The COVID Health Empowerment & Entrepreneurship Project

Addressing the Social and Economic Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on host communities of Internally Displaced Persons


The CHEEP initiative aimed to organize informative skills building workshops focused around educating participants on the fundamentals of COVID-19 hygiene, whilst also building the skills for sustainable social entrepreneurship. This initiative will offer training to 2 host communities of IDPs on COVID-19 prevention, hygiene, and safety methods, as well as empowering the participants with the skills and start up kits to be able to produce clinically approved hand sanitizers with materials sourced locally.




The project aims to empower women, young females and women-led households in a COVID-19 sustainable social entrepreneurial skills building workshop focused on producing clinically approved hand sanitizers using locally sourced materials.

The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the humanitarian need in the Boko-Haram insurgency affected regions of Nigeria and has left households in endangered communities even more exposed.

These households have been disproportionately affected both economically and socially, often leading them to be further marginalized. Through engagement with these host communities, our organization Partners for Health Equity (P4HE), recognizes how many within these communities still lag behind – both in access to information and simple safety precautionary measures.

IDP communities are at increased risk from COVID-19 and other communicable diseases, and simple measures such as hand washing and use of facemasks can help to curb the spread of these diseases. However, practicing safe hygiene measures can be a challenge to such communities who often have poor access to clean water for drinking, cooking, and general household use.

“The aim is to promote policies and actions to promote justice, social inclusion and and partnership in health care, whilst promoting quality health care for all”

Hyeladzira Gwanvwa-Pam

Founder, Partners for Health Equity

Our Action Plan

The CHEEP initiative takes a community centered approach to building capacity for community change through collaborative partnerships. Therefore, the initiative aims to address this gap through the following:

  1. Enlightenment and Provision of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials in 2 IDP host communities (FCT and Yola, Adamawa State).
  2. Training and capability building on using locally sourced materials to produce clinically approved (70% alcohol-based) hand sanitizers to maintain hand hygiene
  3. Economic empowerment scheme through sustainable social entrepreneurship skill building and provision of hand sanitizer production startup kits

“When you empower a woman, you empower the whole community”

Sarah Martin

Co-Founder, Partners for Health Equity


The workshop aims to empower the participants with the knowledge on how to make the sanitizers, connect and sell the products to local buyers at a profit, and use these profits to re-buy the needed raw materials. Participants will be connected with local suppliers and potential buyers, with recurring costs and profit estimations conducted to ensure costs remain low enough for the women to sell products for a reasonable profit, ensuring sustainability once the grant ends. At the end of the workshop, participants will be provided with initial seed capital in the form of hand sanitizer production startup kits (raw materials).

Partnerships & Collaborations

P4HE has used its resources to engage with the IDP host communities and existing local stakeholders, creating networks with local NGOs and pharmaceutical suppliers. This has led to commitments to partner from the local pharmaceutical company to provide resources (for hand sanitizers) and inputs into the training manuals. Other forms of support include technical collaboration and some financial commitment with local NGOs that serve the IDP host communities and its environs.

The CHEEP initiative takes a community-centered approach to building capacity for community change, by facilitating collaborative partnerships to tackle community specific needs. To maximize the impact of the project through this community-centered approach, we aim to build partnerships between the community beneficiaries and local partner organizations (who will serve in the workshop as co-facilitators). This will be achieved by working closely with community leaders, community-led organizations, and internally displaced communities, who act as the first line/direct beneficiaries of the project. Central to the project success is working closely with the community to better understand the benefits of engaging women and youth in entrepreneurship and how these gains can be sustained and further target the needs of the community.

Key partners in this inclusive collaboration of the CHEEP initiative are:


  • The IDP host communities – those affected by the insurgency, and the project beneficiaries
  • Religious/Women leaders and schoolteachers that are looked up to and well respected – utilized to engage directly with the community and community issues
  • Collaboration with local NGOs and pharmaceutical companies – external partners to facilitate the workshops and help create cross-programmatic partnerships.



By engaging with local NGOs and the local pharmaceutical company, who will serve as “hands-on” facilitators of the workshop, this will aim to increase the visibility for the workshops, improve advocacy, and cement cross-programmatic partnership with other local organizations in the longer term. The workshops aim to build community resilience beyond the hand sanitizers, to encourage community dialogue through town hall meetings, and address other non-tangible issues i.e., mental health and wellbeing, gender-based violence, youth led initiatives and education – to establish multi-sector collaboration.

Through such collaboration, the CHEEP workshop in Yola was  30 local women have been impacted with the knowledge of COVID-19 safety precautionary measures, as well as gaining the skills to produce their own hand sanitizers and reusable facemasks using WHO guidelines, to help combat the spread of the deadly disease. The participants also went home with start-up kits containing the materials they need to launch into their own sustainable ventures, and we hope that the project has empowered them to keep using these skills long after the workshop.

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