DEAF WOMEN GRADUATE FROM D-ABILITY INITIATIVE’S SKILL ACQUISITION PROGRAM

A cross-section of The Graduands and the Executive Director

Thirty Deaf women have graduated from six months of entrepreneurial skills training acquisition program initiated and implemented by D-Ability Initiative. This non-governmental organization provides support and empowerment for persons with special needs. This project was sponsored by the European Union (EU) through the British Council and Agents for Citizens-driven Transformation (ACT).

Speaking at the graduation ceremony in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, the Executive Director, Dr. Kingdom Nwanyanwu, stated that the program was part of their Organisation’s commitment towards capacity-building and improving the livelihood and financial well-being of such women and girls in Rivers. He explained the reasons for choosing to build the capacity of Deaf women at this time: “When it comes to the persons with disabilities, the Deaf are the most marginalized. If they are unskilled or uneducated, how can they measure up to the demands of society?”

The Executive Director addressing the graduands

Dr. Nwanyanwu hinted that the first batch of trainees comprised 30 Deaf women and girls, who are now gearing up to start their own businesses to enable them to earn a living, improve their financial well-being and cope with the current economic situation in the country. “We change their story by building their skills and earning capacity in the fashion industry. We are determined to create a world where persons with special needs are empowered, made competent and independent” said the Executive Director.

He also outlined the various positive impacts, the skill acquisition program would have on society. “When a woman with disabilities renders services and you patronize her, she will feel accepted and gains a sense of belonging. This will in turn make her a better person who creates value and receives a value. Earning money through their skills will stop them from begging which could open them up to rape and other vulnerabilities. Also when a woman has a source of income to support her partner, it reduces the incidences of domestic violence.”

Appreciation

One of the trainers, Ms. Queen Dakah, commended the organizers and charged the beneficiaries to remain focused and utilize the opportunity. She thanked Dr. Kingdom Nwanyanwu, the Founder and Executive Director of D-Ability Initiative for showing concern for Deaf women. She also appreciated the European Union (EU) through the British Council and Agents for Citizens-driven Transformation (ACT). Ms. Dakah called on the state government to borrow a leaf from the organization and create an enabling environment for PWDs in the state.

The graduands and other attendees

Mrs. Chi Oduagu, another trainer expressed satisfaction with the effort put in by the trainees in the course of the training, stating that they

progressed so rapidly beyond her expectations. She called on the general public to patronize them.

Dr. (Mrs.) Nte, a mother of one of the beneficiaries said: “This program has opened our eyes to see that our daughter can interact with people and can also learn fast. Because of the way she performed in this training, we have enrolled her in a University. I thank the organizers of this project. They have done so well. God bless them”.

Some of the beneficiaries, through an interpreter, expressed their appreciation for the training program.

Mrs. Tochi Ibe expressed appreciation for the opportunity given to them to have a meaningful life. “We are grateful to D-Ability Initiative and the European Union for helping us to gain skills in the fashion industry.  We will use this knowledge to benefit ourselves. I say thank you”.

Mrs. Abigail Otobo thanked the organizers of the program for the training and for the opportunity to earn a living and live independently. She said:  “this is the first time anyone remembered to carry out a project for us the Deaf women.  We are very grateful to the D-Ability Initiative and to the European Union. I now have a skill. People have been telling me to make dresses for them. I need a sewing machine to do that. I am happy I can now make beautiful dresses.”

Jane Ottah, another beneficiary said: “I am grateful to Dr. Kingdom Nwanyanwu of D-Ability Initiative for thinking about us and helping us to get a skill. Thanks to European Union, British Council, and Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation (ACT).  I have made dresses for more than twenty clients.  This training is already benefiting me and others. I will do more.”

Mrs. Divine Ivy John Said “I am now a fashion designer. Thank you, D-Ability Initiative. Thank you, European Union. Thank you, ACT and British Council”

Mrs.  Marvis Igiri said: “The love shown to us is touching our hearts.  This training has opened a way for us to have money to support ourselves and family. Thank you D-Ability Initiative and the European Union. We love you too. We need sewing machines so that we will not forget what we have learned.”

 

CALL TO ACTION

Dr. Nwanyanwu called for support from the Federal and State government, as well as kind-hearted individuals and organizations to partner with D-Ability Initiative in setting up a Skills Hub where the newly trained women would put their skills to use, and where more persons with disabilities would be trained. He made this appeal: “we have concluded the training program. However, the beneficiaries have nowhere to practice their skills. We are calling for help. We want to set up a skill training hub where all the trainees can work to support themselves and their families. We want to create something unique, something we all will be proud of. Do you care for the welfare of Deaf women and girls? We are calling on you to support us to set up a Skills Hub”.

