How Faces of Web3 partnered NFT creators to raise funds for Nigerian flood victims
In 2022, Nigeria was hit by one of the worst floods in recent history that left many helpless, homeless and hopeless.The situation was exacerbated by the already difficult living conditions in many parts of the country, including poverty and lack of access to basic necessities. While the government was providing assistance in some parts of the country, other areas remained untouched and in dire need of help.
It was at this point, Faces of Web3, a technology company building a community of African digital creators entered the fray to lend a helping hand.
Upon hearing about the extent of the disaster, the founders of Faces of Web3, Esther Eze and Olaseni Oremodu, were shocked by the magnitude of the crisis. They initially thought the reports were exaggerated until they heard the actual number of people affected.
Determined to make a difference, they quickly called their team together, wrote a powerful call to the world to help and, within a day, set up a website (Naijafloodaid.xyz) and an NFT collection to raise funds for affected Nigerians. However, instead of choosing the usual fundraising sources, they decided to show that creators could leverage on the global access to market that web3 provides to effect good change in their environment.
To prove their point, they collaborated with African web3 creators like Adaeze Okaro, Cheythelight, Oyisands, Yinkore, Taesirat, King Bolarinwa and lots more to donate their NFTs and then auctioned those for sale on the blockchain.To ensure the funds were spent the right way and to foster accountability, they partnered with local community leaders in Rivers State and Bayelsa, including Enibo foundation, ChrisWonderart, Mrs Zanga Seiyefa, and Mr Kelly Rufus, who were already working on the ground to provide relief.
The founders of Faces of Web3 saw the disaster as an opportunity to showcase the value of effective altruism powered by blockchain. In just three days, they rallied together over 20 African artists in Nigeria and the diaspora and raised over 3 million naira. Speaking on the how quick the movement caught fire, Esther Eze said “I believe people want to do good, they just dont know how!”.
These funds were shared between the community leaders in Rivers and Bayelsa, who used them to purchase mosquito nets for pregnant women, men, and children in several IDP camps and provide medical outreach and post-flood reconstruction.
The impact of the relief efforts was felt immediately by those in need. Mrs. Adebayo, a displaced resident of Bayelsa state, told this day: ‘I never thought I would see the day where people I’ve never met would come to my aid. The mosquito nets, food, and clothing we received have been a huge blessing for my family and I am so grateful.’
However, the relief efforts were not without challenges. The team faced difficulties in reaching people in remote IDP camps, convincing people to donate, verifying the trustworthiness of the community leaders, and obtaining food as roads had been washed away and the country had been placed under curfew to keep people safe.
Despite these obstacles, the efforts of Faces of Web3 and their partners (coldscollective and chaosdao) profoundly impacted the communities affected by the flood. Their actions are a testament to the power of citizen resilience and altruism in the face of disaster.
In conclusion, the flood in Nigeria was a devastating event, but it also provided an opportunity for citizens to come together and make a difference in the lives of their fellow countrymen. The story of Faces of Web3 and Naijafloodaid inspires us all to do our part in times of crisis.