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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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 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 ENGAGES WITH PARENTS AND PARTNERS OF DEAF WOMEN AND GIRLS ON SKILL AND PEACE-BUILDING.

D-Ability Initiative, with funds from the European Union, held a sensitization workshop to engage parents and partners of Deaf women and girls on the need for peaceful coexistence and support for the skill-building programme for Deaf women and girls. This event took place on the 8th of April 2022, at Emerald Hotels conference hall in Port Harcourt.

The Objectives of the meeting were: 

  1.   To help parents and partners of Deaf women and girls understand the plight of deaf women and girls and the burden unemployment poses on them.
  2.   To learn the importance of peaceful co-existence between them, Deaf women and girls, and other family members.
  3.   To inform them of our intention to empower their Deaf women and girls through skill building and earning capacity in the tailoring / fashion industry.
  4.   To itemize and share ideas on anticipated challenges that the training program might face, and to chart a way forward.
  5. To seek their collective buy-in into this life-changing opportunity for Deaf women and girls.

The President of D-Ability Initiative explained that there is a general challenge of unemployment and that parents and partners of Deaf women and girls needed to understand their plight and the burden unemployment poses. The President of D-Ability Initiative, Dr. Kingdom Nwanyanwu stressed the need for parents to live in peace with their Deaf women and girls in their various homes. He informed them that D-Ability Initiative is embarking on a European Union-funded project through the British Council’s Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation (ACT) Programme, aimed at improving the livelihood outcome for Deaf women and Girls in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State Nigeria.

After an insightful engagement with parents and partners of beneficiaries, he proceeded to ask them how they usually communicate with their children and partners at home since they are not conversant with sign language. Mr. Salaudeen one of the parents of a beneficiary said he usually communicated based on the little understanding he had with his daughter at home, and that anything he finds difficult to communicate, he has to ask another of his child who has a better understanding to help him.  Mr. Daniel a partner to one of the beneficiaries asked if the beneficiaries would be empowered with equipment after the training program. Dr. Nwanyanwu responded that the scope of the training for this first phase is for trainees to receive skills and knowledge and that in another phase there would be a hub where trainees would be able to practice and work while earning income and remain within that community for support. Finally, Dr. Kingdom Nwanyanwu pleaded with parents and partners of Deaf women and girls to support the project by encouraging their wards to take advantage of the life-changing opportunity. 

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!!!

D-ABILITY INITIATIVE PARTICIPATES IN ADOLESCENTS YOUNG PERSONS (AYP) TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP (TWG) AND FAMILY LIFE HEALTH EDUCATION (FLHE) DISSEMINATION WORKSHOP

The Technical Working Group and FLHE Teachers

This programme took place on December 2, 2021. The main purpose of this workshop was to share update(s) of the final copy of the harmonized action plan, to plan for the 2022 International Adolescent Health Week, and to disseminate Family Life Health Education’s (FLHE) findings from some implementations.

The workshop was moderated by Mrs. Mbreba Wokoma, the Desk Officer, Adolescents, and Young Persons Health, Rivers State Ministry of Health.

Some issues that Adolescents face were identified, among which were: 1) Teenage Pregnancy and Abortion. 2) Rise in Cultism 3) Prevalent Drug Abuse among Adolescents. So, how do we mitigate and solve this issue, apart from identifying the challenges? There are implementing partners to ensure these objectives are achieved through the stipulated strategies. One of the strategies agreed on to tackle this menace was parental engagement

We need to have “Parental Engagement” alongside traditional rulers. They can talk to the consciences of their children. And then, work-out strategies to talk to those involved in Cultism (the cultists themselves), so that they don’t attack back. First, we need God and then, we need Parents to be bold. We will help the cult leaders understand what they stand to gain on the other side of life. When they have been convinced, they can help us to sensitize their followers. We need to use the Media (Radio) through regular jingles to sensitize the public. Also, Church/Religious Leaders, we need to talk to them as well. In approaching Cult Leaders, we should address them as “Social Organization Leaders or Youth Leaders”, let’s be subtle in our approach. Most Cult Leaders are violent and arrogant in nature.