 THE INAUGURATION… IN THE NEWS

Authority Newspaper

Why Group Embark on Free Skill Acquisitions for Hearing Impaired Women: https://authorityngr.com/2022/04/17/why-group-embark-on-free-skill-acquisitions-for-hearing-impaired-women/

Thisday Newspaper

Hope Blossoms for Hearing-impaired Women, Girls: https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2022/05/04/hope-blossoms-for-hearing-impaired-women-girls/

Guardian Newspaper

Group trains 30 women with hearing impairment on entrepreneurial skills: https://guardian.ng/appointments/group-trains-30-women-with-hearing-impairment-on-entrepreneurial-skills/

Inclusive News

D-Ability Initiative Trains 30 Deaf Women On Entrepreneurial Skills: https://inclusivenews.com.ng/2022/04/09/d-ability-initiative-trains-30-deaf-women-entrepreneurial-skills/

Tide Newspaper

Group Trains 30 Deaf Women On Entrepreneurial Skills: https://www.thetidenewsonline.com/2022/04/11/group-trains-30-deaf-women-on-entrepreneurial-skills/

Vanguard Newspaper

Financial well-being: 30 Rivers deaf women get entrepreneurial skills: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2022/04/financial-wellbeing-30-rivers-deaf-women-get-entrepreneurial-skills/

The Nations Newspaper (Hard Copy of 11th April 2022)

 

                          THE GRADUATION…IN THE NEWS

Inclusive News

NGO Trains 30 Deaf Women on Entrepreneurial Skills: https://inclusivenews.com.ng/2022/11/10/ngo-trains-30-deaf-women-entrepreneurial-skills/

Guardian Newspaper

Why we trained 30 physically-challenged women in skills: https://guardian.ng/news/why-we-trained-30-physically-challenged-women-in-skills/

Kristina Reports

Deaf Women Graduate from Skill Acquisition Program: https://kristinareports.net/deaf-women-graduate-from-skill-acquisition-program/

Authority Newspaper

Initiative concludes free skill acquisition training for deaf women in Rivers: https://authorityngr.com/2022/11/12/initiative-conclude-free-skill-acquisition-training-for-deaf-women-in-rivers/

Tide Newspaper

Group Plans Industrial Hub For Persons With Disabilities: https://www.thetidenewsonline.com/2022/11/16/group-plans-industrial-hub-for-persons-with-disabilities/

Watch on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PejTDBE48bM

Our Deaf women Trainees are in style, displaying the dresses they made.

The Deaf women with the Executive Director and a Trainer (middle)

The Deaf women with the Executive Director and a Trainer (middle)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EU BUILDS D-ABILITY INITIATIVE’S CAPACITY ON KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT

Knowledge Management Session in progress

Knowledge Management Session in progress

The training on Knowledge Management (KM) was geared toward building the capacity of the participant organisations to be deliberate about creating, capturing, managing, and sharing knowledge within and outside their organisations. It was held at Novotel Hotel, Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Capital.

This 3-day power-packed workshop was an eye-opener. We can effectively capture knowledge, even when a member of staff is leaving, and build a knowledge repository to ensure that whether tacit or explicit, knowledge does not stay in people’s heads alone. There are three driving factors of KM: People – Process -Technology. These can also hinder KM. Outputs of KM are numerous. Organisations must be willing to invest in KM if they want to grow in a competitive economy.

D-ABILITY INITIATIVE SUPPORTS FEDERAL MINISTRY OF HEALTH’S SYSTEM-STRENGTHENING ACTIVITIES IN RIVERS STATE

Team with the Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Health

Workshop in progress

Workshop in progress

The Rivers State Technical Working Group on Adolescents and Young Persons (TWGAYP) held workshops and associated activities with the Federal Ministry of Health, Rivers State Ministry of Health, selected Civil Society Organizations (including D-Ability Initiative), international organizations, and media partners. The aim was to provide technical support to the State TWGAYP and review the implementation of the State’s work plan. The 5-day events included an Advocacy visit, facilities visitation, and workshops which were held at Visa Karena Hotels, Port Harcourt from 28th August to 2nd September 2022.

The events started with an Advocacy Visit by the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), State Ministry of Health (SMoH), and some Partners to the State Permanent Secretary, and Policymakers.  Objectives of the week’s activities and Goodwill messages were presented. The representatives of the Federal Ministry of Health were Mrs. Francisca Osibe (Team Lead), Ms. Olabanji Damilola, and Dr. Esther Envuladu.

A welcome address, meeting objectives, and workshop methodology were presented by Mrs. Mbreba Wokoma, the Desk Officer, Adolescent and Young People’s Health, State Ministry of Health.

