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CSJ trains 50 NGOs on the use of shadow reporting in tackling Gender-based issues

Center for Social Justice held a two-day workshop on 20th and 21st of August for 50 Non-Governmental Organisations from the Federal Capital Territory, Adamawa and Sokoto States on the use of shadow reporting as it relates to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) issues.

Shadow reports are used by NGOs to present alternative information submitted by state parties to human right treaties.

The workshop also touched on Follow-up on Obligations in relation to Human Rights Monitoring Mechanisms on SGBV, Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG), Harmful Practices (HP) and the promotion of the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR).

It was done in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme/European Union (UNDP/EU) on the implementation of components of the Spotlight Initiative. 

Giving a welcome address, the Lead Director of CSJ, Eze Onyekpere told participants that the Spotlight Initiative is focused on the eradication of Sexual and Gender-based violence and promotion of the Sexual and Reproductive Health rights of women and girls.

Eze Onyekpere giving a welcome address

“It has an overall vision of a Nigeria where all women and girls, particularly the most vulnerable, live a life free from violence and harmful practices”, he said.

Eze also noted that the programme seeks to equip women rights advocates, civil society groups and the media with greater knowledge, capacity and tools on gender responsive programming and engagement of government to eliminate the aforementioned issues.

Participants were taught on the definition, purpose, method and when to write shadow reports. Strategies to maximize benefits from shadow reporting as well as follow-up issues were equally discussed.

Reacting to the developments from the workshop, Silverleen Aroh from Save the Child Initiative Nigeria, in an interview with Media For Community Change spoke on the importance of shadow report. 

For her, it allows CSOs and NGOSs collaborate and engage  in the activities of the government.

She said: “I was able to learn the need for CSOs involvement and synergy among CSOs to be able to come up with shadow reports that will support what the government is doing and push them to do more.”

Another participant, Emmanuel Ezechukwubem from Kiek Foundation stressed the need for awareness on several existing policies and laws. 

He called on CSOs and NGOs to help with such awareness to the public particularly the rural communities. 

He said: “Coming from Anambra state, if you go there and tell a woman that they have the right to own a land, they will disagree. We should go out there and create awareness. 

“We have to go for awareness creation to the communities to make people know about these laws that is the only way to get citizens to participate. If they do not have ideas about these laws, how will you make them participate?”

Lastly, Chioma Kanu from Mothers And Marginalised Advocacy Centre lamented that Nigeria has several unimplemented policies and laws that could promote gender related issues citing the Violence Against Persons Prohibition, Child Rights Act among others. 

She equally pointed out that traditional practices still supersede these acts.

She said: “I learnt of so many policies and laws that promote gender related issues. We have this act of never implementing the laws that we have passed and then we also have our traditional laws clashing with the national and state laws.

“In practice, it appears as if we focus more on the traditional law which to me, I feel is not helpful, for instance we have the Child Rights Act at the National level which protects Nigerian children. Some states that even bothered to pass it ‘panel beat’ it to such extent that it lacks the true essence of the principal act. There is a whole lot of watering down issues based on our tradition and religion.”

She rather advised that the federal government put up some mechanisms to override state laws and insist on national laws to protect women and children.

“We have the Gender and Equal opportunities act which the government is yet to pay so much attention to and CSOs are wearing thin on what to do. We have also the VAPP act which has been assented to and some states have domesticated but we want to see implementation of the law.

“We also want to see National Orientation Agency taking a proactive step towards creating sensitization for people to know that these laws exist and they can utilize them to protect women and girls in Nigeria”, she added. 

International Volunteer Day – What To Know

By Demola Oriyomi Ademola

A volunteer is someone who contributes time, effort and talent to meet a need or further a mission, without going on the payroll.  Volunteering activities are of different types. It could be micro-volunteering, online volunteering, and skills-based volunteering.  People choose to volunteer for different reasons. For some, it is an opportunity to give back to society. For others, it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or develop existing experience and knowledge. Regardless of the motivation, what unites both is that it helps in self-development and societal development. 

 We all have busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. But one thing many people do not understand is that volunteering comes with enormous benefits. The right match can help to explore career options and aid professional development.

