Community Development Focus

The Salvation Army Nigeria Territory has been involved in many community and social interventions in the past one hundred years of its existence in Nigeria (since 1920). As the organisation continues to grow, what The Salvation Army looks to achieve through community development initiatives and interventions continues to grow, make evident impact in all we do to save the dying world and serve suffering humanity.

The Salvation Army focuses to build the capacity of communities, local stakeholders and constituents, to help improve their living conditions and well-being.

Our programs and services are essential building blocks to continue to have maximum impact on social development across the country. Still, we continue to push boundaries as we sustain the implementation of current plans, reaching target groups to address opportunities and demands across the country. We continue to undertake innovative programs, including entrepreneurial endeavours, human rights intervention initiatives, qualitative and affordable healthcare services delivery and other human-interest services to enable our communities, and other beneficiary groups continue to access support and expand our reach to impact many more lives significantly.

Our primary beneficiary remains the people and the communities. We are dedicated to seeing lives and livelihoods improved, and developing communities by implanting our responses and initiatives in through strategic approaches and intentions.

Our specific programme areas include:

The strategy has six focus areas:

  1. Human Rights and Anti-Human Trafficking.
  2. Natural Disasters, Emergencies and Pandemics responses
  3. Child Rights and Protection of Children.
  4. Access to Qualitative and Affordable Education.
  5. Access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Healthcare Service Delivery.
  6. Youth Employment opportunities and Economic Empowerment programmes.

Natural Disasters, Emergencies and Pandemics responses

The country’s topography ranges from lowland along the coast and in the lower Niger Valley to high plateaus in the north and mountains along the eastern border. Disasters such as floods, landslides, tidal waves, coastal erosion, sand-storms, dust-storms, locust/insect infestations, oil spillage and other human-made disasters including fire outbreaks and explosions contribute to huge casualties of disasters in Nigeria. Communal clashes, conflict between herders and farmers claim many lives in Nigeria render many homeless and lead to the destruction of property and livelihoods.

Several states and cities in Nigeria experience yearly floods between the month of July and September; the heavy rains compounded by poor drainage systems are the biggest sources of flood disasters. On the one hand, insurgency and terrorism have contributed to the displacement of more than 2 million people in the past 7 years. Uncontrolled urbanization and rapid population growth, without the expansion of the necessary infrastructure to address them, will exacerbate the destructive force of natural disasters. Presently, Nigeria is about half urban, and the population is expected to grow from 200 million people to perhaps 450 million by mid-century.

Recently, the emergence of Covid-19 has become both a global challenge leading to millions of people hospitalized across the world and thousands of death. It is also a potent enemy on the economy of people and nations. Most disturbing is the present reality of no specific cure and/or vaccines to combat Covid-19. Critical to the global response to Covid-19 is that all containment and mitigations, systems and actions must pay adequate attention to concerns of the poor, the voiceless and the vulnerable, especially women, adolescent girls and children. The Territory has served the community with diverse support interventions as the country battles with the psychological, health and economic devastation COVID-19 era in Nigeria.

Child Rights and Protection of Children

For many children with disabilities in Nigeria, educational opportunities remain scant; economic empowerment looks distant, being deprived for life seems a definite reality. Polio is one of Nigeria’s causes of disability in children. Communal clashes, Sharia law in the Northern Nigeria where limbs are cut off to serve punishment to offenders and high level of road accidents are contributors to disability amongst children in the country. Today, Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children in the world, ascertaining the percentage of those with learning disabilities is next to impossible as official data is nonexistent. However, any educational plans for children with disability must be supportive and empowering, ensuring their human rights and dignity of life are sacrosanct, address their needs in order to bring them into the mainstay of society.

Generally, child rights violations and abuses are significant challenges to children in Nigeria. Many exposed to exploitation, denied regular meals, access to basic education, forced into child-marriages and child-labor. In northern Nigeria, children are handed over to clerics by their parents, who engage them into street-begging. The internally displaced children from insurgency in the region leave children exposed to sexual abuses, denied access to basic education and enabling environment for development. In Southern Nigeria, orphans and children from poor homes often are sent out to hawk on the streets, exposed to many and various road hazards. In some cases, family members trade orphaned children for money or in exchange for material interests. These children serve as slaves, exposed to multiple waves of abuse.

