March Newsletter 2023

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Greetings dear readers,

The month of March was the vibrant women’s month all over the world, and in this newsletter edition, we are focusing on the incredible work of Voice-funded organizations in Nigeria that are championing the rights of women and girls.

From empowering women to be leaders in their communities to promoting gender equality, addressing gender-based violence, and bridging the gender gap in digital technology, the work being done by Voice-funded organizations is inspiring and impactful. We bring you stories of the innovative approaches and the positive impact they are making in the lives of women and girls.

This edition serves as a reminder of the importance of embracing equity and the need to continue to support the efforts of organizations working towards achieving it, as well as recognizing the resilience and strength of women.
So sit back, grab a cup of coffee, tea, or water, and join us as we celebrate the achievements of women, through the lens of organizations working tirelessly to empower them.

Celebrating International Women's Day 2023!

Several organizations collaborating with Voice Nigeria have enthusiastically joined in celebrating International Women's Day (IWD). The 2023 IWD which took place on 8th March was centered around the theme, “DigitAll: Innovation and Technology for Gender'', which has been designed to address the disparity between genders in terms of access to digital technology.

In commemoration of this event, partnering organizations have organized various activities aimed at empowering women through technology, with the ultimate goal of eradicating the digital divide between men and women and providing women with the skills and resources to fully utilize technological advancements.

Gender Mobile Initiative held advocacy programs to promote girls’ participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). These programs were documented in Abuja and Ekiti under the “Campus Safety Initiative Project.”

In conclusion, the collaboration between Voice Nigeria and the partnering organizations has yielded remarkable outcomes toward gender equality and women empowerment through the effective use of technology.

Creating Hope and Change for Nigerian Girls in FCT Slums: NAYA's Economic Empowerment Project.

In the bustling slums of the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, a group of 16 Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) within the age range of 18-30 years, will see their lives changed. They have been selected to participate in a project called Creating Hope Among Nigerian Girls through Economic Enterprise (CHANGE), which aims to empower them through economic enterprise.

With the support of the Novel Association for Youth Advocacy (NAYA), the 16 AGYW have been enrolled in vocational training programs in fashion design, hairdressing, and bag making. They are mentored by highly skilled and successful Master tradesmen/women who are helping them gain hands-on knowledge and practical skills in their chosen vocations.

The 16 beneficiaries are already making impressive progress in their training, with some starting to make their products. During a visit to the training locations, NAYA's project management team was impressed by the girls' commitment and progress. One of the rightsholders enrolled in hairdressing in Mpape slum expressed the number of skills she has gained in just a few months of joining the program. She shared how she had made her neighbor's hair and earned N1000, which she plans to use to send her child to school. This story is just one example of how the project is creating hope and opportunities for these young women and adolescent girl.

Through this project, NAYA is bringing CHANGE to the slums of the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria one AGYW at a time!

COSROPIN - Steady Putting Smiles in the Faces of Older Persons in Vulnerable Communities.

The 3rd edition of the "Older Persons' Hangout,'' hosted by the Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN) in collaboration with Save our Heritage Initiative (SOHI), took place on March 18th, 2023, at St. John's Anglican Church in Pigba-Kasa, Apo-Abuja. The Voice-sponsored event was well-attended by older persons, or “senior citizens”, as they are fondly called, who had a great time networking and engaging with like-minded individuals. The hangout was more than just a social gathering - it was an opportunity for older persons to interact and engage in valuable conversations about improving their overall well-being.

In collaboration with Voice Gender Justice Community of Practice, Cognito and NINE celebrated International Women’s Day by hosting a Twitter conversation, highlighting success stories and challenges as regards the gender gap in digital technology. This Twitter space created a learning platform for other organizations to pick pointers from their peers as regards maximizing digital technology in advocating for the cause of their rightsholders.
You can still catch up on the conversation by checking out the recorded Twitter space at the link below. Get ready to be inspired.

Twitter Space - “Gender Gap in Digital Technology: Success Stories and Challenges”

Cognito and NINE join Gender Justice Community of Practice to celebrate International Women's Day on Twitter.

