April Newsletter 2023
By Cognito . On Tuesday, May 9, 2023
Greetings dear readers,
As we begin a new month, we reflect on the work that has been done and look forward to what is yet to come. This edition of our newsletter highlights the continued efforts of Voice grantee partners in Nigeria as they work towards promoting social inclusion and advancing human rights especially for vulnerable populations.
From commemorating World Autism Awareness day to implementing initiatives geared towards combating sexual harassment on campuses, the stories we share showcases the tireless efforts of individuals and organizations in bringing about positive change.
Join us as we celebrate the achievements of these organisations and the individuals they serve. Through their work, we are reminded of the resilience and strength of the human spirit, and the power of collective action to effect change. Remember, “nothing about us without us.”
So, grab a cup of your favourite beverage and enjoy reading about the inspiring work being done in our communities.
IKE Foundation for Autism (IFA) Calls on all Stakeholders to support the Autism Community.
On April 2nd, World Autism Awareness day was celebrated across the globe. It was a day set aside by the United Nations to promote discussions around Autism Spectrum Disorders and related cognitive developmental needs. This year's theme is titled "Inclusion in the Workplace: Challenges and Opportunities in a Post-Pandemic World."
In support of this noble cause, IFA, in collaboration with other partner organisations including Partsilver Foundation, Royal School of Occupational Therapy Foundation, Live Well Homes, Fernand Effah Music Therapy Foundation, The Engraced Family, and SafeHost International School, embarked on a road walk to create awareness and dispel common misconceptions surrounding autism.
The focus of the road walk was also to promote inclusion in all spheres of life for those within the Autism and Special Needs Community. IFA called on all stakeholders to support the Autism Community and advocated to stakeholders to provide all-round support.
During the awareness campaign, IFA urged the public to focus on empathy rather than prejudice when dealing with individuals in the Autism Community. The campaign aimed to gather voices to advocate and create the necessary platforms that will give voices to those affected by this condition.
Female Student Leaders Unite to Combat Sexual Harassment on Campus: Gender Mobile's Innovative App Leads the Way!
Gender Mobile, one of Voice grantee partners committed to gender equality in Nigeria, recently facilitated an insightful training session for selected female student leaders on campus organising. The training was aimed at amplifying the voices of the female student leaders and supporting them to mobilise action to hold their institution accountable.
The training is part of Gender Mobile's continuous effort to combat the scourge of sexual harassment prevalent in Nigerian campuses. Additionally, the organization also held a Town Hall Forum to discuss the effects of sexual harassment in the environment of learning.
During the forum, Gender Mobile pitched its CampusPal app, a safe platform for students to report incidents of sexual harassment and ensure that their voices are heard. The app was successfully launched during a hostel drive at the University of Abuja, where students were encouraged to download it.
"We believe that creating a safer and more equal world for all starts with giving a voice to those who are often silenced," said a spokesperson for Gender Mobile. "By empowering female student leaders and providing them with a safe platform to report incidents of sexual harassment, we can work towards achieving gender equality on campuses."
Unlocking the Power of the Arts for Global Transformation: ARTvocacy and CognitoNINE's epic global Twitter Space Event!
In collaboration with Cognito & NINE, the ARTvocacy project, led by Street Project Foundation (SPF) hosted a global Twitter Space event in collaboration with CognitoNINE, The event also featured Speakers from within and outside Nigeria, who shared invaluable insights on the topic "Leveraging Creative Arts for World Peace and Youth Transformation." The event aimed to emphasise the importance of the arts in maintaining peace globally through imagination, creative advocacy expression, and cultural participation. ARTvocacy project lead, Zakari Emmanuel, who served as the co-host with Cognito's Kim Dashong, engaged with the speakers to discuss challenges, various opportunities available to creatives worldwide, while highlighting avenues for accessing these opportunities.
The twitter space had about 199 listeners and lasted for about 2 hours. It was recorded and is available for playback here. ARTvocacy and CognitoNINE hope that this event will inspire more creatives to come together and leverage the power of the arts for positive change in the world.
Gender Mobile Initiative Launches Campus Safety Tour with Major Inauguration at Chrisland University
Gender Mobile Initiative has commenced a campus tour under its campus safety initiative to enhance safety measures for all students on campus. The tour kicked off with a highly interactive town hall forum with students and the management team of Chrisland University located in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
During the town hall meeting, the Independent Sexual Harassment Prohibition Committee was inaugurated. This committee has the mandate to prioritize the leadership of women and girls in addressing sexual harassment on campus. The establishment of this committee which will also serve as watchdog, is a significant milestone in the efforts to create a safe learning environment for all students.
The Campus Safety Initiative team is thrilled about the prospects of collaborating with Chrisland University to ensure that the campus remains a safe space for all students to learn and thrive. This partnership signifies a renewed commitment to prioritising student safety and well-being on campus.
Empowering People With Disabilities: The Game-Changing 2-Day Capacity Strengthening Program
The Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) Community of Practice (CoP) has urged persons with disabilities to be more knowledgeable about disability issues and disability laws in order to challenge any violation of their rights. The call was made at a 2-day Capacity Strengthening Program organised by Persons with Disabilities Community of Practice with support from VOICE Nigeria and Cognito/Nine as the facilitators of this program.
The event, which had the theme: “Implementation of the disability Act; Breaking Barriers and Creating Opportunities for people with Disabilities,” took place in Abuja and witnessed presentations on relevant topics such as Understanding of Concept of Disability, Overview of The Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018, Mainstreaming Accessibilities and inclusion in all programs, and The Concept of Strategic Advocacy. Participants included stakeholders (MDAs) such as National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Persons With Disabilities, Federal Ministry of Education, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Civil Society groups like International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Persons With Disabilities representing different Organisations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) from different parts of Nigeria, and different clusters of disability.
For a more comprehensive report on the event, please follow the link provided.
Youth-led “Street Project Foundation” Project, “Artvocacy” Takes Nigeria by Storm, Inspiring Positive Change Through Creativity.
Members of the Artvocacy movement gathered in Abuja for their second physical meeting of the year, to discuss their shared purpose of creating a new Nigeria where youths are actively involved in governance. The movement aims to achieve this goal through the use of art for civic engagement and meaningful youth participation in governance.
During the meeting, a first-time attendee named Sublime, shared a poem with the group, which was inspired by the steadfastness she observed in the Artvocacy movement. The poem encouraged other members to continue using their creativity for positive change. The Artvocacy movement recognizes the power of art as a tool for advocacy and is dedicated to using it to promote positive transformation in various sectors.
In addition to promoting meaningful youth participation in governance, members of the Artvocacy movement are also using their art for other important causes such as mental health awareness, environmental sustainability, and social justice. Through their art, these young creatives are spreading important messages and raising awareness on critical issues affecting their communities.
With their dedication to promoting civic engagement and social development, the Artvocacy movement is becoming a beacon of hope for Nigerian youths looking to make a positive impact in their society.
Thank you for taking the time to read this edition of the newsletter. We hope you found it informative and engaging. If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to reach out.
Finally, we urge you to stay curious, stay connected, and as always, stay awesome!
Until next time,
Cognito & NINE Team
(Linking and Learning Facilitator)
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