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Gender & Accountability Project: Women’s Advocate Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) conducts Capacity Building sessions for Women at the Grassroots to Demand Accountability and Challenge Corruption

WARDC conducts training for women at the grass-root

The Women’s Advocate Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) conducted a two-day Capacity Building session for Women at the Grassroots to constructively demand Accountability and Challenge Corruption. The activities which took place on the 18th and 19th of October, 2018 in Aeron Suites, Osogbo, Osun State and on the 22nd and 23rd of October, 2018 in Abeokuta, Ogun State were in tandem with the organization’s implementation of the Gender and Accountability Project (GAP-C), which is an intervention necessitated by the absence of female voices in the demand for accountability, and in the fight against corruption. The project is being implemented in partnership with the Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) who coordinates the Gender and Accountability Project Cohort (GAP-C) comprising seven (7) organizations. The project is a deliberate intention on the part of the funders, MacArthur Foundation to include the voices of women in the discourse.

 

Corruption is one of the biggest obstacles to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals as it reduces access to resources and hinders development, and it also deprives people of advancement opportunities. Corruption has been high on the governance reform agenda for decades as it constrains development and causes conflicts. Corruption affects everybody in the country most especially women, women’s disempowerment and their dependence on public service delivery mechanisms for access to essential services increases their vulnerability to the consequences of corruption-related service delivery deficits. Corruption disproportionately affects poor women because of their low levels of economic and political empowerment which constrains their ability to hold states accountable to deliver services. The WARDC’s mandate within the context of the Gender and Accountability Project (GAP-C) is to strengthen women groups for institutionalizing anticorruption and accountability in Nigeria.

 

The implementation of a Capacity Building session for women especially at the grass root level to demand accountability, and challenge corruption, was embarked on to empower, these women on how to constructively demand accountability from the government. This capacity building session was informed by the fact that women at the grassroots have a high dependency on government services for survival, and lack economic and political leverage.  Challenging factors that contribute to this seemingly apathy is low level of education, lack of awareness of the patterns of corruption emanating from the deprivation of these services, as well as its impact. The capacity building was also pertinent to active engagement with the stakeholders, government parastatals and all other agencies and duty bearers involved in providing amenities to demand for demand for accountability, and also challenge corruption.

 

As a result of this two-day capacity building session, more women at the grass-root level of Osun and Ogun States have now increased their capacities to recognize and challenge corruption, and demand for accountability, which is anticipated to improve the living standards of these women. The stakeholders and representatives of government parastatals also had increased knowledge on the causal effects of poor service delivery and corruption, and better equipped to be intentionally put in measures to drive transparency and good governance.

WRAPA Participates in the MacArthur Foundation On Nigeria Grantees Meeting

WRAPA at MacArthur Fdn Grantees meeting 2018

The Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), participated in the MacArthur Foundation On Nigeria Grantees meeting, which took place on the 3rd of October, 2018 at Ibeto Hotel Abuja, Nigeria. The meeting was organized to increase the knowledge of grantees on the MacArthur Foundation’s new agenda and how the work of other grantees contributes to the success of the foundation’s mission in Nigeria.

Organizations notably in attendance were BudgIT, PACAC, PICA and Whistleblower Unit, The Cable Foundation, ICIR, SERAP, AFRICMIL, Al Habibiyyah Islamic Society, Lux Terra, Palace of Priests Assembly, Mambayya House, and other grantees of the MacArthur Foundation.

The meeting featured three (3) panel discussions, a legal presentation on guidelines for involvement in electoral process by grantees, presentation of two (2) very intriguing videos on ‘Education’ and ‘Criminal Justice’, and a key message from MacArthur Foundation Chicago to the On Nigeria Grantees.

