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 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-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