THE EUROPEAN UNION STRENGTHENS D-ABILITY INITIATIVE’S CAPACITY ON BOARD LEADERSHIP AND GOVERNANCE.

Participants with the Facilitator

Participants with the Facilitator

The European Union, through the Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation (ACT) Programme, has strengthened D-Ability Initiative’s capacity on leadership and Board Governance. The training took place at Novotel Hotel in Port Harcourt.  Some of the key takeaways from the training included:

  • The meaning of leadership
  • Types of leadership:
    • organizational leadership
    • paternalistic leadership
    • activist leadership
    • managerial leadership
    • catalytic leadership among others.

It was just so inspiring to learn that dimensions of leadership include:

  • awareness
  • vision and
  • ability to communicate effectively.

There was a series of group works to help all participants internalize what has been taught. There were also plenary sessions in which the Executive Director of D-Ability Initiative presented for group 2.

Participants also learned that misunderstandings and conflicts are inevitable, however, some actions can be taken to ensure that there is unity among the constituents of every organisation, some of which include

  • the ability to build team spirit,
  • giving everyone a sense of ownership,
  • treating everyone without partiality
  • clearly communicating goals,
  • delegating responsibilities and
  • averting mistrust, misconceptions, and suspicion.

Every organizational leadership must take to heart the issue of gender and social inclusion (GESI) and must strive to mainstream GESI in all their programming.

The presenter, Professor Umar also stated that emotional intelligence, commitment to the organization, open-mindedness, and courage are among the very admirable qualities of Board members which would enable them to make some tough decisions that will benefit the organization in the short and long run, even when they seem unpopular at the moment

We at D-Ability Initiative are motivated to improve the composition and effectiveness of our Board of Trustees and the Governing Board.

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

Knowledge Management Session in progress

Knowledge Management Session in progress

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

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

D-ABILITY INITIATIVE PARTICIPATES IN EUROPEAN UNION-FUNDED CSO-MEDIA ROUNDTABLE

The workshop was funded by the European Union and implemented by the British Council, through the Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation (ACT) programme.  The workshop took place at Novotel Hotel in Port Harcourt on 5th September 2022. Many media houses, bloggers, and influencers were in attendance along with D-Ability Initiative, and other EU-ACT partners CSOs in the State.

EU-ACT Partner CSOs, Represented by their Executive Directors

EU-ACT Partner CSOs, Represented by their Executive Directors

Some key takeaways:

  1. STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP: There is a need to make the media house a part of our project from the proposal stage. Allow them to make input to fine-tune the project. This would promote our credibility as a Civil Society Organization (CSO) and make the media house a beneficiary of some part of the budget allotted for media publicity.
  1. RECIPROCAL INVITES: CSOs and media can invite each other as resource persons on issues related to their thematic areas of focus.
  1. KNOWLEDGE SHARING: CSOs and media houses can invite each other for training that will build or strengthen their professional capacity for development.
  1. COLLABORATION: We need to include the media when planning stakeholders’ engagement /town hall meetings.
  1. VISIBILITY AND EXPOSURE: In all our social media and other media handle, tag, and acknowledge each other. That way, we give each other visibility and exposure.
  1. The media need us as much as we need them. There is a need to strategize ourselves for relevance.
  1. We need to be sound and authoritative in our thematic focus areas so that the media will look for us as resource persons from time to time.

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

CSO Executives in Group Photograph

CSO Executives in Group Photograph

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

ED, D-Ability Initiative and other CSO Executives

ED, D-Ability Initiative and other CSO Executives

Some of the guiding questions were:

What was different?

How will you sustain it?

What should we improve on?

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

CSO Executives in their Traditional Attires

CSO Executives in their Traditional Attires

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

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

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

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

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

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

President of D-Ability Initiative and some of the beneficiaries

 

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

Project  Duration: 9 months (February- October 2022)

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

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

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

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

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

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

D-Ability Project Flag-off session in progress

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

D-ABILITY INITIATIVE 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 MARKS INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (IDPD) 2021

After a Live Interview on Television

December 3rd each year is set aside to remember, celebrate and commemorate persons with disabilities the world over. D-Ability initiative, in partnership with Voices of The Vulnerable, marked the IDPD 2021 by engaging in media advocacy and granting interviews on Atlantic Television Network (ATN).

