Could you tell us about The New Generation Girls and Women Development Initiative?
The New Generation Girls and Women Development Initiative (NIGAWD) is a non-profit, non-government organization established with a focus on promoting the political and socio-economic needs of women, girls, and youth, in Nigeria. The organization is duly registered with Cooperate Affairs Commission, Ministry of Women affairs and other regulatory bodies; it also has special consultative status with United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). NIGAWD has implemented many donor-funded programs across the country and is at the forefront of the END FGM abandonment campaign in Africa; Promotion of the Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of women and girls; women development through economic and psychosocial support and empowerment; prevention and response to Gender Based Violence, Youth Policy Advocacy through the Ekiti Youth Agenda campaign, NIGAWD is the Convener of the southwest Vote Not Fight: Election No Be War Campaign in Nigeria.
What warranted the formation of NIGAWD, what have been its driving force?
NIGAWD was born out of deep passion to empower girl, women, children, and youth. NIGAWD envision a society where women are intellectually, economically, politically, and socially empowered as positive change drivers; while its mission is to develop the capacity of young women (girls), through strategic sustainable initiative that will empower them in the areas of reproductive health, Life building skills, water and sanitation, political inclination among others to become women of exploit in the society and not entertainment objects.
God has been the main driving force for NIGAWD as well as the passion for a society where women are empowered in all spheres to be able to meaningfully contribute to the advancement of the society.
You proposed to celebrate a decade anniversary of the group soon. How has the journey been in the last 10years?
The journey has been challenging I must say. The first four years was not fun at all, as the founder and director, I had to work hard, I did all sorts of menial jobs including home lesson for children, sending of bulk SMS, crude fish farming among others to sustain the organization, no funds, no support, but criticism. Many in the space criticized the audacity of a 25-year-old lady to start up an NGO, some friends and families felt I should go get a job to take care of myself first and when I become successful, I can return to my passion but glory to God the last 10years has been one of impact and glory despite the many challenges that confronts startups in Nigeria. The organization is proposing to celebrate her 10th anniversary with an impactful program targeted at indigent women and more details of the program will be made available to the public soon
What have been the challenges and accomplishments since its creation?
The major challenge of Non-Profit in Nigeria is funding. It is so challenging for young organizations to access funding as there are several requirements that inhibits them from accessing funding. Also, there is little support for institutional support to non-profits in this part of the world.
Most funders provide support that cater for the implementation of project activities alone and when they provide institutional support it is only for the period of the project, this leaves nonprofit organizations with the struggle for survival after expiration of project.
Your activities revolve round Ado Ekiti and Ekiti axis?. Why is this so, any expansion plan?
It is not correct to state that NIGAWD activities revolve round Ado-Ekiti and Ekiti axis alone. NIGAWD’s impact is global. The Southwest Vote Not Fight campaign is being led by the organization. We have also supported regional programs in Africa including training of CSOs working on FGM abandonment in The Gambia, Senegal, Niger, Mali, etc NIGAWD has also been part of organizing of international programs such as the 3rd African Girls summit in Niger led by African Union Commission among other programs
NIGAWD ED has been recognized globally and she serves as a EndFGM Ambassador for The Girl Generation (TGG), African Union Saleema Victorious Youth Ambassador for West Africa and member Africa Regional Reference Group for the Global Spotlight Initiative