In collaboration with the Gender Justice Community of Practice, Cognito and NINE celebrated international women’s day with a Twitter conversation, highlighting success stories and challenges as regards the gender gap in digital technology. This Twitter space created a learning platform for other organizations to pick pointers from their peers as regards maximizing digital technology in advocating for the cause of their rightholders.

You can still catch all the action! Check out the recorded Twitter space at the link below and get ready to be inspired.

Twitter Space - “Gender Gap in Digital Technology: Success Stories and Challenges”

Abuse Knows No Gender: A Project to Educate Boys on Gender-Based Violence.

During a visit to the Boys Against Gender-Based Violence (BAGBV) Club, which is one of the initiatives set up by the project SABI, Stephanie Iwunze, one of the mentors at Connected Development (CODE) encountered a young boy in Junior Secondary School, JSS3, who demonstrated a warped understanding of gender. He believed that being a boy exempted him from abuse or violence. The project SABI aims to educate and mentor boys like him to become gender advocates in their schools and communities, and the BAGBV Club is designed to engage boys and men in the project's focal states.

Although this young boy's initial refusal to believe he could be abused wasn't uncommon, it was a dangerous belief that stemmed from societal stereotypes that boys are stronger and untouchable, while girls are weaker. Through “Project Sabi”, CODE aims to change this belief one boy at a time through the Boys Against Gender-Based Violence (BAGBV) Club.

The project SABI seeks to dig at the root causes of gender-based violence by engaging men and boys at the grassroots level. CODE’s interactions with these young boys showed that they are capable of understanding the concepts of gender-based violence and can become advocates for gender equality in their schools and communities.

Here is a link to more on this news update.

Gender Mobile Initiative partners with the University of Abuja for a Townhall forum.

In a bid to increase reportage, hold perpetrators accountable to further deter potential perpetrators, and improve institutional accountability in tertiary institutions, the Gender Mobile Initiative team paid a courtesy visit to the University of Abuja, Gwagwalada. During the visit, the team briefed the university management on their ongoing activities, which include sensitization programs and advocacy for gender-friendly policies.

The University Management and Gender Mobile Initiative team reached a consensus on organizing a town hall to facilitate discussions between students and the management on issues bordering on gender equity, sexual harassment, and discrimination. The town hall is held on April 4th, 2023, and promises to be an enlightening and interactive session.

In addition to engaging the University management, the Gender Mobile Initiative team also had a meeting with the Student Union Government (SUG) Excos. The team discussed the role of student leaders in promoting gender equity and inclusiveness in the university community. The SUG Excos pledged their support for the initiative and expressed their readiness to work with the Gender Mobile Initiative team toward achieving the goal of a gender-friendly university community.

The Center for Gender, which is a department at the University of Abuja, expressed excitement about the partnership with the Gender Mobile Initiative team. The Center has been at the forefront of promoting gender equity in the university community and sees the town hall as an opportunity to further engage with students and stakeholders on issues of gender and inclusiveness.

Overall, the Gender Mobile Initiative team's visit to the University of Abuja was productive and promises to be a catalyst for positive change in the university community. The Townhall forum is an opportunity for students to engage with the University management on issues that affect them directly and shape the future of the university community.

Homsen Women Farmers Extend International Women's Day Celebration with Nba'al Traditional Council.

Homsen Women Farmers joined forces with Magajiya Mat Nagiya, their prospective Women Representative in the Nba'al Traditional Council, to mark their International Women's Day celebration on March 31st, 2023. The event was attended by His Royal Highness Miskoom Yenyil (Noebang Nbaal) of Shendam LGA in Plateau state, who pledged maximum cooperation towards the completion of the "Mu ma a yi damu" project. The event highlights the Homsen Women Farmers' dedication to promoting women's rights and economic empowerment.

Cognito and NINE - Capturing Grantee Innovations.

As part of the efforts to amplify innovations and impact of Voice-funded programs in Nigeria, Cognito & Nine visited 4 grantee organizations in the month of March to capture the wonderful innovations each organization deployed during the implementation of their programs. These were captured in the form of audio-visual materials aimed at documenting learning testimonials from each grantee organization. Watch out for the documentaries coming soon, but meanwhile, here is a brief of the 4 organizations visited and their programs.

