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What is ‘COB’

Project COB is a collaboration of a handful of people worldwide that want to focus on the task of supporting young orphans, a vulnerable group from among the recently displaced people of Borno. COB is based on the very successful model developed by Fiona Lovatt at Gidan Almajirai, over the last three years.

You asked…

What will COB provide?

The first house we establish will offer all basic necessities including a home, education, medical care, and personal items to a group of 24 girls. We choose to rent rather than buy or build so that we have flexibility and can respond quickly on a small budget.

Where will the house be?

We’ll establish the house within a walled compound in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, to the west of Lake Chad.

Who will staff the home(s)?

Ideally the children we select and the adult staff we appoint as caregivers and teachers will all be known to each other, sharing knowledge of their former homes, so that one day they may return and claim their birthright. The staff will be on call 24/7. We would like them to feel like they are part of a long-term commitment to the orphans but we do not want them to experience hardship. A minimum of two women will be foundation staff. If funds permit we can increase this number.

What education will staff offer?

The staff will deliver a wide range of practical skills as well as core lessons in numeracy and literacy across three languages: Hausa (or Kanuri depending on the mother tongue of the orphans); English, the official language of Nigeria; and Arabic, the language of worship and scholarship that ties children and staff to a legacy that has been present in the area for a thousand years.

How much will the basic cost for 1 house be?

To set up the first house, housing 24 orphaned and homeless girls and two carers, the minimum cost is US $6000. It breaks down as follows:


  • Annual rent (more funds, better compound): NGN 500k ($2500)
  • Items to establish the house: NGN 10k ($50)
  • One phone, SIM and credit: NGN 10k ($50)
  • 4 large water containers @ NGN 2,500 ($12.50) each
  • Initial food and produce for the first month: NGN 130k ($650)

Each Girl:

  • Sleeping mat, stationery, toiletries, 2 sets of clothing, bucket, footwear and storage for personal items: NGN 10k ($50)
  • Sustenance costs per month: NGN 6k p/m ($30 p/m)

Each Carer/Teacher:

  • Stipend: NGN 30k ($150) p/m
  • Sustenance: NGN 6k ($30) p/m

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What your Donation can do*

* Amounts shown are accurate in US$ and GB£ March 2015. Six months ago a USD was worth 156 NGN. Recently (March 2015) it has been as high as 200 NGN, so aid dollars can go a very long way. We don’t know how long this situation will last, but for now it works in favour of all international donors seeking to make a difference.

DONATE $1.50 (£0.75) to buy 1 pair of Sandals

DONATE $2.5 (£1.25) to buy a laying Chicken

DONATE $15 (£7.50) to buy a Goat

DONATE $25 (£12.50) to buy basic teaching equipment (chalk, blackboard, etc)

DONATE $30 (£15) to feed one Child for 1 Month (basics)

DONATE $30 (£15) to pay 1 Live-in Teacher 1 Month Wages

DONATE $360 (£180) to pay 1 Live-in Teacher 1 Year


Are there items beyond necessities that would be useful?

In addition to the basics we’d like to provide a path to self-sufficiency and enterprise:

  • Power – solar panels, batteries, inverter: NGN 200k ($1000)
  • Small library covering a wide range of topics: NGN 100K ($500)
  • Vertical gardens. Practical agriculture, providing food: NGN 50k ($250)
  • Treadle sewing machine to make clothes to wear and sell: NGN 20k
  • Some chickens and feed: NGN 15k
  • Laptop and modem: NGN 60k
  • 50 laying chickens (food/sell): NGN 500 ($2.50) per hen