The following presentations were made:

  • Implementation Status of State Plan (Mrs. Mbreba Wokoma).
  • Presentation of Data for Services Provided for Adolescents and Young People in the state from January to June 2022, using the agreed template (Mrs. Mbreba Wokoma).
  • The Review of International Adolescent Health Week (IAHW 2022) Implementation. (Dr. Uloma Okere, and Mrs. Mbreba Wokoma).
  • Sensitization on U-Test/Self-test (Mr. Stanley Wowo, RIVSACA)
  • Feedback on Facilities visitation

From the presentations, it was evident that the activities in the work plan on the three thematic areas: Teenage Pregnancy and Unsafe Abortion; Alcoholism and Drug Abuse; and Violence/ Cultism in the State were not completed. As a result, groups were created to identify key issues that weren’t captured in the work plan, identify challenges that prevented achievements, and make recommendations.

Editorial Team at workThe House went into group work and plenary sessions according to the outlined thematic areas. D-Ability Initiative led the group works on Violence and Cultism. The outputs of the group work were presented by Dr. Nwanyanwu Kingdom, the Founder and President, D-Ability Initiative.

After due deliberations, participants agreed on the following observations and recommendations.

OBSERVATIONS

  1. At present, the few Adolescent and Young Persons-friendly facilities available are not up to the required standards.
  2. A high rate of sexual assault cases was recorded.
  3. We observed a lack of Water Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) facilities in schools.
  4. Lack of Life Planning/HIV/STIs services for in and out-of-school adolescents in the State was observed.
  5. There was some adolescents’ ante-natal care recorded but zero delivery.
  6. Lack of adolescents’ Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) materials in all the visited facilities.
  7. Inadequate training, poor knowledge, and skills of adolescent health care providers were evident.
  8. Most facilities concentrated mainly on Maternal Neo-natal and Child Health issues.
  9. A lack of database entry for the adolescents was observed.
  10. Available Life Planning commodities were inadequate.
  11. Cultural and religious beliefs were also found to be militating factors against the Life Planning Education/ Programming for adolescents in the State.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • 1 There should be awareness creation, education, and implementation of Life Planning/HIV/STIs services for in and out-of-school adolescents in the State.
  • 2    More research should be done on the repackaging of adolescents’ information for easy acceptability by partners and Faith-Based Organizations.
  • 3 IEC materials, Life Planning commodities, and catalog (hotlines) should be provided adolescent friendly centers.
  • 4 There should be training and retraining of adolescent healthcare providers followed by supportive supervision to make them adolescent friendly.
  • 5 There should be provisions of database and open data kits, especially concerning adolescents’ issues of Gender-Based Violence (GBV), sexual assaults, and other forms of violence.
    • Media houses in the State should endeavor to bring adolescent-related issues to the forefront.
    • 6 The State Ministry of Health (SMoH) should reach out to CSOs and other interested local partners to mainstream some of the adolescents’ health care activities into their programme with the TWGAYP and SMoH as partners.
    • 7 Government should create and upgrade adolescent spaces in all the facilities across 23 LGAs to reflect adolescent-friendliness so that they can serve the intended purpose.
    • 8 Perpetrators of GBV, sexual assaults, and other forms of violence against adolescents must be punished and rehabilitated.
    • 9 There should be public awareness and training of adolescents on self-defense against GBV and other forms of violence.
    • 10 Provision of Life Management Education and skills for families, schools, and Faith-based Organizations is necessary.
    • 11 There needs be registers, training guides, checklists, and baseline survey tools (starting with manuals) in the facilities for monitoring of all adolescents-friendly services and processes.
  • The FMoH Team expressed deep gratitude to the Rivers State Technical Working Group for their hard work and dedication to the well-being of the adolescents and young people in the State. Mrs. Mbreba Wokoma and Dr. Uloma Okere were greatly commended for their selfless service and relentless efforts. A Communique was drafted by the Communique Team and presented to the general house by the Communique Team Lead, Dr. Nwanyanwu, Kingdom President of D-Ability Initiative.

Participant Organizations include:

Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH)

Rivers State Ministry of Health (RSMoH)

Rivers State Ministry of Youth Development (RSMoH)

Rivers State Ministry of Education (MoE)

Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board (RSPHCMB)

Adolescents and Young Persons’ Technical Working Group (AYTWG)

UNICEF

World Health Organization (WHO)

D-Ability Initiative (Dehat Ability Support Initiative)

National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ)

National Orientation Agency (NOA)

Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH)

University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH)

Centre for Gender Development Studies

Healthy Life Development Initiative (HELDi)

Rivers Media

Society for Family Health

Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)

CWHAD

LACA

CISHAN

YOHAD

MBEP

The Tide newspaper

FIDA, Rivers State

RIVSACA

Adok

Rhema Care

SBCC

SASCP

Sunbeam Life Reformation Initiative

Centre for Creative Development Strategies

 

 

 

 

DR. NWANYANWU DISCUSSES THE IMPORTANCE OF INVESTING IN CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS’ CAPACITY STRENGTHENING.

