Nfld. & Labrador

Northern Nigeria to get a busload of supplies from Newfoundland

There isn't a lot of available floor space in Zainab Jerrett's St. John's home that isn't covered with boxes overflowing with supplies.

We Care Foundation donating books, toys and clothes

Parsons and Sons Transportation donated a used school bus to help out with the fundraising effort. (Submitted)

There isn't a lot of floor space in Zainab Jerrett's St. John's home that isn't covered with boxes overflowing with supplies. 

The longtime St. John's resident is in the process of packaging it all up and getting it ready to ship over to her home country of Nigeria. Her non-profit organization, the We Care Foundation, did the same thing back in 2016 but with only four cars.

"This year we are planning on sending six [cars] plus a school bus that was donated by Parsons and Sons Transportation Ltd. in C.B.S. So that bus is going to make a difference," Jerrett said.

Zainab Jerrett says a visit home opened her eyes to the need there for things like clothes, books and school supplies. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

The bus and other vehicles will be filled with the boxes currently filling her home and given out to those currently living in refugee camps or displaced by militant jihadist organization Boko Haram. 

The bus will then be used to help children in northern Nigeria get to and from school safely while the six used cars will be sold for cash. 

Jerrett runs the We Care Foundation, a group that started out raising money to help students who stopped going to school because of Boko Haram. To date the group has gotten 56 boys and girls into safer areas and back in the classroom in other parts of Nigeria. This latest push will provide the funding to help an additional 40 students. 

Students from Conception Bay South donate books and clothes that will help out students in northern Nigeria. (Submitted by Zainab Jerrett)

All of the toys, school supplies and clothing have been donated, a lot of it came from a drive Parsons and Sons Transportation did at a number of schools in Conception Bay South. 

"I was crying," Jerrett said. "Tears of joy and just amazement at how young kids can just think of other children worlds away, or thousands of miles away."

Students sponsored by the We Care Foundation show off supplies sent over last year. (Zainab Jerrettt)

The bus and small fleet of vehicles will be put in a shipping container and then sent to Halifax. From there the materials will make the trek to Nigeria before being processed and packaged and given out to those in need. 

"It's going to mean a lot to them. We are going to be seeing people crying, women dancing, people wearing clothes that they would normally not get to wear," she said.

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