PRESS CONFERENCE: WRAPA Wins 2014 MacArthur Foundation Award

$750,00 Award Recognizes WRAPA for Extraordinary Creativity and Effectiveness

Celebratory Press Conference

24th February 2014 WRAPA Headquarters, Abuja Nigeria


On behalf of the Chair of the Board of Trustees of Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) Nigeria, Hon. Justice Fati Lami Abubakar LLD, CON, I welcome everyone who has found time and the goodwill to be with us as we celebrate an important milestone. We thank you all and assure you of the sustained partnership of WRAPA with your organizations and cause as we all strive to uplift the human dignity of women and indeed all Nigerians.

Nigeria, February 20, 2014WRAPA is one of seven nonprofit organizations around the world to receive the 2014 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. The Award, which was announced on February 20th, recognizes exceptional nonprofit organizations who have demonstrated creativity and impact, and invests in their long-term sustainability with sizable one-time grants.

In the life and growth of every organization there are high and low points. The date 20th February 2014 will go down in the history of WRAPA as a high point. Winning the MacArthur Award for Creative & Effective Institutions (MacArthur Award) is an affirmation of its impact from inception in 1999 to date show casing exceptional effectiveness and impact in the organization’s work in all parts of Nigeria.

The journey has been an experience of discovery, challenges and support to survive and remain productive and relevant in the civil society constituency of Nigeria and the struggle for the realization of women’s human rights in all spheres of their daily lives.

According to MacArthur, the Award is in is not only recognition for past leadership and success but also an investment in the organizations’ future. Recipients will use their awards to create endowments or innovation funds, increase their capacity, and upgrade technology and physical infrastructure. MacArthur has a long history of nurturing emerging organizations and institutions to upscale impact on their clientele, and upgrade effectiveness in delivery of their services. For these Awards the Foundation does not seek or accept nominations.

WRAPA as an organization has received the MacArthur Award of $750,000 having demonstrated exceptional creativity and effectiveness. It has also reached a critical or strategic point in its organizational development; shown strong leadership and stable financial management. Above all, WRAPA has received MacArthur support for projects that have direct bearing on the well being of women and girls through its human rights programme.

WRAPA works to promote and protect the rights of Nigerian women, whose lives are governed by three legal systems: customary, common, and Sharia. WRAPA uses a unique holistic approach to helping women that weaves together the provision of legal defense, public education, shelter, and skills and literacy training. WRAPA serves an average of 15-30 women and girls each day at the national and state levels.

The organization’s membership of more than 15,000 men and women forms a powerful network of actors across the country that can be leveraged to support its work and efforts within government, communities, and other circles of influence. WRAPA’s success is largely due to its large and growing base of supporters, as well as its deep knowledge of and involvement in the Nigerian legal systems, enabling it to confront discriminatory cultural practices and processes that have become embedded in Nigerian law.

The organization’s strategy of community involvement, its membership of men and boys, and its adherence to due process has helped to increase the use of its legal aid services by women and girls.

WRAPA has successfully represented women in high-profile cases that involved invoking due process in appealing harsh punishments under Sharia. The organization has assumed a leadership role in women’s rights advocacy on some of the most controversial issues affecting the lives of Nigerian women, including consent to marriage and a woman’s right to custody after divorce.

Research by WRAPA informed the development of a set of resolutions by 84 government and Muslim leaders in Northwestern Nigeria that seek to advance women’s rights under Sharia law, with a particular focus on support for a woman’s consent to marriage and the financial responsibilities of divorced men toward their children and former wives.

WRAPA is a recipient in 2014 because its work under the Islamic Family law project, the extension of legal aid and counselling support for women and girls, are issues, which in part are central to MacArthur’s Human Rights and International Justice programs. These programs according MacArthur President Robert Gallucci range, ‘From exposing human rights abuses in cyberspace to reducing the influence of money in American politics, the missions of these organizations are diverse,” “They (Grant Recipients) share in common their demonstrated impact in improving the lives of people and communities. MacArthur hopes these investments will sustain and expand the reach of that impact.”

WRAPA, currently in the process of reorganizing its operations to reach even more women, will use its MacArthur Award funding to complete development of a resource center that will house a hostel and transit shelter for abused women and girls, as well as an office, library, and auditorium.

The award will not only enhance the strengthening of WRAPA but will also significantly extend its capacity and guaranty the expansion and availability of its services to millions of Nigerian women, girls and families. Please find additional information about why MacArthur selected WRAPA for the Award and an overview video are at [insert link to your page on See more at http//www.macfound.org/maceirecipients/78 and www.wrapanigeria.org Additional information about other winning organizations, as well as overview videos about their work, is also available at www.macfound.org/maceis.

On behalf of the Chair, members of the Board of Trustees, management as well as the beneficiaries of WRAPA, I use this opportunity to express our immense appreciation to Macarthur Foundation, its leadership and its entire staff for the faith and support extended to the organisation from 2006 to date. Our appreciations also go to the MacArthur Africa Director, Dr. Kole Shettima and his Nigerian team members.

We reaffirm WRAPA commitment to serve Nigerian women and girls better and above all expand the preservation of the human dignity women irrespective of socio-economic leanings. In conclusion, I want to thank every individual, organization and institution who or which has kept faith and supported WRAPA from 1999 to date. These include all of WRAPA staff from inception to date, the volunteer corp of Zonal, State, project staff and other ad-hoc supporters especially lawyers from chambers all over Nigeria, the media.

Thank you and God bless Nigeria.

For more on WRAPA work and impact, WRAPA Secretary General, Saudatu Mahdi MFR, Tel: +234 8033144905 or mail info@wrapa.org, wrapa993@yahoo.com  saudatu@yahoo.com

Rosemary Dzer is Married!!!

Rosemary Dzer, the acid assault survivor and long term beneficiary of WRAPA support got married to John T. Dima a Safety Engineer on 15th February, 2014 in Ahmadu Bello University Chapel, Samaru, Zaria.