Next on the Agenda is “2022 International Adolescent Health Week”; this will happen on the 3rd week of March, 20th – 26th, 2022. Youth Ambassadors will be recruited and the theme is “Transition: Laying Foundation for Adolescent Development”. Plan for screening (HIV/AIDS screening/Mental Health Check) for Adolescents in school and out of school. Carry out activities to create awareness.

The Challenge

It was clear that one of the factors militating against the success of this programme is inadequate facilities. We don’t have enough facilities at the Primary Health Centres, unfortunately, most. Adolescents need confidentiality, they need respect and privacy and with these, you can get any information from them. 23 LGA’s in the State, have two (2) to three (3) Focal Persons and they visit schools, but the linkage facilities are still an issue and it’s challenging. Some of the issues, include; STIs, Post-Abortion issues, etc. In the State, we have over 4000 (plus) Secondary Schools and how many Teachers are taught the FLHE Programme/training. The Primary Health Board is ensuring that facilities in the Health Centres are Adolescent friendly.

Several issues were raised. The FLHE Programme and the needs for Facilities. We will start small, but we will get there. D-Ability Initiative was represented by Dr. Kingdom U. Nwanyanwu.

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 FEDERAL MINISTRY OF HEALTH WORKSHOP ON THE IMPLEMENTATION PHASE OF THE ADOLESCENT RESPONSIVE HEALTH SYSTEM STRENGTHENING IN RIVERS STATE.

IMPLEMENTATION SESSION IN PROGRESS

IMPLEMENTATION SESSION IN PROGRESS

This project, a five-day programme started with an advocacy visit to the honourable commissioner of health. The Programme was moderated by Mr. Nwankwo Steven (Chief Health Assistant/FGM Focal Person, Gender Branch/GASHE Division, Family Health Department, F.M.O.H). He was very instrumental in ensuring that the event runs smoothly all through the five days.

Welcome, Address by the Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Health, ably represented by Dr. Iroro Smith. She said: “We are charting on a cause into making history for the Health of the Adolescent during and after the meeting/capacity training; as we make a quality contribution to the end of the Programme”. Mrs. Mbrema Wokoma (Desk Officer, For the Adolescent (SMOH); shared an action plan on way forward for the Adolescent. Partners present, promise to support as much as they can for the growth and betterment of the Adolescent group. Dr. Anslem Audu (Health Specialist/Officer in charge of UNICEF Port Harcourt, emphasized that they will continue to sponsor the activities of the Technical Working Group for Adolescents.

The objectives included 

To conduct State-level needs assessment, landscape analysis, and prioritization of Adolescent Health problems in Rivers State.

To develop State level of Political support and commitment.

To provide five days of capacity building for health care providers at State and Local government levels for Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents (AA-HA!).

To secure the engagement of key Adolescent Health and development Stakeholders on AHD programmes.

The outline for the introduction is as follows:

Who are Adolescents?

What is their relevance in National Development?

What challenges do adolescents face?

How global, regional, and national targets the adolescents.

Introduction:

Adolescents belong to the period of transition from Childhood to Adulthood. This period offers the opportunity for consolidation of the earlier health investment in the childhood years and for laying the critical foundation. Who are Adolescents? 2007 National Policy on the Health and Development of Adolescent and young people adopted by UN definition of “Adolescents”; as individuals between the ages of 10 –19 years. “Youth” as a person aged 15 – 24 years. Looking at the Statistics of the Population of Nigeria; 22% are the Adolescent Population and 78% as the rest of the population. We have 64 million people as young people. Adolescents and young people are a major demographic force as they constitute more than a fifth of the world’s population. Ensuring quality health care services for Adolescents and other young people is also critical to the Universal Health Coverage Agenda.

Efforts at National Level

Policy formulation and Dialogues.

Resource Mobilization

Capacity Building

Monitoring of Adolescents Programmes

Sharing Experience at Global Commitment

Adolescent Health Programmes

Adolescent Technical Working Group (TWG)

Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (M&E).

Expectations from Rivers State Government (RSG):

Provide support at the State level and help secure L.G.A level political support.

