Hunger Aid and Development Foundation (HADEF).
This endeavor is the brainchild of Mr. Jorge Fernández Vidal, who happens to be a fellow member of the Unrecognised States Numismatic Society (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UnrecognisedStatesNumismaticSociety/ and http://www.usns.info/). He has issued scads of micro-national/fantasy coins, and most of these pieces are described in great detail in numerous pages of my Web-site. Mr. Vidal is also the Managing Director of JFV Coins, and he distributes his coins via his own Web-site (http://www.jfvcoins.com/index_english.html). Previously, Mr. Vidal had focused a great deal of his energy into issuing coins from Antarctica (please refer to my separate listing for the Grand Duchy of Westarctica). It seems as though the continent of Africa has truly become a new predilection for him.
The HADEF Project “is a local Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) based in Ga in the Wa West District of the Upper West Region of Ghana. Established in 2007, the overall goal of HADEF is to reduce poverty among the rural folk by promoting the socio-economic development of rural communities in the impoverished Wa West district.” At the page devoted to the HADEF Project (http://www.jfvcoins.com/Proyecto HADREP/ngo.html), Mr. Vidal offers an explanation for why he has “decided to embark in this numismatic project. I suppose that I share with any other coin collector a certain passion for history and geography. I imagine politics would have to be included as well, since there would be neither without it. One could say that coins are, to some extent, a physical representation of the history, geography and politics of any region or country. Having said that, it is genuinely believed that the more unusual the coin, the more fascinating the story and hence, the more intrigued I am. Without giving much detail, JFV Coins is dedicated to producing and distributing unusual coins. It is not solely because we believe that it is an interesting and generally unknown area, but because we truly are fascinated by them. In a time where commemorative coins of the most varied events, are part of our collections (coins issued by the Central Bank of almost any state) and where the concept of what is a ‘coin’ has changed dramatically; we believe that it is the time when other nations should have the right to commemorate their history and their existence. I am fond of history and I am particularly intrigued to the history of the Black continent, Africa. It has a dark and unknown yet magical history. A history marked by the Conference of Berlin (1885) where the Europeans decided to divide the African continent between the foreign powers, creating imaginary countries and changing the course of history. It is not my intention to discuss the impact of these changes yet anyone who has had the opportunity to travel to Africa has probably noticed that even though they all share the same flag and territory, these diverse nations, kingdoms and tribes have not lost their own identity, power and influence. The European mistake could not destroy these tribes and the constitutions of most of the African countries still recognize the importance of these nations (for those who are interested in this subject, the chapter 22 — Chieftancy — of the 1992 Constitution of the Republic of Ghana is a clear example of the legal and political power of the tribal leaders).” Mr. Vidal asks, if so many tiny territories and dependencies all around the world are issuing their own coins (either for profit or as a way to express their national identities), then “what prevents Sovereign African tribes from issuing their own coins? Yet it is not just about coins. There is something else. It is a tribute to a history marked by difficulties and challenges. In JFV Coins, we believe that this is a genuine effort to help those who are in need through something that we truly love: coins. That is why all the profits from these projects will be donated to the NGO HADEF, to be used for future developments in each of these tribes.”
Based on my personal communications with Mr. Vidal, the HADEF Project “was founded by me and my associate in Africa…It's aim is to reduce the rural poverty and build sustainable development, through livelihood interventions, food security, support for quality education, and so on.” The NGO “is tied to the Ghanaian issues that I am currently working with. I've decided to set up my NGO and the bulk of my projects in Ghana because of the political conditions, the significant number of tribes and kingdoms, and the opportunities for economic development.” The NGO will be financed by Mr. Vidal’s personal resources and by “the profits obtained through the sale of coins from African Kingdoms and Tribes of the area. These Kingdoms-Tribes are recognised as sovereign entities by the constitution in Ghana, and due to the particular political conditions in West Africa, they still have a significant power and relevance in the Ghanaian live.” The number of Kingdoms/Tribes for which he produces coins will depend on the number of contracts he can secure. “I don´t really know if the coins will be popular or not as it will be difficult to promote them but I think it is a great project that can make an impact in the lives of so many people.” The HADEF Project was originally to have been called the HADREP (Hunger Aid & Development Programme) Project.
Mr. Vidal provided more information about the HADEF coins. “The Kings or Chiefs of these Kingdoms and Tribes have duly authorized all my tribal coin productions.” He provided the group “with the scan of the contract JFV Coins signed with the chiefs of the Eduola, Ewaala and Naajeri Tribes (the first coins that I produced for the HADEF project). These agreements allow JFV Coins to produce their coins.” All three contracts are dated November 18th, 2007. He pointed out to us that these (and other) Tribes wield real authority in their country of origin. “In the absence of any democratic structure or any sort of Western-style government, they act as sovereign territories.” He urged us to take a look at Chapter 22 (it focuses on the institution of Chieftaincy) of the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana (1992). He reminded us that “I am not trying to argue that my productions are any sort of legal coinage or anything like that…Another important thing to mention is the purpose of these coins. I enjoy producing coins, and certainly I do not do if for the money.” Producing privately-minted coinage “is not a very profitable venture. It takes years just to break even. So it is not a commercial business. I produce these coins to raise funds to be used in local projects in these communities. I have also created my own NGO, which is currently operating in Ghana.” He also provided the group with a scan of “the official registration documents I received a couple of weeks ago”: a Certificate of Incorporation dated March 13th, 2008, and a Certificate to Commence Business dated March 14th, 2008. “We have been working in several projects since last year, including a 20-acre farm in the Upper West Region of Ghana and several micro-credit projects in different areas. Fortunately, things are going better than expected with the NGO. I have not raised enough money from the sale of these coins to finance the periodic donations I make and I am using my personal money to keep the NGO working. And we are talking about a few thousand Euro a month. I still hope the coins will sell well enough to permit further issues from other tribes.” He also offered to send the group “pictures of the farm, and the people we work with”, as well as other documents “which show that the donations and activities of our NGO are real.” The following is a brief summary of the tribes/kingdoms for which coins have already been produced:
 