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While it is true that the more time you volunteer, the more you stand to benefit, volunteering does not have to take your entire time to be beneficial, in fact, research has shown that just four or six hours a week can accord the most benefits. Volunteering should be fun, not another chore on your to-do list. Hence, volunteer-only the amount of time that feels comfortable for you. 

Volunteering is not just an opportunity to create a positive impact in your community, it also contributes a great deal in your job search and professional reputation as it helps boost your resume helps you to determine your career goal, and present you an opportunity to upgrade your chains of network. 

Do you need counselling on volunteering decisions? Here are the tips you need to understand before making your final decisions to be a volunteer.

  • Understand why you are volunteering. 

This is the most important aspect of your journey as a volunteer. You definitely have to understand why you are volunteering for a particular crusade or mission. This will help you actualize your purpose of volunteering. 

  • Don’t volunteer for money

In most cases, the fundamental essence of volunteering is to contribute your quota to the development of your society, that is, making the world we live in a better place for all. Always try as much as possible to make self-sufficient arrangement for yourself while volunteering. Feel less entitled to food, water e.t.c from the organization you’re volunteering for. This makes you a unique volunteer. 

  • Be a unique volunteer. 

To be a unique volunteer, you have to be distinct in thinking by coming up with creative solutions to problems. Always ensure that your service as a volunteer is felt and positively impacts your society. 

Ensure that you are volunteering for a cause that is in line with your passion and interest so that you will not find the exercise boring. This is one of the common mistakes youth makes in the cause of volunteering. Volunteering should be fun and engaging not otherwise. 

Whatever you are good at can be put to good use with nonprofit and local agencies. You stand a chance of being recommended to reputable organizations through utilizing whatsoever skills you have while volunteering. It is a fact that these days, most reputable jobs are gotten through recommendation. 

And finally, try several volunteering possibilities: sometimes, an opportunity looks good on paper, but the reality is totally different. Visit different organizations and understand what they do is in line with your goal and aspirations. 

#VOTE4WASH: MFCC PARTNERS WATERAID

Elections come with various opportunities, one of which is presenting the people an opportunity to exercise their fundamental human right by voting responsible public office holders. As millions of Nigeria head to poll, Media For Community Change has partnered with WaterAid Nigeria to educate people on the need to #Vote4WASH during the #NigeriaDecides2019 and thereafter.

This is very important to our organization seeing that poor or no access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene facility is a big challenge in most local communities where we work. We understand that if leaders prioritise WASH sector and provide necessary infrastructures in their communities, it will transform the standard of living and improve health status.

Delivery of WASH services acts as a primary barrier to disease transmission and hygiene promotion, particularly handwashing with soap, has been identified as the most cost-effective disease control intervention. Yet 87% of the population do not have basic hygiene facilities and almost a third (29%) of hospitals and clinics in the country do not have access to clean water; the same percentage do not have access to clean water; the same percentage do not have safe toilets and one in six(16%) do not have anywhere to wash hands with soap according to a World Health Organization report.

Ekene May of MFCC explaining why you should #vote4WASH

Access to water, sanitation are crucial for good outcomes in health, nutrition, education & livelihoods and inadequate or poor WASH services have an impact on virtually all aspects of human development, disproportionately affecting the life chances of women and girls. No one should have to live without these basic life-saving services. Ensure your vote counts and demand these social services from your candidates and duty bearers.

Out of School Children in Nigeria: NGO Sent 31 back to School

To reduce the current high number of out-of-school children in Nigeria estimated at 13.5 million by UNICEF, and to combat the menace of illiteracy in Nigeria, Mr. Ibezim Chike Victor, the founder of the Mil-Vision Foundation has announced his organization’s plan to send 3 million out-of-school children back to school by 2030. Mr. Ibezim made this public during the official launch of the foundation’s activities at LEA Primary School Tunga-Maje, Abuja.

“Our vision clearly states that by 2030, we will send 3 million out-of-school children in Nigeria back to the classroom. We recognize that it is a very big task; however, we are committed to achieving this through the goodwill and donations of our partners, adequate monitoring, evaluation and reporting of our activities, as well as, maximally leveraging the individual and collective strengths of our volunteers.”