Enhance the process of revamping State level Multi-Sectoral Working Group.

Facilitation of Participation of Partners.

Expected Outputs:

SMTWG revamped.

Built competencies of the SMTWG

State priorities were identified and State Level Implementation Plan was Developed.

Necessary Capacity built.

Proposing For Adolescent Friendly Clinic:

We want the Government to understand what Adolescent friendly Clinic is. Also, for people to understand Adolescents.

Development Partners

They assist the Government to achieve results.

Status of AHD Programming in the State and L.G.A’s:

Why a focus on Adolescent Statistics shows that 10-19years constitute 22.1% of the population.

Global Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents (AA-HA):

It helps countries to plan, implement and evaluate the Adolescents health programmes’ interventions in each country.

D-Ability Initiative’s Executive Director, Dr. Kingdom Nwanyanwu made four presentations on the landscape analysis of responsive health system strengthening in Rivers State. 

On day 4, Dr. Kingdom Nwanyanwu presented the recap. and at the end of the presentation, he was applauded. The Group session resumed immediately on Work Plan.

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 AND SELECTED CSOs TRAINED ON FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

The European Union and British Council have trained the D-Ability Initiative on Financial management. This much-needed capacity-building training programme was implemented by the Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation (ACT).

The training took place in Port Harcourt, Rivers State Capital city.

Some of the key points covered include:

Understanding the true cost of programmes to develop an accurately realistic budget

Monitoring the financial status of each programme and that of the organization on an ongoing basis.

The usefulness of developing and using financial manual or finance policy

Fraud and how to mitigate fraud.

Qualities of a good financial report, among others.

The importance of financial manuals, all procedures, and processes ensuring that donors’ money will be used wisely and only for the intended purpose crafted into the document must be followed by implementing the programmes for the organization. The document is developed by the board to ensure accountability and transparency by all actors working with and for the financial manual and its implementation in the organization. The manual is a well-established financial system in an organization that makes such an organization more attractive to donor agencies.

Financial manual and its implementation help in finance governance, Jobs roles and description, Department principles and values, Audit roles and responsibility, Fraud and financial fiduciary, internal audit report, external audit and audit report, annual financial report, and stakeholder’s management.

The training was one of the many ways the European Union and British Council strengthened the capacity of selected CSOs in Nigeria so that they can be sustainable and drive development in their various communities.

 

Campus-Wide Project

 

This project was done in collaboration with the Department of Government and Public Affairs, Gallaudet University, Washington D.C. This project enlightened the entire Gallaudet University campus community and other invited guests on the “Current Status of Deaf Education in Nigeria: Creating A Way Forward.”

In Nigeria, the state of Deaf education has hardly improved over the years, which has resulted in the underdevelopment of the sign languages in use. Some of the problems militating against the proper education of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children in Nigeria and fueling the embers of stigmatization against them include negative attitudes of many Nigerians toward people with special needs, inadequate government support, lack of equipment, shortage of personnel, late identification of deafness, high levels of illiteracy, and poverty.

Much hope for a rapid development of Deaf communities and Deaf education was raised among deaf learners and deaf educators in the mid 70’s when the federal government assumed the responsibility of running the Schools for the Deaf and to provide basic education for the Nigerian Deaf children. More than four decades after this, the situation remains discouraging and the development of deaf communities and sign language(s) in Nigeria remains gloomy. Deaf education in Nigeria is still far below standard in comparison with deaf education in developed nations.

With Gallaudet Univerity President Roberta Cordano

With Gallaudet University President Roberta Cordano

We seized the opportunity to celebrate and appreciate the work of Andrew Foster for the key role he played in bringing Deaf education to Nigeria. This project also highlighted our plans to reshape Deaf Education in Nigeria.

Appreciation: We are give our heartfelt thanks to: The President, Gallaudet University  President Roberta “Bobbi” Cordano; U.S Department of State (YALI); and IREX. We are grateful to Dr. David Penna (Chair, Department of Government and Public Affairs), Dr, Catherine O’Brien who painstakingly worked with our President on the Project. Her support and guidance cannot be quantified. We thank the Gallaudet University Faculty. We also appreciate the works of the hardworking interpreters       .

