In late 2017, Fr. Stan Chu Ilo received the Excellence Award for Global Impact by Afroglobal Television for his work as Founder and President of the Canadian Samaritans for Africa (CSA). This is a community-based organization, located in Toronto with 23 volunteers, sees its mission as building on the assets of rural African women. Since 2003, CSA has helped implement more than 40 projects in, the Central African Republic, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda. Their work ranges from skills development and women’s[Stan Chu Ilo] agricultural micro-credit initiatives to water and sanitation[Stan Chu Ilo] .
Fr. Ilo’s water and sanitation project and the Adu Achi Women’s Skills Center in Eastern Nigeria was executed in collaboration with the Engineers Without Borders’ chapter at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. This [Stan Chu Ilo] was an initiative which led to the building of a water system for a village of approximately 10,000 people in Enugu State in Eastern Nigeria. This project was recognized as one of the top ten global projects at the Mondialogo Awards in 2009, sponsored by UNESCO. It also won an Environmental Protection Agency award and was recognized by the US State Department.
This year, two big projects occupy the attention of the CSA. First, they are focusing on women empowerment in the Central African Republic. Displaced women there temporarily found a home with the Community of the Beatitude in Bangui. Now the women are returning to their communities, agents from Canadian Africans for Africa working with Obouni Initiative are offering training programs to get them started on the process of rebuilding and developing income-generating activities to support their families. Second, the CSA is responding to Sudan’s declaration of famine. Though this would seem to prompt immediate attention to pressing needs, CSA is also cultivating the process of social transformation by identifying community and assets of women in these communities. Working with the Tomburo-Yambio diocese in South Sudan and Bishop Hiiboro Kussala, they have identified 44 women groups and 44 “agents” to lead these groups. The goal is to train the agents in Yambio and send them back to their local parishes and communities. The present challenge is to raise $44,000 start-up grants for each of these 44 communities as a seed money for these women.