Banner of Dr. Nwanyanwu’s Presentation

Did you join the conversation?  Dr. Kingdom Nwanyanwu, our Founder and President was live on Nigeria Info 92.3 PH Thursday from 7:30 am to 8:00 am. He discussed the importance of investing in strengthening the capacity of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and how this would translate to sustainable development in Nigeria.

It was a great outing. Thanks to European Union, the British Council,  Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation (ACT), and the Civic Action, Sustainable Communities. We will keep impacting.

“If an organization is not sustainable, it cannot drive sustainable development” Dr. Kingdom Nwanyanwu. See this

 

 

D-ABILITY INITIATIVE PARTICIPATES IN EUROPEAN UNION’S “CROSS-REGIONAL REFLECTION FOR ACT-CSOS

CSO Executives in Group Photograph

CSO Executives in Group Photograph

D-Ability Initiative AND other selected European Union (EU) partner organizations in Rivers and Plateau States participated in a “Cross-Regional Reflection for ACT-CSOS” organized by European Union (EU) under the Agents for Citizens-Driven Transformation (ACT) programme in Lagos, May 16-17, 2022. The two days event which held at the Lagos Continental Hotel. The purpose of the Cross-State regional reflection was apt to the ACT programme as it offered partnership opportunities for partners to cross-reflect on ideas, capacity development areas, ways of translating same to institutional capacity building for sectorial transformation, effective project implementation, and impactful humanitarian service delivery that promotes Civic Action and Sustainable Communities.

ED, D-Ability Initiative and other CSO Executives

ED, D-Ability Initiative and other CSO Executives

Some of the guiding questions were:

What was different?

How will you sustain it?

What should we improve on?

There were Cross-state learning and presentations from two groups on different topics including Citizen Engagement, Government engagement, Regulatory environment, Gender, and social inclusion as well as Media engagement and partnership. Group one was Plateau State and group two was Rivers State.Dr. Kingdom U. Nwanyanwu, the Founder and President, D-Ability Initiative gave a presentation for Rivers State. The programme featured a comedy and colorful cultural dinner night between Rivers and Plateau States. Participating CSOs from Rivers State include Talklove Africa, Harmony Centre, Advocacy Center, Kabetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, VEANI, SISDEV, Centre for Creative Development Strategies, EIFEY, LOCE, RINNGOS, and CENGOS.

CSO Executives in their Traditional Attires

CSO Executives in their Traditional Attires

D-ABILITY INITIATIVE PARTICIPATES IN EUROPEAN UNION-FUNDED REGULATORY COMPLIANCE TRAINING

The issue of poor compliance of Civil Society organisations  (CSOs) to existing civil society regulations can be attributed to so many factors including CSOs lack of the requisite knowledge and information about these regulations and how to go about such compliance. This assertion was reinforced by the outcome of the survey conducted by  European Union (EU-ACT) programme in March 2021 to establish the current levels of compliance with legal frameworks amongst its supported CSOs/Networks/CBOs in the FCT (Abuja), Lagos, Sokoto, Kano, Rivers, Edo, Adamawa, Enugu, Plateau and Borno States.  On this note, the ACT organised trainings for its partner CSOs/Networks/CBOs across the aforementioned 10 focal states to improve CSOs’ awareness of the important regulations (CAMA, Taxation, Anti-Terrorism and Money Laundering, and Pension) and how they affect their operation; capacitate them on how to become effective in their compliance obligation to these regulations; as well as improve their compliance to them.

The hybrid training was held for two days in each of the Programme’s focal states with participants comprising two representatives per organisation for in-person attendance, and one representative for virtual attendance.  Working in partnership with relevant regulatory agencies, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Federal Inland Revenues Service (FIRS), Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML) and Pension Commission (PenCom), the training enabled EU-ACT CSO partners to gain in-depth knowledge of the requirement of the laws/regulations as well as receive continuous guidance on how to meet these requirements effectively and efficiently. Representatives of these regulatory agencies would participate (in-person) in the training to provide technical inputs as well as address any compliance issues participant organisations might have.

We are grateful to European Union, British Council, and the Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation (ACT). The CSO Regulations and Compliance Training offered us a wonderful opportunity to meet and interact with the specialists and officials of key government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs)s that are responsible for the management and administration CSO Regulatory framework.

D-Ability Initiative now has a better understanding of how to file our tax returns, how and to whom we are required to remit our Pay As You Earn (PAYE), and withholding taxes. We also have better knowledge of our limitations and boundaries as regards the extent to which we can operate in the context of the objects of our registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). It was also delightful to know that there is a platform that can enable us to file our Annual Returns with the CAC. We also have a better understanding of how to cooperate with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in promoting financial propriety.

D-ABILITY INITIATIVE BUILDS THE SKILLS OF DEAF WOMEN IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY

President of D-Ability Initiative and some of the beneficiaries

 

Project Title: Improving Livelihood Outcomes for Deaf women and girls in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area (OBALGA) of Rivers State, Nigeria.