D-Ability Rural Outreach (DARO)

Nwala's family demonstrate with DARO looks like

The challenge: Understanding is everything. The importance of understanding the peculiar needs of people with hearing disability cannot be overemphasized. Because of linguistic differences many Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons in Nigeria and other parts of Africa experience marginalization within the circle in which they are supposed to find security- their families. Again many families with Deaf and Hard of Hearing children also stigmatize them by presuming that Deafness is synonymous with inability to learn. They mistake disability for incapability. The potentials of many Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons have been cut short by their families who clip their wings out of misguided concerns for their disability and safety.

Our solution: in our effort to reach the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, promote inclusion, unite families with Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons, as well as support them, we launched this on-going project: the D-Ability Rural Outreach (DARO) Project. This Project provides the opportunity for the hearing family members to understand Deafness and other issues that affect their Deaf and Hard of Hearing family members.

Reaching out to rural areas in search of the families of Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons is a heavy task. It has taken a lot of sacrifices so far and will still do.

Our impact: 38 the Deaf and Hard of Hearing people’s families impacted. Viewpoints about the Deaf are changing, starting from the family circle!

Appreciation: We are grateful to the various families of the Deaf we have so far visited.  They have been friendly. We sincerely thank the Nwala’s family for their support. It’s been awesome. We appreciate our volunteers and supporters. This project is worth every effort.  We are encouraged. We want to do more.

D-SignAbility Project

ASL Learning session

Learners with the Project Lead

Deafness is an aspect of disability. Being Deaf in a developing country comes with many undesirable consequences. Illiteracy is one such.

We carried out D-SignAbility Project to enable some Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons in Rivers State, Nigeria, to learn to communicate using basic American Sign Language (ASL).

Impact: This project helped to reduce the burden of illiteracy among the Deaf and Hard of Hearing as it enhanced the free flow of communication among the Deaf community. 62 Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons reached

Mandela Day of Service

Students participate in selfless service.

Mandela Day of Service: Students participate in selfless service.

Mandela Day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, and the ability to make an impact. The day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, with the first UN Mandela Day held on 18 July 2010.

The genesis of this day of service stems from Mandela’s passing on the torch of public service to everyone. “It is in your hands to make of our world a better one for all,” he said. Positive change was the gift left to all of us by Nelson Mandela, but it can only become a living legacy if we take up his challenge.  We are all encouraged to emulate the servant leader we loved by becoming servant leaders ourselves.

What we did to make the world a better place.

To mark the Mandela Day of Service for 2018, we held a 2-day event (July 17 and 18) at community secondary school Rumuapara, in Port Harcourt, . This event highlighted and impressed on the mind of the teens the importance of servant leadership, creating social impact, giving back to society, and the need for teens to be more civically-minded. To help them cultivate the spirit of volunteerism, we did some volunteer works for their school. We also planted the ‘Mandela Tree.’ 142 teens reached.

Over the past decade, Mandela Day has enjoyed global support and solidarity as an opportunity to practice commitment to uplifting the dignity of others and as a day to commemorate the lifetime of service Nelson Mandela gave to South Africa and the world. Mandela Day has moved away from an ad hoc, individualized, reactive approach and moved towards a sustainable, long-term, collaborative methodology to address issues affecting our society. The new Mandela Day strategy will primarily encourage collaborative partnerships in the area of active citizenship among others.

Students participate in leadership building session

Students participate in leadership-building session

There are so many ways to make a difference. We did what we are passionate about. The Mandela Day campaign is a celebration of our collective power to create a global movement for good and make a positive impact on the world. Mandela Day is a global call to action that celebrates the idea that

everyone has the power to transform the world, and the ability to make an impact. Mandela Day represents two things, optimism, and hope. There is value in paying it forward. It isn’t about giving but making it easier for someone else who is coming behind us. It’s about asking ourselves what we can do to make things better and thus encouraging a culture of paying it forward.