The first (1st) panel discussion was on Government Anti-Corruption by Bolaji Owasonye – Executive Secretary, PACAC; Mohammed Dikwa – Coordinator PICA and Whistleblower Unit. This was followed by a second (2nd) panel discussion on Investigative Journalism and Amplification by Abiose Adelaja – The Cable Foundation; Rosemary Olufemi – ICIR; Timothy Adewale – SERAP; and Abdulaziz Abdulaziz – AFRICMIL. The third (3rd) panel discussion was an Update on the work of Faith-Based Organization Grantees by Rekiyah Momoh – Al Habibiyyah Islamic Society; Mike Utsaha – Lux Terra; Palace of Priests Assembly; Moses Aluaigba – Mambayya House. The three (3) sessions were moderated by Dr. Kole Shettima, Amina Salihu and Dayo Olaide, all form the MacArthur Foundation

The video on ‘Education’, presented by Civic Media Lab and BudgIT, focused on GJSS, Gombe State, a secondary school with only 3 classrooms, with very poor infrastructure. The video was advocating for the amendment of the UBE Act before 2020.

The video on ‘Criminal Justice’ presented by PRAI and LEDAP focused on the story of a man named Babagana who was wrongly charged with armed robbery, and locked up for 8 years without trial after which the prosecution could not produce witnesses. His rights were violated as he was brutalized and refused access to healthcare. The video advocated for the amendment of the Criminal Justice Act.

The Managing Director Programs of the MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, U.S.A, Stephanie Platz, during her address informed grantees of all the recent programmatic successes and plans of the Foundation, including the news that the current President of MacArthur Foundation is stepping down in 2019.

During the Legal Presentation on Guidelines for Involvement in Electoral Process by Grantees, the grantees present were reminded of the foundation’s policies on implementations of interventions around elections and transparency.

The MacArthur Foundation on Nigeria Grantees meeting was indeed a very insightful and successful meeting, all objectives necessitating the meeting were met, grantees were updated on the new agendas of the MacArthur Foundation and collaborations and linkages opportunities among grantees were harnessed for better increased success in interventions.

Final Narrative Activity Report Malumfashi Skills & Counselling Centre

Submitted by

Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) Nigeria

October 2008

MALUMFASHI SKILLS AND COUNSELLING CENTRE

Supported by the Netherlands Embassy in Nigeria

February – July 2008

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

a) Introduction

Since the establishment and commissioning of the Pilot centre between October 2006 and February 2007, activities in the centre continued based on the approved schedule.

It is obvious that the enthusiasm with which the project was received among the women and the community is evident considering the regular attendance of training sessions by the trainees despite the acute challenge of daily financial commitment in form of transportation (to the centre) faced by most trainees. Considering the high level of existing poverty in the community, the 60% graduating of fully attending trainees is encouraging.

Both the State and the Local Government Council’s commitment towards the centre sustained the same tempo of activities of the Centre despite the change of government occasioned by the April 2007 General election in the country. This is evident in the continued support and participation of local government officers in the activities of the centre and this is positive indication towards the sustenance and eventual ownership of the centre by the community.

b) Centre Activities

The value component activities of the centre took off smoothly and increased in quality by the end of the one year pilot support. Equipment, machines and other logistics in respect of the skills were procured, utilised and maintained through regular service with the result of an established maintenance culture amongst the trainees. Ninety one (91) Trainees in respect of sewing and knitting skills, adult literacy, computer appreciation and religious knowledge were enrolled by the Centre.

c) Community Support & Sustainability

The evidence of the commitment and participation of the local community is attested by the following actions of government and individuals which underscores the aspiration for sustainability.

– The demonstration of political will by the State Government through the Katsina State Ministry of Women Affairs and Youth Development, represented by Hajiya Zainab Y. Dari.

– The sustained material and moral support extended by the Malumfashi Local Government administration under two tenures of elected representatives has helped to establish and enhance legitimacy for the Centre from inception to date.

– The Malumfashi/Kafur Federal Constituency House Member, Alhaji Abdulkadir Mammam Nasir donated the sum of one hundred thousand naira (N100, 000.00) towards the purchase of a computer set to start a computer appreciation component for female youths.

– Dr. Halima Adamu, a daughter of the community made cash awards to successful trainees at the graduation.

– The endorsement and active participation of religious and traditional leaders and other respected personalities in the activities of the Centre.

