The best way to teach someone about something is to show them in practice how it solves their problem. Doing this will incline them to listen to everything you have to say.
One of the oldest churches in Nigeria, ECWA (Evangelical Church Winning All) is ready to jump on the train. Like the church, Bitcoin is a symbol of hope, when the two come together, more people have a better shot at financial freedom.
With roots dating back to 1893 when Canadian and American missionaries Walter Gowans, Thomas Kent, and Rowland Bingham came to Nigeria to start the Sudan Interior Mission (now Serving In Mission), the bodies under this mission came together in 1954 to form a single indigenous body known as ECWA.
With over 6000 congregations and a membership of ~10m, it remains one of the biggest churches in Nigeria and West Africa. The church has a charity arm which engages in activities such as providing homes to people displaced by religious and ethnic clashes, providing education to the less privileged, and taking care of orphans brought to their orphanages. Another important component of this organisation is also the vocational training provided to those they cater to help them sustain themselves in the long run.
With core inflation at 17.7% and food inflation 19.7%, Nigeria’s inflation is one of the highest in the world and this has made it even more difficult for the organisation to continue catering for the thousands of children and families under its care. The World Bank estimates that the increase in these figures are likely to push an additional one million Nigerians into poverty by the end of 2022, in addition to the 6 million Nigerians that were already predicted to fall into poverty this year because of the rise in prices, particularly food prices.
For better context, assuming the organisation had N10m in its coffers in July 2021 — a year ago, with a parallel market exchange rate of N510/$, at today’s exchange rate of N640/$, the organisation would have lost almost 30% of it’s reserves to inflation, just like that.
This means that one of the biggest charities in Nigeria had to scale down operations in order to survive.
This is common to charities in Nigeria and other countries where inflation is high. Inflation is now a big hindrance to the effectiveness of charitable organisations in emerging economies.
Conversely, having bitcoin, and converting it into the naira to pay for their obligations would have given them more purchasing power over that time. Even better, circular economies can be built by these organisations as some of the skills acquired by those in their care can be exported. These organisations have the power of trust and community to build circular economies that solve their problems.
For an organisation entirely dependent on donations and goodwill from donors, one of the biggest challenges is finding an effective, easy and fast way to get donations from supporters or potential supporters from around the world.
By opting to raise donations using bitcoin, the organisation now has the ability to receive donations from anywhere in the world, they are not burdened with the bureaucracies of opening a GoFundMe (this was a major pain point discussed) account from Nigeria, censorship and seizure of their funds.
The importance of the work charitable organisations do cannot be overemphasised, by improving their access to funding, we make it easier for them to help in the fight against poverty, and giving power and freedom to the financially repressed; things Bitcoin helps achieve.
Bitnob will be supporting by helping raise the donations, carrying out Bitcoin education including self-custody for the organisation, circular economies and how Bitcoin can be used to move the needle in providing monetary hope to millions.
You are invited to make a donation here and to share the message to everyone you know who would love to support this effort.