Sharing food on the streets of Lagos
The market in central Lagos
In October 2005 Food Not Bombs co-founder Keith McHenry visited the Lagos chapter, spoke on Gandhi's birthday about nonviolence, cooperation and social change. He met with Nigeria's most loved human rights activists, musicians and student leaders. He also spoke about Food Not Bombs, non-violence and cooperation on many national TV and radio stations and he was interviewed by many major publications.
During his visit Nigerians discussed building the Food Not Bombs movement throughout Sub-Sahara Africa. Unlike other efforts to provide charity the goal is to create a locally based movement that focused of providing results. The leadership National Association of Nigerian Students enthusiastically adopted Food Not Bombs as its core project. They notes that the students are the future of West Africa and that for there to be any hope they must take responsibility for turning around society. Nonviolence and cooperation are two major changes they said Nigeria needed and that Food Not Bombs was the perfect way to encourage this change. The one copy of the Food Not Bombs book they had was read cover to cover by everyone in the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students. They believed they could inspire many of the over 30 millions students they represent to participate in organizing a Food Not Bombs movement in West Africa. The students also have the support of many older Nigerians. It was agreed that Keith would return to Nigeria on January 15, 2006 and participate in a national tour ending in the capital with a massive rally announcing the start of the West African Food Not Bombs movement.
Food Not Bombs in West Africa plans to organize food kitchens, neighborhood clean-up projects, community gardens, FM radio stations and electrical generation as well as many other projects to provide for the needs of Nigerians. Instead of bringing food and materials to Nigeria the focus is on supporting the local economy by organizing these projects using Nigerian resources. The Food Not Bombs movement outside West Africa will provide technical support and the initial money and materials to help launch this campaign.
Nigeria has great influence throughout Africa and its possible that Food Not Bombs will have a major role in supporting independence, peace and self-determination across the continent. Your support is essential.