 

d) Graduation of Trainees

On 14th August 2008, the first batch of trainees graduated after one year of intensive training in various skills and having undergone various informative sessions on health, self esteem and civic rights. A total of 28 successful trainees graduated and were presented with certificates while prizes were given to outstanding trainees in the various skills.

e) Entrepreneurial Skills Workshop

Recognising the need for support for the utilisation the skills learned by the women from the Centre, an entrepreneurial training was organized for graduate trainees of the Centre in order to guarantee the effective utilization of acquired skills and knowledge. The training was conducted at the premises of the Centre on Thursday 9th October 2008. At the end of the training there were positive indications of the attainment of the objectives of the training.

f) Completion of Pilot phase

The submission of this narrative report and financial report containing significant impact on the Malumfashi women and community marks the end of the pilot grant for the establishment of the Skills and Counselling Centre.

MALUMFASHI SKILLS AND COUNSELLING CENTRE

Supported by the Netherlands Embassy in Nigeria

February – July 2008

FULL REPORT

Introduction

Further to the activity report in respect of Malumfashi Centre submitted to the Embassy in January 2008, this final narrative report of the pilot grant of N3,190,180.00 for WRAPA to establish a Skills and Counselling Centre in the rural community of Malumfashi is hereby submitted covering activities of the Centre from February 2008 to July 2008 with some activities spilling into August to October due to challenges beyond the control of WRAPA.

With a fully functional Centre, activities went into full gear and a supervisory visit by the Royal Netherlands Embassy was organised and undertaken in February 2008.

 

I) Official Visit to the Pilot Centre by Officials of the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Nigeria

His Excellency, the Royal Netherlands Ambassador to Nigeria Mr. A. C. A. Van Der Wiel was represented by Mr. Mark Rutgers a senior Embassy staff. The visiting team, which was accompanied by the WRAPA Secretary General were met at the Malumfashi Local Government boarder by the Deputy Chairman of the Malumfashi Local Government and some members of the Council, the WRAPA Zonal Coordinator Hajiya Dije Yahya (now the National project Coordinator), and WRAPA Katsina State Coordinator Haj. Adama Bakori, and some other WRAPA members.

The entourage proceeded to the palace of the Galadiman Katsina Honourable Justice Mamman Nasir on a courtesy call. The team was received and welcomed by the Wakilin Galadiman and other council members. In his speech, Mr. Mark Rutgers thanked the traditional council for the warm reception accorded the team. He stressed the Embassy’s readiness to support the centre and other 9 more centres in other states based on the acceptance, viability and success of the Malumfashi centre. Mr. Mark Rutgers then presented souvenir gifts to the Galadiman while the Deputy Chairman of the Local Government also presented souvenir gifts to the Embassy officials as the tradition demands.

 

The team then proceeded to the WRAPA Skills Acquisition and Counselling Centre where a teeming crowd consisting of other community leaders, local government staff, WRAPA members and the trainees and trainers was anxiously waiting to welcome the team. The team was conducted round the centre by the centre supervisor Hajiya Rakiya Tijjani Aliyu. The officials inspected the Centre interacting with the trainees and their trainers as they inspected the skills training products on display. Mr. Rutgers expressed appreciation for the enthusiasm of the community and in particular the trainees who he said were doing very well judging from the quality of the change they have experienced and the productivity of the skills training and value sessions on self esteem and community advocacy.

He also emphasized satisfaction with the support of the community which he indicated will be the basis for sustaining the Centre and eventual ownership by the community. The visit ended with a late lunch at the Government Guest House.

 

The 2nd Sec endorsing the Centre’s attendance register

The 2nd Sec watching the trainees at the Knitting session

II) 1st Graduation Ceremony of Trainees at the Pilot Centre in Malumfashi. August 14th 2008 at 10:00am

The ceremony which was conducted in the local Hausa language began at about 12noon with the opening prayers taken by Mallam Usman Abubakar, which was followed by the introduction of Guests.