Mr. Vidal has also produced coins for the Mantina Tribe (a 1 Iya piece, dated 2008) and the Pokoyirdeme Tribe (a 1 Miwor piece, dated 2008). Two coins of Mantina and Pokoyirdeme have recently been released for tribes located in northern Ghana. The Mantina tribe brass 1 Iya coin features a traditional medicinal plant on the obverse and a drinking mug on the other. The Pokoyirdeme tribe copper 1 Miiwor pictures a drum on one side and ground nuts (the main crop of the tribe) on the other. Both coins are 30mm in diameter. Information about each of these tribes can be viewed at: http://www.jfvcoins.com/Proyecto HADREP/tribes_kingdoms.html
Images of the HADEF coins can be viewed at:
http://www.jfvcoins.com/Proyecto HADREP/coins_HADREP.html.
 

1 Miiwor. Year: 2008. Weight: 13.0g. Metal: Copper. Diameter: 30 mm. Edge: Reeded. Alignment: Medal. Mint: N/A. Obverse: Drum. Reverse: Groundnuts. Mintage: N/A.
 
There are other tribal coins from Ghana, produce by Mr. Vidal. This fascinating series of coins has been issued by a firm in Spain. High relief coins are being issued for many of the traditional kingdoms and tribes of Ghana. The Kings or Chiefs of the Kingdoms or Tribes have authorized each of the issues. The coins are not intended to circulated, but rather to be sold to raise funds for projects that benefit the Kingdoms and Tribes. The coin have a mintage of only 1000 pieces each. The King or Chief appears on the one side of the coins and items of significance to the tribe, the name of the tribe and the denomination appear on the other. The brass Eduola issue is denominated 1 Edo and features a traditional spear and shield. The Emuola consider the crocodile as their spirit animal, thus it is pictured on their brass 2 Dier coin. The bi-metallic Ewaala 1 Ewai includes a map of Ghana showing the tribal region. The bronze Manyaala Tribe 2 Ebo features a bow and arrow. The bi-metallic 2 Mwal from the Mwalba Tribe pictures a carved wood stool. Woodcarving is an important industry for the tribe. A traditional drum is on the bronze 1 Eche coin of the Naajeri Tribe. All these coins are of 38mm in diameter, are dated 2008 and were made with matte finish.
Eduola Tribe (of Nyetigu): “The Eduola occupy a vast stretch of land around the south-eastern corridor of the Upper West region, sharing boundary with the Northern region. The great warrior known only as Takyi is believed to have migrated from somewhere near present day Accra (Ghana’s capital city) on his conquest agenda, settled at Nyetigu and later his progeny split to Kanyini in the Jirapa/Lambussie district of the upper west region. From Nyetigu, they expanded their horizon to share boundary with Wechiau at present day Ga to the west, Naaha to the north, and Northern region to the east and south.” For the Eduola, Mr. Vidal has produced a 2008 1 Edo piece, honoring Chief Yakubu Galibeu.
Ewaala Tribe (of Ga): “The present day Ga is predominantly ewaala who are believe to have migrated from Dorimon near Wa to the western corridor along the banks of the black Volta. The three ewaala clans: Sandaayiri, Kwameyiri and Donwieyiri wield royal power in Ga. These clans are superceded by a unified leadership, the Yirininkpong, who is equally accepted by the entire people of Ga. The Yirininkpong thus is the most elderly (not necessarily in age) in lineage among the three royal gates and for that matter the elder of the village.” The 1 Ewai piece dated 2008, honors Chief Naa Sumani Ibin Banda.