According to the Headmistress of LEA Primary School Tunga-Maje, FCT, Abuja, Hajia Usman Takwa, “We currently have 1812 boys and 977 girls but we still have so many out-of-school children out there in Tungan-Maja. The community is quite big and densely populated but we have only 97 teachers and limited infrastructure so it is beyond my power to get more students to school.”

At the official launch of the Mil-Vision Foundation which took place at LEA Primary School Tunga-Maje, Abuja on Thursday, January 10, 2019; thirty-one (31) indigent students benefited from a 100% per cent scholarship covering tuition fee, school uniforms, school bags, and writing materials.

According to the founder, “Our organization remains committed to providing quality education to indigent kids. We understand that education builds a nation. Developed countries today have invested heavily in education and it works for them.” Victor opined, “Primary school education is the most important stage in a child’s life, if a child is giving primary school education, it is easier for such children to speak for themselves, learn skills and live a more responsible life.”

To assist Mil-Vision Foundation to achieve her aim of getting 3 million out-of-school children back to the classroom, visit www.themilvisionfoundation.org.

Corps Member Provides Zhidu Community Water Facility

Recently, there has been heated debate about the relevance of the compulsory National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) scheme and some agitation for the program to be scrapped or reformed. In the face of this, a few young Nigerians still consider the scheme as an opportunity to travel outside their regions and learn extensively about other regions of the country.

This short video documents how a corp member, Johnson Eseoghene provides clean water for a marginalized community in Abuja, Nigeria. ► Full Documentary here: https://youtu.be/tNTEL6e4wa0

Among the crowd, an uncommon set of corps members appreciate the one-year program as a platform to go beyond the norm by looking out for location-specific challenges and bringing solutions to those they consider important. Mr. Johnson Eseoghene, a 2017 corps member in FCT, Abuja belongs to this uncommon few.

It is puzzling to figure how Mr. Johnson mapped out Zhidu community, a settlement in Lugbe axis of Nigeria’s Federal Capacity Territory, Abuja. Considering the peculiarities of this highly ignored community and how this reflects in the absence of social amenities –Schools, Water, Roads, Health centers, etc., There is so much that could be done in a  community like – Zhidu.

For Corps member Johnson Eseoghene, his contribution as a personal Community Development Service (CDS) was to drill a public borehole, funded by Hope Spring Water, to provide the people of Zhidu community clean water. In his words, “The project motivation that has pushed me to carry out is this borehole project for Zhidu Community is the lack of safe water around the world. Many women and children, especially young girls, trek long distances to get water for their family. A lot of children also die daily from water-related diseases. I believe that providing this borehole will go a long way to save many lives and bring more development to Zhidu community.”

Johnson Eseoghene who is also the president of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Community Development Service (CDS) group, was well commended by officials of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) and the community leaders in Zhidu for his initiative.

MFCC RAISED THE VOICES OF CHILDREN IN NIGERIA ON CLIMATE CHANGE

We are so glad to have served as an implementing partner for the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation and Blue Luxury Investment to raise voices of children and youth in Nigeria about climate change!

In the last few days, we’ve engaged over 700 students across various schools in Nigeria on climate change and climate action; the students will set a new world record in the Guinness Book of Records having expressed their thought paintings on postcards.

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This project presented our team a unique privilege of interacting with different students in public and private schools across different classes. One thing stood out, their openness to learn more about Climate Change and the limitless expression of their creativity.

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With more enlightenment and an efficient support structure, perhaps they can convert these postcards expressions to practical Climate action.

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We believe the students can do more and be more if the policy makers in Nigeria and Africa at large can ensure quality education for students and quality investment into safeguarding our environment.

Many thanks to Uyolo, Blue Luxury Investments and the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation for entrusting Media for Community Change Initiative with this very engaging and novel task. And to our local implementing partners – whole Aid Initiative and participating schools, We are happy that together we could make this a success.

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Watch this space for updates from COP24 in Poland!

NGO PROMOTES READING CULTURE THROUGH BOOK DONATION

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela

To attain the #GlobalGoals, innovative methodologies must be adopted to fit into various specifics across location and cultural scopes. At Media for Community Change we constantly celebrate the efforts of non-state actors in this regard, especially at local levels.