Project  Duration: 9 months (February- October 2022)

Funded by the European Union, through the British Council’s Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation (ACT) Programme.

The Goal: to Improve financial independence for Deaf women and girls in Rivers State, Nigeria.

Deaf women and girls in OBALGA live in extreme poverty. These women and girls find it challenging to earn a living. Those living with partners or children cannot contribute financially to the sustenance of their household. The poverty cycle has continued within the Deaf community.

D-Ability Initiative’s President Sensitising the Deaf Women and Girls during the Flag-off Ceremony

Disability brings additional undesirable consequences in Nigeria. So far, it is sad to note that there are few policies and programmes geared toward enabling Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) to gain employment. Since most of them are not educated, living with disability, without skills, in the face of unprecedented unemployment and COVID-19 is critical.

Our Organisation’s mission is to support, empower, and build the capacity of the Deaf and Hard of hearing persons so that they can compete favourably with the hearing persons and have meaningful lives. Empowering them will make a difference.

D-Ability Project Flag-off session in progress

D-Ability Initiative’s President Sensitising the Deaf Women and Girls during the Flag-off Ceremony

This project addresses the issues of gender and social inclusion. Traditionally and culturally, women are less preferred. Persons with hearing disabilities (Deafness) are the most ignored and ridiculed. Therefore, this project focuses on enabling Deaf women and girls to gain financial independence and compete with the male, and other women and girls without disabilities. It will reduce the inequality rate.

The European Union and the British Council through the Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation (ACT) Programme are poised to contribute to more inclusive, effective, accountable, and gender-responsive development in Nigeria. They are also strengthening the system of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), to improve their internal, external, and programmatic capabilities. We are deeply grateful that our Organisation is promoting inclusion, gender equity, and responsiveness.

The President of D-Ability Initiative, Dr. K. U. Nwanyanwu stressed the need for the beneficiaries to take the skill-building programme very seriously, noting that the European Union, and the British Council, through the Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation (ACT) have shown interest in their welfare by funding their capacity-building programme. They also need to prove their worthiness of such an investment. 

D-Ability Initiative’s President Sensitising the Deaf Women and Girls during the Flag-off Ceremony

 

Thank you European Union, British Council, and the Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation (ACT). You made it happen!

D-ABILITY INITIATIVE PARTNERS CENTRE FOR CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES TO ADVOCATE FOR MENSTRUAL JUSTICE (MARK WORLD MENSTRUAL HYGIENE DAY 2022)

Menstrual Hygiene Day

The World Menstrual Hygiene Day is observed globally every 28th of May because the average interval of a menstrual cycle is 28 days and the cycle continues for about five days a month. Since May is the 5th month of the year, it was chosen.

Dehat Ability Support Initiative (D-Ability Initiative) partnered with the Centre for Creative Development Strategies to observe the World Menstrual Hygiene Day 2022, and to launch the Sustainable menstrual hygiene project. D-Ability Initiative ensured that women with Disabilities were invited, cared for, and made to participate actively in this event. The event received goodwill messages from different organizations, including D-Ability Initiative, represented by a team of Deaf and Hard of Hearing women, an interpreter, and the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer. The President, Dr. Kingdom Nwanyanwu, D-Ability Initiative, and other partner organizations carried out a campaign promoting the importance of menstrual justice.

Group Photo

The Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Officer thanked the audience for identifying with women and to show support for women regarding their menstrual hygiene. He emphasized that D-Ability Initiative is at the forefront of supporting girls and women who have challenges that may hinder their ability to take advantage of different opportunities. He sighted that the Organization is currently undertaking a project that is aimed at improving the livelihood outcomes of Deaf women and Girls in Obio Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State by building their skills and earning capacity in the fashion industry.

He noted that some of the trainees are participating in the menstrual hygiene day with support from a sign language interpreter who is interpreting the activities of the event to them. One of the Deaf women (Mrs. Marvis Alam Igiri) shared her experience with participants at the event on the challenges she faced when she started seeing her menstruation at the age of 14, but that she is poised to educate her children and other Deaf girls about menstrual hygiene from the lessons she has learned.

Other stakeholder called on Government and international partners to ensure that just as condom is being given free to men/boys, sanitary pads should be given to girls & women for free. The representative from the Ministry of Women Affairs emphasized the need for government at all levels to ensure that they always provide free sanitary pads at schools and public centers. A panel of discussants talked about the role of stakeholders in promoting menstrual hygiene. They urged Educational institutions to be at the forefront of educating the girl child on the need to maintain menstrual hygiene, and to ensure that stigma from the male students is mitigated.

 

D-Ability Initiative Participates in the Celebration of European Union-Funded International Women’s Day 2022.