Naajeri Tribe (of Polee): “Naajeri is one of the three royal gates in the Wa traditional and chieftaincy system. With their traditional and administrative capital at Yaru, the people of Naajeri are spiritually dominant among their co-equals. They have produced one of the greatest leaders in the Waala tradition: Wa-naa Sidiki Bomi. Polee is a humble village with total population of about 1,500 residents. The rugged terrain of Polee makes one easily suspect of mineral deposits, though this has not yet been confirmed. The community is located between Wa Municipality and Wa West district, a few kilometres away from the Wa-Kumasi trunk road to the west.” The is 1 Eche piece dated 2008, honors Chief Salia Kperisinaa Dramani.
 

2 Mwal. Year: 2008. Weight: 29.60g. Metal: Bi-metal; outer: Copper, inner: probably Tin. Diameter: 30 mm. Edge: Reeded. Alignment: Medal. Mint: N/A. Obverse: carved wood stool. Reverse: portrait of Chief Kyere Saanpure. Mintage: 1000.
 
Three coins, 2010 dated were released in the series of coins for the tribes of Africa. The bi-metallic 1 Jiibaani from the Dakpanyiri Tribe features the chief on the one side and an ornament carried by the men of the tribe on the other. The Chief is highlighted in gold on a nickel coin. The 26mm coin has a mintage of only 1000 pieces. The Donwieyiri Tribe issued a bi-metallic 1 Yiehun coin. The chief is pictured on one side and an African mouse on the other. The 26mm coin has a mintage of only 1000 pieces. From the Sandaayiri Tribe is a 26mm nickel 1 Sanda coin picturing the Chief on one side and a hoe on the other. It has a mintage of 1000 pieces. All three tribes are located in the Upper West Region of Ghana.
 
Apart from the HADEF pieces enumerated above, he has also produced several non-HADEF (non-Ghanaian) pieces. At the end of January 2008, Mr. Vidal informed me “that the first coins of my ‘African Project’ have been released…I am extremely happy because I've been working on this particular business for a long time and it's a relief to see that it's moving forward. As I'm sure I've mentioned in one of my previous emails, these coins are a way to raise funds to local charities”. I was initially confused about which coins would pertain to his “African Project” and which ones would pertain to his “HADEF Project”. Mr. Vidal then explained how he differentiates between the two ventures: “I've been in over 10 West African countries during the last 15 months and I've managed to secure several agreements with kingdoms and tribes from Senegal, Guinea-Bissau and The Gambia among others. The purpose of the issues is the same: promote the tribes/kingdom and raise funds for local charities. But with the issues outside Ghana I will donate the proceeds to local NGOs instead of managing them ‘personally’ through HADEF, that's why these Senegalese issues are not included in the HADEF website. I thought it would be misleading to include them there.” Mr. Vidal’s numerous “African Project” (non-HADEF) issues include coins from:
 
