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 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.

D-ABILITY INITIATIVE PARTICIPATES IN STRENGTHENING AND LAUNCHING OF CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS’ LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVIEW MECHANISM.

Local Government Review

Local Government Review

This 2 day programme was held at Adgate Hotel, Port Harcourt, Rivers State on October 18-19,2021.

This project was funded by United Nations Democracy fund (UNDEF) and implemented by Women United for Economic Empowerment (WUEE). D-Ability Initiative, along with some selected Civil Society Organization (CSOs) participated in the project. The goal of the project was to strengthen the capacity of CSOs to serve as trainers to local citizens on civic education for the promotion of democracy and good governance in Rivers and Akwa/Ibom States.

This would translate to an increase in the citizens participation in democracy and ensuring good governance in the target state.

The specific objectives were.

(I) To awake the CSOs community -based organization (CBOs), Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs), and others to demand accountability and from the operators of the system.

(II) To raise critical mass of citizens at the Local government level who would be constantly demanding accountability from duty-bearers at the local government level.

(III) To keep the duty -bearers alert to the fact that they are being watched hence should behave in line with democratic tenets among other.

(IV) This project was key because local people have superior capacity to conduct their affairs better than anyone else service delivery would be efficient when conducted through the local government system that are hearer to the people.

Dr. Kingdom Nwanyanwu, President, D-Ability gave a presentation o behalf of group 3. The gap analysis exposed considerable lapses in the nature operations, and processes in the local government in Nigeria.

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 STRENGTHENS ITS CAPACITY THROUGH EUROPEAN UNION’S TRAINING ON PROJECT CYCLE MANAGEMENT

Project Cycle Management

Project Cycle Management

The European Union (EU), through the Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation (ACT) programme has strengthened the capacity of the D-Ability Initiative in project cycle management. This important training programme was held at Visa Karena Hotel in Port Harcourt Rivers State capital.

The programme helped participants to;

Understand what project life cycle management means in the international development context.

Be able to plan, implement, and monitor projects effectively and efficiently.

Understand how to navigate through each of the phases of the project cycle.

Programming includes

Problem identification, appraisal, planning, financing, implementation, and evaluation, among others.

The EU, British Council, and Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation have done so much to strengthen the development capacity of twenty (20) CSOs in Rivers State. This effort is geared towards enabling them to become agents of sustainable transformation.

 

EUROPEAN UNION AND BRITISH COUNCIL BUILD D-ABILITY INITIATIVE’S CAPACITY ON HUMAN RIGHT-BASED ADVOCACY

Action Plan Development

This 3-day workshop focused on Understanding Advocacy Actions planning and adopting a Human Rights-Based Approach.

This training dealt with analysis that should be carried out before and during project planning implementation.

These include, but are not limited to the following.

Situation analysis:

• What facilities are on the ground?

• Problem analysis:

• Is it really a problem?

• Do the right-holders perceive it as such?

• Why does the problem persist?

• Core players analysis:

• Who are the right-holders?

• How do we engage them?

• What method of communication do they appreciate?

Capacity analysis:

• What are our strengths?

• In what areas are we lacking?

• What opportunities do we have to succeed?

• Who can partner with us in our area of weakness?

This capacity-building workshop helped us to adjust the way we viewed the people we are helping. We now adopt a human rights-based approach to advocacy.

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.