In a welcome address, the National Coordinator of the 10 centre project Hajiya Dije Yahya observed that the success of the Malumfashi centre as a pilot project had brought into reality the setting up of 9 other centres across the 6 geo-political zones in Nigeria which is currently supported by the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Nigeria. She further appreciated the cooperation and assistance of both the Malumfashi Local Government Council and the State through the Ministry of Women Affairs. She ended her remark by calling on the leadership of the Malumfashi Local Government Council to include the graduate trainees in the Council’s poverty alleviation scheme to provide them with micro grants for immediate establishment of their own enterprise. She also urged all stakeholders to maintain the current tempo of enthusiasm and support as the pilot centre will be a model for the other centres.

Delivering a goodwill message, the Chairman of Malumfashi Local Government Council represented by the Vice Chairman of the Council, Alhaji Kabiru, expressed delight at the achievements of the centre and its importance to the Malumfashi community. He commended WRAPA for the initiative and urged the graduating trainees to use the acquired skills and knowledge towards meaningful development of the Malumfashi community and Nigeria in general.

Best in sewing receiving the 1st prize of complete set of sewing machine Best in Knitting receiving the 1st prize of Knitting machine WRAPA Sec Gen presenting gift to a community leader

In another goodwill message, the representative of Galadiman Katsina expressed the Galadima’s satisfaction with the success story of the centre and prayed for its sustenance.

Some of the graduating trainees and members of their families then took turn to express their heart felt gratitude to the management and staff of the centre for the opportunity accorded then for self empowerment and prayed for the continuity of the centre so more women/girls could benefit. Certificates were then presented to the 28 successful trainees, which was followed by presentation of prizes to outstanding trainees. Some distinguished members of the community were also presented with recognition plaques as a mark of their continued support towards the success of the centre. The recognition was also to encourage best practices by husbands and guardians of trainees to support their regular and productive participation of their wives and wards.

In a remark, the Katsina State Honourable Commissioner for Women Affairs expressed great joy that one year after the formal commissioning of the centre, the first batch of beneficiaries have successfully completed their training. She further charged the graduating trainees to make good use of skills and knowledge acquired in eradicating poverty and sufferings. While calling on other women who still strive to make a living to embrace the initiative with open arms, the Honourable Commissioner called on other civil society organizations especially the ones that are gender based to emulate WRAPA and join in the fight to completely eradicate poverty in Nigeria especially among women, noting that though WRAPA’s primary task is protecting the legal rights of women, the organization has gone a step further in empowering women economically.

In her address, WRAPA Secretary General appreciated the good will of the people of Malumfashi in seeing to the continued success of the centre and prayed for its sustenance. She further admonished the graduating trainees not to relent in their efforts towards self empowerment assuring them that in due course their labour and hardship would be rewarded. She further urged the graduating trainees to endeavour to train other women in their neighbourhood.

The guests were then led by the Honourable Commissioner for Women Affairs and the Vice Chairman of Malumfashi Local Government Council in inspecting items displayed by the graduating trainees.

The Hon Commissioner inspecting displayed items Dep. Chairman inspecting displayed items Group photograph during graduation

III) Entrepreneurial Training for Graduates Trainees 9th October 2008.

  1. Introduction

Recognising the essentials of acquiring entrepreneurial skills for effective management of business, it was considered expedient to organise an entrepreneurial training for graduate trainees of the Malumfashi in order to guarantee the effective utilization of acquired skills and knowledge.

  1. Objectives

The aim of the training was to among other issues;

  1. Develop their interpersonal skills
  2. Train the graduates on how to set up/establish and manage their own business
  3. Expose them to strategies for formation of cooperative societies and other strategies for securing micro finance.
  1. Process

In achieving the set goal, a 1 day entrepreneurial training was organised for graduate trainees at the Malumfashi centre on Thursday 9th October 2008. Graduates were mobilised through informal media announcement by the town crier. The method was effective as 9

It was an interactive session where participants were given the opportunity to fully participate in the process.

Trainer, Mrs Ladi Way Proceedings during the training Cross section of participants

A high point of the training workshop was the completion of evaluation form by each participants guided by the National Project Coordinator. The purpose of the evaluation is to access the level of assimilation by the graduate trainees both during the skill acquisition training and the entrepreneurial training.