Center for Ability Rehabilitation and Empowerment (CARE)

CARE, a grantee organization under the voice program, has been implementing an innovative project called "Project Accessible Aviation", a project born out of the discriminatory challenges faced by the chief responsibility officer of CARE and the difficulties that people with disabilities (PWDs) meet in the aviation sector. The project has brought about significant changes in Nigerian airports such as the provision of ambulift, stair-climbing wheelchairs, umbrellas for PWA (Persons with Albinism), and the abolishment of the policy that compelled PWDs to purchase extra tickets for their caregivers. The impact of the project has been tremendously felt by the PWD community. Favour, a rightsholder, praised the special treatment received at the airport, saying she felt like the president's wife. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has also put in place policies to ensure the sustainability of the project, and strategic advocacies are being carried out to educate stakeholders and citizens on the rights of PWDs and how to uphold them.

In an extensive effort by the Connected Development (CODE) organization, "Project SABI" has produced remarkable results in the Nigerian cities of Abuja and Enugu. The project, which focused on working with religious bodies, road transport workers, and secondary school boys, leveraged male advocates to achieve its objectives.

CODE's "Project SABI" aimed to increase awareness and understanding of reproductive health, gender-based violence, and other related issues among its target groups. By engaging male members of the communities, the project sought to foster a culture of respect and equality towards women and girls. The advocacy efforts of male members proved to be fruitful as the project yielded positive results in Abuja and Enugu. Through the project, CODE was able to build the capacity of the target groups on issues of sexual and reproductive health rights, and gender-based violence. The success of "Project SABI" demonstrates the significance of male advocacy in promoting gender equality and creating safe spaces for women and girls. CODE remains committed to implementing innovative projects that promote gender equality and social justice in Nigeria and beyond.

FOSER has embarked on a sensitization campaign to educate communities in Bauchi State on their basic human rights, with a particular focus on curbing police brutality, which has become rampant in society. This project is titled “Know Your Rights”. The organization's efforts, which includes social media campaigns, toll-free hotlines for reporting incidents of police brutality, training, and capacity-building programs, have been successful in reducing police brutality in the state. The project has also involved engaging pro-bono lawyers to represent victims of police brutality in court, which has resulted in a landmark court decision in favor of a particular rightsholder whose husband lost his life due to police brutality.

Through the project, community members, including youths, women, and persons with disabilities, have been empowered to know their rights and seek redress when their rights are violated. The organization's efforts have resulted in increased confidence among rightsholders, who are no longer subject to arbitrary arrests and other forms of police brutality. FOSER's campaign has demonstrated the importance of collaborative efforts among stakeholders in upholding human rights and promoting social justice. The project's success has led to happy citizens who are more confident in themselves because they know their rights.

YIAGA Africa
Yiaga's "Run to Win" project sought to encourage more young people to run for office by engaging celebrities and influencers like M.I. The project also collaborated with Street Project Foundation (SPF) for a youth festival, which saw young people express their political engagement through art. Some political parties also showed support for young people by holding town hall meetings and reducing nomination costs.
YIAGA Africa has recorded success stories such as the 18 young councilors who ran and won in the FCT, two young people who ran for Senate, and a female House of Representatives candidate who won in Enugu. During the "Run to Win" project, YIAGA Africa partnered with other organizations to conduct voter outreach activities to create awareness about the FCT area council elections. Overall, the efforts of Yiaga have helped to encourage more young people and women to participate in the electoral pocess, and there is hope for even more progress in future elections.

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter. We hope you found it informative and engaging. If you have any questions or comments, please don't hesitate to reach out.
Finally, I urge you to stay curious, stay connected, and as always, stay awesome!
Until next time,
Cognito/NINE Team.

Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter. Kindly watch out for updates on the Voice Naija Platform (www.voicenaija.org) as the Voice grantees have started uploading exciting updates from 2023

Don’t forget to follow @voiceglobal @oxfam_in_nigeria @wearecognito @infonine and also all the grantees on the Voice program, on social media.

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Joshua Ibrahim


I am a software developer interested in making the impossible possible, I believe with maximum cooperation, we can make something out of nothing and make your dreams a reality

Posted on Monday, April 10, 2023


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