International Women's Day 2022

International Women’s Day 2022

D-Ability Initiative, which represented Rivers State CSOs, participated in the celebration of International Women’s Day 2022, held at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. The celebration was tagged “Break the Bias.” Breaking the Bias, addressing disparities in access to justice for women with disabilities, the event featured a press briefing, the procession (dance) by 7 disability clusters (the Blind, the Deaf, Spinal Cord Injury (SCI), Albinos, Amputees, Autism etc). Participants included Damilare Babalola, National program manager, Agent for Citizen Driven transformation (ACT); Dr. Ukiwo Ukoho National Programme Manager, Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN); Nike Akinbola, Head, Women and Gender Unit, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, representing the Executive Secretary, National Commission for Persons with Disabilities. Samuel Isopi, Ambassador, Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, among others.

International Women's Day 2022

International Women’s Day 2022

The event featured two-panel discussions with six panelists. the first-panel discussion focused on the realities of accessing justice and key services. The point highlighted the challenges faced by women with disabilities. All participants were motivated to keep the welfare of women with disabilities in the fore D-Ability Initiative renewed her resolve to advocate for women with disabilities. This event was funded by the European Union, and implemented by the British Council, through the Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (ROLAC), Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN), and Agent for Citizen-Driven Transformation (ACT) programme respectively.

 

D-ABILITY INITIATIVE JOINS IN FINAL VALIDATION OF ADOLESCENT YOUTH AND YOUNG PEOPLE’S HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT (AYPHD) IMPLEMENTATION PLAN, RIVERS STATE

A Cross Section of Participants

Objectives of the Programme

1. To provide a progress update on the AYPHD implementation plan.

2. To validate the State implementation Plan for AYPHD

3. To validate the draft of the AYPHD Implementation Plan and

4. To revise the National Policy on The Health and Development of

Adolescents and Young people in Nigeria (2021 – 2022).

Rivers State Policy Domestication Process: The Rivers State Ministry of Health (RMOH) in collaboration with various MDAs and partners, commenced the process and adaptation in September 2021.

Advocacy and Stakeholder’s Engagements. Advocacy Courtesy Visit. Situational Analysis of Adolescent Health and Development.

The Review Process:

A four (4) day UNICEF funded meeting was conducted on the 19th – 22nd of October 2021.

Development of the Draft Rivers State Implementation Plan (Informal Reviews via Skype).

Where We Are?

Presentation by Dr. Adebayo Emmanuel

Situation Analysis of Adolescents and Young people’s Health and Development in Rivers State.

Session ongoing

Session ongoing

Overall, one thing that was very prominent, was the “lack of dissemination of information”, because of indiscriminate documentation.

For the first time in Nigeria, we are beginning to include Adolescent indicators.

Adolescents are properly captured, going forward. We should know that 50% of the population are Adolescents ranging from the age of 10 – 24 years. Increase in non-communicable diseases because children are involved in lesser physical activities. Sexual activity, contraception, unintended pregnancy, and abortion among young people. Early marriage and childbearing, co-habiting is on the increase. AYP HIV Cascade (Number of people living with HIV).

FLHE is the most effective approach in Nigeria now, but implementation has been slow. FLHE has trained teachers/students alike.

Substance Use is very high in Rivers State. It has led to a high increase in admission in clinics (psychological clinics). Accidents and Homicide; high rate of mortality for young boys. Communicable diseases account for 41% – 43% of causes of death in Rivers State.

School Healthcare System Response; if a school health system works very well (youth-friendly facilities/services); young people will become healthy and healthier. Rivers State has a document that strictly addresses Adolescents (Rivers State Strategic Health Development Plan). There is more to Adolescents than Sexual Reproductive Issues.

Some Components of the Implementation Plan:

Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Mental Health, Substance Use, and Addiction

Violence and Injury.

Nutrition and Physical Activity

Non-Communicable Diseases and Disability

Communicable Diseases

Oral Health

How the Implementation Plan is developed?

The vision of the policy, Mission of the policy, Key Implementation Strategies, and Advocacy are key in everything.

Implementation Programmatic/Thematic Areas and Key intervention Activities:

• Policy and legal framework for adolescent health in Rivers State

• Service delivery for AYP in Rivers State

• Basic infrastructure for the health of AYP in Rivers State

• Human resources for the health of AYP in Rivers State

• Family and community systems

• Sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescents and young people

• Mental Health and Substance abuse

• Nutrition and Physical activity

• Oral health

• Violence and injury

• Mortality and morbidity among adolescents and young people

• Non-communicable diseases and disability

Communicable diseases.

Note: Have State-Level Data, it helps.

Most of the HIV/AIDS Programmes, focus more on normal Adolescents, excluding Adolescents with Special needs.

Breakout Sessions (In Groups):

The groups analyzed the thematic areas of the interventions and made inputs where necessary.

Dr. Adebayo Emmanuel added, “just because something is a good idea, does not mean, it’s sustainable”. Come new Government, comes new policies. Government can’t do everything, hence, the need for partners.