HIV/AIDS contributes to the number of orphaned children in Nigeria. The country continues to record children’s death resulting from HIV and AIDS. The number of HIV infected family members who continue to expose children to HIV infection is not abating. More than 75% of Nigeria’s pregnant women use traditional birth attendants and healers. Many of this number do not access the compulsory HIV tests for expectant mothers and ultimately are not captured in the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT), further endangering the lives of children on that scale in the country.

Access to Qualitative and Affordable Education

According to Nigeria’s latest National Policy on Education (2004), basic education covers nine years of formal (compulsory) schooling, six years of elementary and three years of junior secondary education. Post-basic education includes three years of senior secondary school. At the tertiary level, the system consists of a university sector and a non-university sector. The latter is composed of polytechnics, mono-technics, and colleges of education. The tertiary sector offers opportunities for undergraduate, graduate, and vocational and technical education.

In rural areas, access to education is limited as the majority does not have public schools and where these schools do exist, the children must cover long distances to get to the school. Communities where public schools are not accessible, parents are left with the option of enrolling their wards into private schools. However, the economic capacity of these low-income earners makes it almost impossible for these parents to access education.

The Territory has a total of 17 primary and secondary spread across the country and providing access to qualitative and affordable services without discrimination.

Healthcare Service Delivery

The NIGERIA Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Indicators Baseline Report, 2016 indicates that the population of Nigerians using safely managed drinking water services at various times was at 58.5 per cent (2011), 57.8 per cent (2012), and 62.2 per cent (2014), a slight, but encouraging improvement in the supply of safe water that Nigerians drink. As at 2015, it was estimated that 69.6 per cent of Nigerians had reliable sources of drinking water, which shows an improvement over the 2012 estimate during which a little above half of Nigerian population (57.8 per cent) had safe water to drink. Data from the report indicates the proportions of the population using safely managed sanitation services from 31.0 per cent in 2011 through 60.3 per cent in 2015. The improvement observed suggests the possible effect of awareness programs implemented to educate Nigerians on managing sanitation services in their places of abode.

Despite the above report, access to clean water and improved sanitation facilities is a significant challenge to many Nigerians, especially in rural areas. Lack of portable water and access to sanitation facilities is a major concern in urban and rural areas. The Northern and Eastern States are mostly affected by lack of access to portable water and sanitation facilities, including poor hygiene practices. The fore-going sustains the high prevalence of waterborne diseases, threatens the livelihood of small-scale farmers and contributes to low levels of school enrolments, particularly among girls.

Open defecation remains a huge challenge in most rural communities. Disposal of untreated hazardous effluents directly into flowing rivers results in waterborne diseases for communities who drink from the same river or stream. Research has shown that unsafe sanitation and hygiene practices result in stunted growth among children and causes food contamination. Malaria, diarrhoea, cholera, and typhoid fever are prevalent in most rural communities with poor access to safe water and sanitation facilities.

In 2018, the report indicated that Nigeria has 67% of people living with HIV who knew their status. 53% of people living with HIV were on treatment; 42% of people living with HIV were virally suppressed. Women are disproportionally affected by HIV in Nigeria: of the 1,800,000 adults living with HIV in Nigeria, 1,000,000 (55.56%) were women. New HIV infections among young women aged 15–24 years were less than double those among young men: 26,000 new infections among young women, compared to 15,000 among young men.

Presently, the Territory has 5 medical facilities providing healthcare services delivery across the country among which is the deliberate responding to the maternal and child healthcare services.

Youth Employment opportunities and Economic Empowerment programmes

In the context of declining growth and economic restructuring, the employment situation in Africa has become critical and labour absorption problematic. Youth unemployment has increasingly come to be a national disgrace and endemic failure on the part of the government of Nigeria. Clearly, unemployment is arguably Nigeria's most socio-economic severe problems confronting its national development interests.

Analysis of youth unemployment by geographical/settlement location (rural and urban areas) indicates that youth unemployment is mostly in rural areas and rapidly growing.

According to a survey by the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), youth unemployment programs have concentrated more on training than on other activities that provide openings for immediate employment in white-collar jobs or jobs in the small and medium-scale industries (NISER, 2013). The labour market in Nigeria is characterized by a significant mismatch between skills demanded by employers and those possessed by these young prospective employees/workers.

Presently, the Territory is working out modalities and intervention programmes to adequately provide sustainable employment opportunities and other relevant economic empowerment programmes as it pushes towards aligning more with the country’s larger young population for total development.


You can contact the Territorial Development Manager at Territorial Headquarters by emailing

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