Part of the interview centered on the progress or otherwise recorded as regards the implementation of the Discrimination against Persons with Disabilities (Prohibition) Act 2018.

It is obvious that while the Nigerian Government did well by enacting such a laudable law, the implementation leaves much to be desired.

However, we will keep up the advocacy, hoping that someday we will get it right.

 

D-ABILITY INITIATIVE SUPPORTS THE REVIEW AND DOMESTICATION OF THE NATIONAL ADOLESCENTS HEALTH POLICY DOCUMENT IN RIVERS STATE

AFTER THE REVIEW AND DOMESTICATION SESSION

AFTER THE REVIEW AND DOMESTICATION SESSION

In the process of Policy Development, we cannot develop policies without consultation and people who design programmes for Adolescents are key. Adolescence is a critical stage- a transformational stage where a Child begins to take decisions. It is pertinent to have a document and invest in our Adolescents for them to have direction. Citizens of Nigeria, Adolescents occupy 1/3 (one-third) of the Nigerian population. The essence of the Policy Development gives us a priority needs/investment in Adolescents. The National Policy was developed in 1995, 2007 – 2010 – 2019. Target Population: In 2007 National Policy. Age 10-24 years determine a young person according to the United Nations, while age 10 – 29 years determines a young person (local content-Nigerian perspectives).

• Major Stages of Policy Development:

Situation Analysis.

National Stakeholders Policy Workshop.

Engagement of an experienced National Consultant and Production of an Initial Draft of the Policy Document.

Stakeholder’s review of the Initial Draft of the Policy and Revision of the Initial Draft.

Finalization and National Adoption of the Draft Policy Document.

Final Approval Processes.

• The Policy process started in 2019 and because of the covid-19 in 2020, it was not adopted but has been adopted in 2021 at a Conference in Abuja. Adolescents are diverse, based on differences in sex, age, wealth, education, ethnicity, etc. Tomorrow’s Agenda will be to discuss “The Situation Analysis” and Attendees will be divided into groups for focused discussion.

• Issues identified by Attendees/participants include:

Teenage Pregnancy and Unsafe Abortion

Drug and Substance Abuse

Cultism and Violence among Adolescents and young people.

Establishment of Adolescent Friendly Centres and people that should manage the facilities are Psychological Clinical Person and Social Workers.

During the Consultative Global Health Conference, GBV, Inequality, and Empowerment issues were addressed.

Policy declaration and guiding principles: strategic targets; roles of stakeholders in the Adoption and Implementation process

Young people as a vital resource for a sustainable future and national development.

Right Based Approach.

Diversity of Adolescents and young people’s needs and situation.

Gender equity and responsiveness

Cultural sensitivity

Participatory and Consultative Integration of Services.

Life-Course Approach

Evidence-Based and Innovation Driven.

Quality-Focused and result oriented.

Policy Declaration: The Government (FGN);

Investment in the health and development of Adolescents and other young people shall be prioritized in the National Agenda.

This Policy shall be complementary to other National Policy Documents.

Young people, themselves have the right and duty to lead as well as to participate individually and collectively referred in the planning implementation, and evaluation of health and development programmes for young people.

All Stakeholders and development partners, including Government and its Institutions, Civil Society Organizations, and the Private Sector as well as international development and Organizations.

THE REVIEW AND DOMESTICATION SESSION

THE REVIEW AND DOMESTICATION SESSION

An enabling environment will be created and relevant implementation frameworks, including a Strategic framework, an action plan, and costed monitoring.

Vision: A Healthy Life and Optimal Development for all Adolescents and Young people in Nigeria and Successful transition towards a healthy, active, productive, successful, and fulfilled Adulthood.

Strategic Objectives:

Reduce morbidity, disability, and preventable mortality rates.

Strengthen the capacity of the health systems and their linkage with the health sector.