Proceedings during the training Evaluation/assessment session Trainer and Graduate Group

 

  1. Outcome

An analysis of the evaluation forms indicated satisfaction and hope amongst the graduates as well as the attainment of the set objectives of both the training and their experiences in the Centre.

IV) Overall Evaluation/Assessment of the Malumfashi Centre

In the data collected during the trainee’s initial registration; testimonies at the graduation ceremony and in the evaluation questionnaire administered to the trainees after the entrepreneurial training, the following impact was documented.

  1. The centre has made positive impact on the lives of the women and their families affecting over 274 children, 144 parents and over 57 spouses apart from the extended relatives and friends in the community.
  2. Three (3) of the graduate trainees have already enrolled other women in their neighbourhood for training in their homes.
  3. The Centre has become a meeting point of interactions and business discussions and meetings for the women. A place where they can sit comfortably with their children to discuss personal and community issues as well as share strategies on managing their families.
  4. Prior to the entrepreneur training, some of the women have already formed two trade groups awaiting guidance and advice on how to formally register with the appropriate government Agency for consideration of the award of facilities such as soft loans and other support schemes.
  5. The testimonies of the graduate trainees attesting to the significant impact of the Centre to their lives and the livelihood of their family and community:

ü This centre is the best thing that had happened to us (women) as it has changed our lives completely. I now have economic independence.

ü During this Sallah (Eid celebration), I was able to sew my children’s clothes, my clothes and even sewed on commercial basis. I am highly grateful to WRAPA.

ü Because of this training, my husband has now purchased a knitting machine for me and in addition has given me N800.00 as take off grant. I knitted and sold – the money has now become 3,000 naira. I am grateful.’

ü This centre is a blessing to us. I came 1st in the sewing class and I am now sewing on commercial basis. As a young girl, I know that I will never depend entirely on my husband when I eventually get married and I will be an asset to my family.

ü The discussions we had on health and self – esteem has really helped me to understand the various health issues affecting women and their children i.e. HIV Aids and the necessary precautions to take to reduce incidences and protect ourselves.

ü Before now, I could neither read nor write; now I can write my name and understand some things. I hope one day I will be able to read and speak the English language.

 

V) Challenges

1. The regular participation of registered women in the Centre must be addressed. It is worth noting that 18 of the 43 women registered for skills acquisition either withdrew or are irregular in their attendance due to logistic problems based on the poverty level of majority of families. The 28 number of full graduates is encouraging.

2. Measures need to be taken to improve attendance and participation in the 2nd batch through community mobilization to support women to attend their sessions on regular basis.

3. The community support and participation need to be enhanced through public activities around sensitization on key concerns of the enrolment and retention of girls in schools, reduction of the prevalence of domestic violence as well as lifting of restrictions on women to access health facilities.

VI) Next Steps

  1. Extending the duration of the training sessions to provide adequate time to cover more of the syllabuses in order reduce the number of days in the week. This will also reduce the total cost to be spent on transportation by the trainees.
  2. Put up a formal request to the Local Government Council for support of the trainees in form of small stipend to cushion the hardship and encourage attendance.
  3. Put up a formal request to the Honourable Member of House of Representatives Alhaji Abdulazeez Mamman Nasir to extend his support to the Centre in his constituency project, bearing in mind his outstanding commitment to do so.
  4. Engage sewing and knitting instructors from the graduates of the Centre for the 2nd batch to replace the present instructors and pay them a smaller stipend. This will further encourage them and as a step towards the WRAPA disengagement in due course.
  5. Additional capacity building for the Centre Supervisor and Assistant by WRAPA to enhance managerial quality of the staff.
  6. Preparations and advocacy contacts to secondary school authorities and the state ministry of education in preparation for the school debates and quiz on women’s rights issues in the schools within the Malumfashi Local Government Area.
  7. Continuous monitoring, supervision and evaluation of the Centre to ensure quality output as well as sustainability.

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