Durian – Nigeria

Short description social enterprise

Durian works to equips women in rural communities of Nigeria with the skills and perspectives they need to be self-sufficient. Durian is guided by the philosophy that there is nothing called waste and no one deserves to be treated as waste.

Short description solution/tool

Community Engagement: Community in Nigeria is headed by a community leader, generally known as the King. And the community leader has a council of Leaders or Chiefs. Chiefs are responsible for different activities for community development. Then there are religious leaders who are responsible for religious activities in the community. Durian engages first with the head of the community and introduces various projects that they plan to do in the community. Once the community leader is convinced then he organizes a meeting of council of minister. One of the ministers is assigned to take it forward.

Livelihood Initiation: Once they get a go ahead to work in the community they do a resource mapping to find the availability of various local resources. Different communities have different resources like bamboo, cocoa pods, clay, etc. Based on the resource available in the community Durian picks up a project if they have already worked with the resource. If they haven’t worked with the resource in the past then they do research to find possible products based on the resource. In some of the communities they found cocoa pod as a resource as there was large scale cocoa farming. The cocoa pods left behind after cocoa extraction are a waste. Through their research Durian found out that the husk of the cocoa pod can be used for producing African Black Soap. Then they went back to the community and asked whether they are interested in the production of Black Soap made from cocoa pods.  Once they got an acceptance, they started training the women in production of African Black Soap from Cocoa pods.

Livelihood group structure: Durian either approaches existing cooperatives in the communities which are formed by similar tribes or forms cooperatives of like minded peoples. There are two different layers of women groups, one is a supplier group who have (collected) bamboo or cocoa pods and second is a producer/artisian group who makes the product out of the raw material like bamboo crafts from bamboo or Africa Black Soap from cocoa pods.

Training: Durian does livelihood training themselves. Durian partners with other organizations and conducts training in environment, human rights, etc. To do a resource mapping, they use storytelling, and draw maps on the ground to point at resources. To find/produce the right products from the identified resources, that is speaking to an existing ‘demand’, Durian does challenges with schools, with young people, and sometimes partners. They also read existing research to find the right product.

Other tools include:

Where to find more

●     https://www.ashoka.org/en-us/fellow/tony-joy

●     http://www.durian.org.ng

Who’s best to contact

·      Tony Joy, CEO and Founder Durian

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