Chisumulu Island and Likoma Island: Chisumulu Island (4,000 inhabitants) is the smaller of two inhabited islands located in Lake Malawi (also known as Lake Nyasa). Likoma (9,000 inhabitants) is the larger of the two. “Both these islands lie just a few kilometres from Mozambique, and are entirely surrounded by Mozambican territorial waters, but belong to Malawi. They are therefore exclaves of Malawi. This came about because the islands were colonised by Anglican missionaries spreading east from Malawi, rather than by the Portuguese who colonised Mozambique.” For both of these islands, Mr. Vidal produced a 5 Kwacha piece, dated 2007. Images of these can be viewed at: http://www.jfvcoins.com./Productos/world_coins=OtherCoins.html.
Royaume de Kabrousse: “The Kingdom of Kabrousse is located [in Senegal] near the border with Guinea-Bissau in a small village of the same name. Although it currently has just 6,000 inhabitants, Kabrousse was one of the most powerful kingdoms of the area until recent times. It is the birth-place of the Diola Queen Aline Sitoé Diatta, a famous heroine of the Senegalese resistance to French Colonialism.” These coins — a 1 Cauri piece and a ½ Cauri piece, both dated 2008 — are “dedicated to her.” Images of these coins can be viewed at: http://www.jfvcoins.com./Productos/micronations_english=catDK.html.
L'île de Syppo: “The island of Syppo is located in Siné Saloum Delta in the south of Senegal. Syppo is a small ancient kingdom ruled by Madame Toure. Right now the Kingdom consists of a small village that receives a significant number of tourists every year.” The 2 Cauri piece, dated 2008, “is the first issue of this tiny Kingdom.” Images of these coins can be viewed at: http://www.jfvcoins.com./Productos/micronations_english=catOS.html.
Mr. Vidal has also produced coins for the Haal Tribe (a 10 Deng piece, dated 2008; http://www.jfvcoins.com/Productos/micronations_english=catDK.html), the Kanjaga Tribe (a 5 Kebu piece, dated 2008; http://www.jfvcoins.com/Productos/micronations_english=catDK.html), and the Ncham Tribe (a 3 Peuhl piece, dated 2008; http://www.jfvcoins.com/Productos/micronations_english=catLN.html). The Ncham is a tribe located in Gambia with less than 1000 members. The Ncham villages are very small and rarely have access to schools, health care, or other basic services. This 2008 Ncham copper 3 Peuhl has a mintage of just 1000 pieces. One side shows a bird on one side and a tribal totem on the other. The Kanjaga is one of the smallest tribes in Burkina Faso. This 2008 Kanjaga 5 Kebu has a mintage of also just 1000 pieces. One side shows a native building, while the other shows a tribal totem. Both coins are 30mm in diameter.
Three new coins dated 2011 are also part of a continuing series of coins issued for the tribes as a fundraiser that benefits the Hunger Aid and Development Foundation (HADEF) based in Ghana. The Foundation promotes economic development projects in Africa. The 2011 issues feature three 30mm coins depicting animals.The 2011 issues feature three 30 mm coins depicting animals. The Sanuori Tribe issued a brass 1 Nuor picturing a jackal, the Tomboriyiri tribe brass 1 Mobiri has a cute hedgehog, and the Wechaubour copper 1 Kajour shows a hyrax. All three tribes are related to the Ga people of Ghana. Only 1000 of each coin were minted. All three tribes are related to the Ga people of Ghana. Only 1000 of each coin was minted.
The Brifo, Ponaal and Wielber are three closely related tribes that are located in North West Ghana. Each of these three 2012 dated coins features a tribal mask on the obverse. On either side of the mask are common Ghanaian symbols. Gye Nyame, which means “except for God”, which is a very popular symbol of the supremacy of God. The Odo Nyew Fie Kwan, or "Love never loses its way home", which is a symbol of the power of love. These three coins are all denominated as 1 Suoma, which is a traditional currency. The brass Brifo Tribe coin features a Baobab tree on the reverse. A plate of Cocoa pods is on the brass Ponaal Tribe coin. The Shea Butter tree is on the reverse of the aluminum Wielber Tribe coin. All three coins are 30mm in diameter and have a mintage of only 1000 pieces each. Part of the proceeds from the sale of the coins go to finance development projects for each of the tribes.
We cannot forget, of course, the lovely pieces Mr. Vidal issued for the Kingdom of Biffeche (please view my separate listing for this coin-issuing entity).

 

 
Micro-Nations
 
Chiefa Coins