tried rearing agricultural chickens in rural areas before CERCOPAN’s community conservation manager (Rachel Hemingway) bought two chickens to determine whether they would thrive and lay on locally available foodstuffs. Happily Fatty, one of the chickens, has started to lay high quality eggs already that are being given out to women in the village to encourage this type of farming.


‘Fatty’ chicken, the experiment on locally available food

As with all our work CERCOPAN cannot continue to finance and expand the livelihoods programme without the generous support of individuals and groups from around the world, who we rely on entirely. Please visit our website www.cercopan.org for more information on how to support us. Also check out our facebook fan and cause pages for more pictures, downloads and updates.


Some of the children who will benefit from our expanded livelihood programme

A smoother path to learning

Short term volunteers Sacha, Jan, Richard, Henk,
Rob, Jeanette and Ruud recently departed
Nigeria after three weeks of hard work.
The group arrived from Holland in early
February to assist CERCOPAN in a community
development initiative involving schools in
our host community, Iko Esai. The group
was well received by all and will be sorely
Men hard at work!
Most notable of their contributions was their work
with Iko Esai’s primary and secondary schools.
Before arriving they raised USD$1200 to be put
 towards the cost of renovating and sprucing up
the schools. In addition to their financial
contribution, they also offered their time
and effort to see the work through themselves.
 As mentioned in a previous blog entry,
part of the group painted the interior
 and exterior of Iko Esai Secondary School.
The other half of the group worked at the
Primary School, cementing the floors,
transforming the previously dirt flooring
into a more modern cement composition.
Thanks to the hard work and caring nature
of this group from Holland, a smoother path
to learning has been paved.


The completed flooring


Do you want to volunteer with CERCOPAN? Visit our website at

www.cercopan.org or email [email protected]



Farewell party


A brighter future for Iko Esai children

A group of short-term volunteers arrived recently from Holland to provide the children of Iko Esai a brighter future – illuminated in blue, green and yellow to be precise. The group of seven came across our recently introduced “working holiday” program in which anyone interested can visit our forest site as short term paying volunteers to help with the various initiatives CERCOPAN carries out and gain a valuable experience working with a grassroots conservation NGO. As community development was something they were very keen on, the group combined their efforts to raise approximately USD$1200 before coming out, which is being used to fund the renovation and sprucing up of two schools in CERCOPAN’s host community, Iko Esai. So far they have almost completed cementing the floors in the Iko Esai Primary School classrooms, and the painting of the interior and exterior walls of Iko Esai Secondary School.


Their hard work each day does not go unnoticed, especially from the children who regularly gather around in large groups to watch the renovations in action. The floors that were previously composed of packed sand have now been transformed into smooth concrete surfaces, and the bare brick walls transformed from a dull repressive grey to bright and cheerful blues, greens and yellows. Though these and other renovations that are soon to be underway are very important, the most rewarding transformation will surely be the renewed motivation of the village children inspired by the generous donation of time, money and efforts from CERCOPAN’s most recent group of short term volunteers. painting-esai-secondary-school-2.jpgPanting the school  

Do you want to help? Check out www.cercopan.org for more information about volunteering with CERCOPAN.


Enjoying a relaxing break in the river after all that hard work!