In closing and to do a formal adoption of the validated document; Dr. (Mrs) Smith, thanked everyone present, partners, and CHAI for helping us fill this gap. By 2021 we came together to carve out a roadmap and niche for our Adolescents. There were facilities, vision, and structure for that phase. We are on a cause of defining the personalities of our Adolescents. On behalf, of the Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Health, and other Ministries, we adopt the validation of this document. Congratulations!!!

EUROPEAN UNION TRAINS D-ABILITY INITIATIVE ON HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT

European Union and British Council through the Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation (ACT) programme trains D-Ability Initiative on human resources management alongside other CSOs partners in Rivers State. The three days training program held at Novotel Hotel, Port-Harcourt was part of the capacity strengthening programme for selected organizations in Rivers State. The intensive training was facilitated by Mrs. Folake Okonubi who took the participants through several modules as designed for the training. It was interesting, impactful, and all-inclusive as she never shifted focus on Human Resources with the introduction of each module demonstrating expertise in the field.

She started with the human resources strategy definition taking a special look at both literal and contextual meaning and expanded to learning and development, performance management, conflict management, gender, and social inclusion amongst others. D-Ability Initiative joined other EU partners CSOs in group works and presentation of group projects. This training had in attendance Dr. Kingdom Nwanyanwu, the President of D-Ability Initiative, Christian Paul, and nineteen (19) other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) participated in the training in Port-Harcourt.

EUROPEAN UNION BUILDS D-ABILITY INITIATIVE’S CAPACITY ON SOCIAL RESEARCH AND ANALYSIS

Stakeholders and CSOs in Group Photograph

From 12th to 15th October 2021, selected EU-ACT CSOs were trained on the rudiments of social research and how it can be used to drive development. CSOs, including D-Ability Initiative, needed this training as data gathering, analysis and documentation are a key part of our development work. This was the EU and British Council’s series of capacity-building programmes that D-Ability Initiative participated in.

Some of the key takeaways were:

• Research helps CSOs to gain familiarity with a phenomenon or to achieve new insight into it.

• It portrays accurately the characteristics of a particular individual, situation, or group.

• Research helps CSOs to determine the frequency with which something occurs or with which it is associated with something else.

• We also learned how to construct research tools such as questionnaires. The D-Ability Initiative was ably represented and gave a presentation.

 

D-ABILITY INITIATIVE PARTICIPATES IN THE INAUGURATION OF EUROPEAN UNION AND BRITISH COUNCIL-SUPPORTED PEER LEARNING PLATFORM.

The EU-ACT Peer Learning Platform (PLP) was inaugurated on Wednesday 8th September 2021 at Landmark Hotel, Port Harcourt.  D-Ability Initiative along, with other EU-ACT partners Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Rivers State, participated actively in the launch. Organisation working closely with the EU through its Agent for Citizen-Driven Transformation programme were distributed and represented on the different peer learning platform set up on that day. The groups are in two categories namely Action Learning set (ALS) and benchmarking club (BMC) with two persons from each organization in each group.

The Rivers State Focal Person, Mr. Temple Oraeki described the ALS as when a “Group of people, often peers or at a similar level of responsibility and experience, from same or different organisation, coming together over a fixed period to find practical ways of addressing real challenges they face and to support their own learning and development. While BMC was defined as a “Group of like-minded CSOs (or people) coming together to learn about how to push their boundaries of performance to higher levels through mutual support and peer challenge”.

This arrangement would facilitate cross-learning, experience sharing, and collaborative engagement about how to push their boundaries of performance to higher levels through mutual support and peer challenge. With this launch, all EU-ACT Programme partner-CSOs of the British Council in Rivers State would be meeting from time to time to share ideas on improving one another’s organisations practices on what work, what did work, and how to make it work among the peer. D-Ability Initiative was represented by the Executive Director Dr. K.U Nwanyanwu and Mr. Francis Eghehan, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer.

 

D-ABILITY INITIATIVES PARTICIPATES IN EUROPEAN UNION FEEDBACK WORKSHOP IN RIVERS STATE.

Executive Directs with the EU reoresentstThis high-profile feedback workshop was for Executive Directors only. D-Ability Initiative and other selected CSOs together with the officials of the European Union (EU), British Council, and Agents for Citizens-Driving Transformation (ACT) held a feedback session on the EU-ACT series of programmes in Rivers State. The feedback session summarized the months-long organizational capacity development program and heard from participants about the success of programmes so far. It also created an avenue for the Executive Directors to suggest possible ways of making the training better, more productive, interactive, and generally more conducive. This was necessary, as the CSO leaders understand their operational terrain and hence could suggest what would work best.  The EU-ACT team from Abuja joined the Rivers State Focal person, Temple Oraeki in the feedback session. The EU-ACT delegation used the opportunity to announce the commencement of phase two of the program which focuses on strengthening the regulatory framework so that civil society organisations can operate in a friendly regulatory environment while staying compliant with the requirements of concerned regulatory bodies such as Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), State Revenue Services, among others. Dr. Nwanyanwu the Executive Director of D-Ability initiative represented the Organization, along with the Executive Directors of other selected EU partner CSOs.