WholeLife Initiative for Development in Africa (WID-Africa) is one of such organization whose contribution to sustainable development impresses and inspires us. On Saturday, June 30 2018, this group facilitated a Book Donation Campaign which eventually led to a school establishment of a library at Calvary Love Academy in Jikwoyi Phase 2, Abuja.

The aim of this NGO – WholeLife Initiative for Development in Africa, is to resuscitate and promote the reading culture among students in Nigeria through the Book Donation Campaign and establishment of the school library.

For them, the declining success rate of students, especially in the northern part of Nigeria was a challenge and through this project they hope to instil the zeal to learn and make available learning materials for students, who otherwise, will become miscreants and threats to national development.

To a great extent this drive by these young Nigerians led by Ms. Chimere Olukwu has greatly contributed to drive #QualityEducation – #SDG4 in Nigeria while inspiring many more groups to do more.

The Role of Communication in Creating a Social Change

Communication finds its place at core of the social development agenda, whereby it welds together marginalized and isolated communities, diverse s and subcultures, groups and individuals, and combines the efforts of change.

Communication plays a crucial role in education, social, and economic progress by not only facilitating trade and transmitting ideas beyond boundaries, but also promoting human development in the remotest corners of the globe.

Media will continue to play a major role in changing our society by driving people to participate in strengthening democratic processes and implementation of social initiatives, thereby promoting inclusive, holistic and sustainable development of the nation.

We are Media For Community Change Initiative, we are working to create an UNUSUAL CHANGE using the power of media.

We are open to partnership and collaborations that will trickles down our impact to the marginalized. Write us;
info [at] mediaforcommunitychange [dot] org

MFCC, MHCDI EXPLORES PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITY

The real heroes are folks who defy all odds to selflessly and consistently work in local communities to birth sustainable development that impacts the lives of disadvantaged people.
 
At Media for Community Change, we constantly look out for such folks and we are always delighted to beam our spotlight on their interventions in rural communities and amplify their voices across the global scene.
 
On Monday, July 16th, 2018, MFCC’s Founder, Mr. Jimoh Oluwatobi Segun and our Project Director, Mr. ‘Seyifunmi Adebote met with My Hero Community Development Initiative’s Founder, Ms. Ajayi Rita, to profile some of MHCDI’s past efforts and discuss on how to forge strengths towards achieving greater successes in the coming months.
 
Leveraging the new media, Media for Community Change is super delighted to explore this partnership opportunity with “My Hero Community Development Initiative” for the social good of the people and towards making our world a better people.
 
We believe we can change our world, one community at a time and we are ready to make tremendous impacts. Will you join us?
 
Watch this space!

ILLITERACY: SPELL AFRICA PROMOTES ADULT LITERACY IN NIGERIA

With 65 million Nigerians illiterate, it is time for government, schools and individuals to take action. In 2015, UNESCO’s National Programme Advisor on Education, Dr Mohammed Alkali recently revealed the results of a UNESCO survey that showed that despite improvements to the country’s education system, 65 million Nigerians remain illiterate.

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This statistic is alarming for a number of reasons. Illiteracy has adverse impacts at both an individual and societal level. People who are illiterate are far more likely to live in poverty, facing a lifetime marred by poor health and social vulnerability. Economically, the impacts of illiteracy are also sizeable; workplace productivity, unemployment rates and even national GDP are all affected by a country’s literacy levels.

With this alarming number of illiterate youths and adults in Nigeria, a Volunteer project of SPELLAFRICA – B2S Adult Literacy has took up the responsibility to transform for free, the lives of over 65 million adults in Nigeria to read & write out of extreme poverty.

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Since its inception in 2016, the organization has transformed the lives of over 200 adults and youths to read and write, and still counting.

We visited the SpellAfrica B2S Adult Literacy center in Lagos state, Nigeria to witness what they’ve been doing over the years.

We had an interview session with Mr Erezi Edoreh, the Director of Spell Africa Initiative and the highly esteemed volunteer teachers at the literacy center that are working ceaselessly to transform the lives of illiterate youths and adults in Nigeria.

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Our interview would be published on NGOpodcast Show shortly, Keep on tab!

Cheers!