We sincerely appreciate Mrs. Shulammite Ureh Amannah; Mrs. Amasaba Membere; and Mr. Justice Otto. Their support was awesome. We say a big thank you to the Management, staff, and students of Community Secondary School, Rumuapara, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Their support gave us the courage to do the work.

D-Ability MentorTeens Project

 D-Ability MentorTeens Project session in progressD-Ability  MentorTeens Project  was initiated to help address the many challenges the teenagers are facing. There are many issues affecting teenagers especially in developing countries. These include reproductive health, HIV prevention and care, psychoactive substance abuse, and many others. Reproductive health education is a key strategy for promoting sexual safety among teenagers. The challenge is that there are millions of teens who are uninformed. Many become victims of sexual exploitation and suffer the attendant consequences.

Substance abuse, on the other hand,  refers to the harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drug. The rate of psychoactive substance abuse among teenagers in and out of high school in Nigeria is alarming. It can only be understood through direct interaction with the teens by trusted mentors. It is now a major Public Health challenge all over the world, particularly in developing countries. Complications of substance abuse by young people are grave including increased odds of engaging in risky sexual behaviour, personality disorders, sexual violence, criminal tendencies, and drug dependence among others.  Many factors have been identified to be responsible for drug abuse among young people, these include experimental curiosity, peer pressure, poor socioeconomic condition at home, and the need for extra energy for daily activities among others. While many studies have been conducted in Nigeria on substance abuse, the menace of this social anomaly has remained unabated, particularly among the youths.

The burden of substance abuse is still high among students who had not received any formal teaching on the subject. Awareness campaigns on the dangers associated with substance abuse should be intensified in various secondary schools in Nigeria. It is necessary that social media and other channels of communication could be positively engaged in reaching the youths on this subject.

Launched in 2018, this Project has been changing the future of hundreds of teens for the better. It has been leading them on the path to greatness in areas such as reproductive health education; HIV/AIDS prevention and care; psychoactive substance abuse; and many more. It is also designed to equip teens to become mentors to their peers, spreading the word and saving lives.  We have established small hubs known as D-Ability MentorTeens’ Club in 5 secondary/high schools, reaching over 1050 teens in Rivers State, Nigeria.  We are catching them young!

Project: Business Ideas Activation Plan (BIAP)

Some of the participants

Recently, there has been a lot of focus on the role that entrepreneurship can play in the development of emerging and developing economies. Entrepreneurship is one of the drivers of sustainable economic growth, mainly because the new businesses that entrepreneurs create have the potential to drive and shape innovation, speed up structural changes in the economy, and introduce new competition – thereby contributing to productivity.

If properly harnessed, Africa’s youth bulge has the potential to translate into a dividend for the continent through the creation of enterprises that not only contribute toward economic growth but also create jobs for their fellow youth. Africa’s youth bulge is an opportunity, but only if it is leveraged for all it has to offer. Instead of expecting youth to be recipients of the results of economic growth, Africa’s youth need to be in the driving seat, initiating and creating that growth through entrepreneurship.

Despite the presence of a number of entrepreneurship hubs, many African countries do not have thriving support ecosystems that facilitate youth entrepreneurship. More intense efforts are required to bridge this gap, making existing support services from ‘entrepreneurship hubs’ and other service providers accessible to entrepreneurs in countries with less-developed support ecosystems.

While a significant number of resources exist to support youth entrepreneurship in Africa, there are still considerable gaps, with many youths lacking the support they need to either create or grow a business. There is no dedicated one-stop solution that caters to the needs of entrepreneurs across the continent, providing support to the entire spectrum of entrepreneurship sectors and stages of growth.

Some of the Project facilitators

Some of the Project facilitators

 

November 12, 2018, remains a day to remember. In collaboration with Dekiruyo Africa, we impacted 44 youth with in-depth presentations on business ideas, activation plans, and how to leverage information and communication technology and social media for business growth, expansion, and international reach.  Participants were also exposed to many leadership opportunities they could take advantage of as social change agents.

We are grateful to all our amazing facilitators who generously shared the result of their many years of hard work and expertise with the participants. It was awesome collaborating with Dekiruyo Africa.  We keep building capacity, enhancing growth, and encouraging social impact.