EUROPEAN UNION AND BRITISH COUNCIL STRENGTHEN D-ABILITY INITIATIVE’S CAPACITY ON MONITORING AND EVALUATION.

Monitoring and Evaluation session

 

D-Ability Initiative participated in a capacity strengthening programme on monitoring and evaluation (M&E). This training held from 13th to 16th July 2021. This training was a part of the capacity strengthening programme for the organization alongside other (CSOs) selected by the British Council and European Union Agents for Citizen-Driving Transformation (EU-ACT) programme. The (M&E) training workshop equipped partner organizations to face the tasks of measuring and quantifying the level of impact their work is having on their communities. This workshop was key and timely as community development efforts have been the landmark of non-governmental organizations. D-Ability Initiative was represented by the President Dr. Kingdom U. Nwanyanwu and Miss Mary Jeremiah Admin and HR Oficer and other representatives from various organizations.

 

EUROPEAN UNION AND BRITISH COUNCIL TRAIN D-ABILITY INITIATIVE ON COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STRATEGY

The D-Ability Initiative, together with other selected EU CSO partners benefited from capacity building programme organized by European Union,  the British Council, and Agents for Citizen Driven Transformation (ACT). D-Ability Initiative and other EU-ACT partners Civil Society Organizations in Port Harcourt participated in Communication and Media Strategy training. The training lasted four consecutive days from June 29th through Friday, July 2nd, 2021, and was held at Landmark Hotel Port-Harcourt.

The main focus of this training was:

To strengthen the capacity of CSOs to confidently use their words, voice, and tone to deliver compelling messages.

To build the capacity of CSOs to understand the development and application of strategic communication and media engagement principles for effective program planning and implementation.

Some of the main points covered include:

  • Communication: definitions, Elements, and types;
  • Understanding the Nigerian media landscape: Print, Radio, Television, and online mass Media;
  • The media tools: Press release, opinion piece, Articles/Feature, press conference;
  • Media relations: how to build successful media partnerships
  • Developing Social media policy and measuring impacts
  • Introduction to social and behavior change communication
  • Communication strategy/plan
  • Communication content development:  success story/case study
  • Journalism and Journalists; what they are:
  • Techniques for media interviews;
  • Handling tough questions, Reporters ‘tricks and traps’
  • Social media space, relevance, and its role in development
  • Creative Brief to develop materials and effective messages.

To help CSOs understand the roles and importance of communication; including identifying appropriate channels and developing evidence-based messages and contents. And to help CSOs monitor and evaluate the contributions of the media

engagements and communication in the overall impact of their programmes. D-Ability Initiative led some group works and presented during plenary sessions.

In Attendance were the President of  D-Ability Initiative Dr. K.U Nwanyanwu and Media Engagement Officer Miss Faith Abeyi.

 

D-ABILITY INITIATIVE PARTICIPATES IN EUROPEAN UNION’S FUNDRAISING AND RESOURCE MOBILIZATION TRAINING

 

European Union and British Council through the Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation (ACT) programme have built the fundraising capacity of D-Ability Initiative and its staff. The training programme which was held in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State took place from 24th to 26th May 2021.

This training programme focused on:  The meaning and basic techniques of Fundraising; What Concept note is all about, how fundraising proposals prepared by CSOs can be structured most effectively; how a Project budget can be prepared by following clear steps and using the EU-ACT template and how to build strong networks amongst participants via collaborative sharing and learning.

This training was aimed at enabling the participant CSOs to be able to sustain the life of their organization even in the face of Low-funding or dwindling financing opportunities. This training ran for three days. Dr. Nwanyanwu Kingdom, the Executive Director, and Ms. Faith Abeyi represented the D-Ability Initiative in this important training.

D-ABILITY INITIATIVE ENGAGES IN ACTION PLAN DEVELOPMENT UNDER THE EUROPEAN UNION CAPACITY-BUILDING PROGRAMME

The European Union and British Council trained D-Ability Initiative staff on Action Plan Development in preparation for a long series of capacity-building workshops in the months to come beginning from February 2021.

The European Union (EU), through its Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation, selected 20 Civil Society Organizations 9CSO0 in Rivers State. The selected CSOs were groomed to make more impact and be more sustainable.

D-Ability Initiative, prior to the action planning development workshop, had concluded its organizational capacity assessment (OCA) with the staff of the British Council and the European Union.

Based on the outcome of the OCA, organizations including D-Ability Initiative were classified for training as needed. Dr. Nwanyanwu Kingdom; Ms. Mary Jeremiah, Mr. Nwanyanwu Promise represented the D-Ability Initiative in this workshop.