Roles of Stakeholders in the Adoption and Implementation of the Policy:

For Media: Role of Stakeholders-involves informing, and educating the Adolescents on the policy. Example: Sex Education, etc via Radio and other channels.

Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning to ensure a budget line/allocation for the Adolescents programmes flies.

Ensure Teachers give correct information for Adolescent care- (Education Sector).

Ensure we have a workable Policy that is implementable and ensures the Adolescents in Rural areas will also have access to these.

Religious Leaders should be engaged; a lot of Adolescents are influenced through Spiritual growth; The Churches/Mosques matters.

Faith-Based Organizations help Adolescents meet their needs.

To design informed programmes for Adolescents.,

Start designing Employability Skills for Young People to take them out of Poverty.

D-Ability Initiative’s Executive Director, Dr. Kingdom Nwanyanwu gave a presentation on behalf of group 3.

Organizers: Rivers State Ministry of Health and Partners.

Participants:

D-Ability Initiative (Dehat Ability Support Initiative)

RSMOH-Rivers State Ministry of Health

MYD-Ministry of Youth Development

MSWR-Ministry of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation,

Civic Society Organization (CSOs)

Community-Based Organisation (CBOs)

RIVSACA-Rivers State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDs

RIV-CISHAN-Civil Society on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria

IHVN-Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria

NOA- National Orientation Agency

FIDA- International Federation of Women Lawyers

NPF- Nigeria Police Force (Police Medicals)

UPTH- University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital

RSUTH-Rivers State University Teaching Hospital

Rivers media for health and Family Planning

RIV-NYNETHA-Youth Network on HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, Rivers State Chapter

RSPHCMB-River State Primary Health Care Management Board.

Rivers State Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning.

Nigerian Police Force (Medicals) NPF.

 

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.

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

Stakeholders and CSOs in Group Photograph

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

Some of the key takeaways were:

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

D-ABILITY 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.

 

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.

 

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

Action Plan Development

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.

The Impact Project (TIP) for the Deaf

A session with the Deaf

A session with the Deaf

In her continued efforts to promote equal access for the Deaf community, D-Ability Initiative promoted inclusive leadership by providing American Sign Language Interpreters and arranging for the Deaf to participate in this high-profile leadership project at Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. 32 Deaf persons were positively impacted along with other youths. We leave no one behind. Special thanks to Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Association of Nigeria (MWFAAN) and our volunteers.

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.

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.

Project: Read-to-Lead

Project banner

How important is literacy to education and development? People who cannot read risk being excluded from full participation in their communities and societies. Failing to be literate therefore limits life chances and hinders an individual’s participation in much of the world around them. Literacy is so fundamental to learning that its importance cannot be overstated — it is the essential foundation of education. The ultimate aim of any education system is to equip its children with the necessary literacy, numeracy, and wider skills that they need to take control of their destinies and fulfill their potential.

According to one UNESCO Director, “Literacy is the first step towards freedom, towards liberation from social and economic constraints. It is the prerequisite for development, both individual and collective. It reduces poverty and inequality, creates wealth, and helps to eradicate problems of nutrition and public health.”

Project Leads

Project Leads

The Honourable Minister of Education in Nigeria, Adamu Adamu stated:  “Education is the bedrock of any country’s development, and any country that does not educate its populace is bound to fail. Unfortunately in Nigeria, we have a very large population of illiterates; the number of illiterates, considering our population, is unbecoming.” The Federal Ministry of Education also plans to approach the crisis by implementing a mass literacy program to help youth and adults gain the literacy skills needed to improve their lives.

On 7th March 2019, in commemoration of the World Book Day (UK), we partnered with Teens and Youth Renaissance, to reach and sensitized 1000 teens and youth, the Deaf inclusive, in Rivers State. It centered on the importance of literacy, its connection with leadership, and the many international leadership opportunities available to youth. We always ensure we leave no one behind. We give a shout of gratitude to our volunteers, supporters, and other youth who made the day worthwhile. Their labour of love did not go unnoticed.

 

 

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.