We need government‘s financial support for effective actualization of our goals -Halima Oiza Sadiq
HALIMA OIZA SADIQ is the CEO of Chachavivi Women Girl Child Development Foundation (CCWGDFoundation), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). She speaks with ISAAC NGUMAH on her organization, challenges and what government should do for its growth and development. Excerpt:
Why did you establish an NGO?
Looking at the vulnerability of our women and the girl child and also looking at the background that I am coming from it became a thing of variety for me to see that the life of women and children especially the girl child their peace their security and their dignity are preserved and protected and that’s how come about Chachavivi Women and Girl Child Development Foundation. We want to see how the voices of our girl child are amplified because most times, they are the vulnerable population and how they can be included in programme design and implementation, so that they are not excluded. We want to ensure that their voices are heard their security, their peace is protected and their dignity also is protected through sensitization, through awareness and other activities and that’s why the organization is established. And it was founded in the year 2020 and it has been in operations in over 6 local government area out of 21 LGA’s in kogi state and we are looking forward to other LGA’s through our program interventions in order to reach the unreached and amplify the voices of many. We are looking forward to impacting the life of women and girl child not just in kogi state even beyond Kogi State.
What is your focus?
When you look at women and children, there are so many things affecting them. So, we are looking at the area of gender inequalities; we are looking at health; we are looking at the area of child development; food security and we are also looking at the climate change issues that increase the vulnerability of our women and children and other vulnerable groups (people with disabilities), we cannot exclude women and children from this core focus areas because they are all intertwined. If you look at our Kogi State and even Nigeria at large, we have about 70 to 75 per cent of women that are involved in agricultural activities ensuring food security implying that the food security of the nation and attaining zero hunger of the SDG goal 2 depends largely on our women, hence we can’t help it but plan for interventions that support both there productive and reproductive lives.
How do you prevent drug abuse at the experimental stage?
Good one. Sorry that I didn’t mention that earlier as part of what we are doing selflessly to prevent substance use and abuse among young ones especially. We have a very strong partnership with National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kogi State Command; we have been having sensitization and creating awareness across the 21 Local Government Areas with my focus on the young women and the young girls who are most vulnerable to drug abuse. So, what we do in partnerships with NDLEA, we bring these people together and talk to them about drug abuse, the effects and its consequences at large. It is something we don’t take for granted because from our researches that we have carried out the young girls are very vulnerable and most of them are now at the additives stage due to so many factors that push them into drug’s, we are into educating them about drug abuse we carry out sensitization, awareness creation and the last UN day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking was on the 25th of June last year we did it in partnership with the National drug law enforcement agency with some key programs like awareness across the school’s, the religious bodies, we went to mosque, churches we had a state level commemoration of UN day against drug abuse to promote and increase the awareness among the people especially those ones who are vulnerable, that is are our young boys, girls and children. We also offer psychosocial supports like counselling when we visit the rehab center to aid their quick recovery and reintegration back to the society. Cases beyond our scope of intervention, we refer. The future of our nation depends on the quality of young ones we are raising hence we can afford to trade their future for marijuana, cocaine, alcohols and psychoactive substances.
Can you tell us your commitment to increase and improving access to services to the well being of the women and girl child?
So, the work we are doing, we are not doing it in isolation, we also collaborate with ministries and department and agencies (MDAs), even individuals and philanthropist that we get these supports from and to our target beneficiaries. Through our collaborations and partnership, we are able to render services, improve and increase their access to the service providers, for example, the Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Youths, Education, Agriculture, security agencies and other key stakeholders as the case may be. Our partnership with the Ministry of Women Affairs for instance, people with cases of gender based violence issue, child molestation and abuse will be refer to the Ministry of Women Affairs and we have so many cases referred to the ministry that have received urgent attention and solution. Same things has happened to the young ones who are also into drugs abuse who are coming to us requesting for support on how they can get over psychoactive substances. Through our partnership with NDLEA we have done referrals to NDLEA rehabilitation centers and these have also yielded lots of success and testimonies. Depending on the issues at hand determines the agency to be referred to for quick support or attention.
Are you in partnership with any organization?
Sure! We are in partnership with Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF), in partnership with Women Environmental Programmes (WEP), Savannah Centre for Democracy Development Diplomacy (SCDDD), we have implemented programmes in partnership with National Inland Water ways (NIWA), Dangote Cement Company in Lokoja, Kogi State and a couple of other individuals we have worked with.
Tell us about your advocacy and engagement
Okay, one of the projects that we have implemented is ending gender violence, it is a six-month programe that we implemented in three local government areas and one of the strategies is advocacy engagement with key stakeholders that can foster a transformative change and help change the narratives of norms and stereotypes among some actors of gender-based violence. These actors include but not limited to clergy men and women, traditional leaders, youths and Women leaders, School principals, heads of institutions, Security agencies, Ministries, Departments and agencies as well as parents. By and large, every aspect of our programme interventions has an advocacy component in it to be able to drive a lasting solution or change and also for sustainability purpose. It will interest you to know one of the successes of our advocacy engagement during the course of our project implementation on Ending Gender Based Violence is the setting up of GBV Champions in communities by the religious and traditional leaders themselves to mitigate GBV cases. We also have women and girls safe spaces in the community as result of our advocacy interventions. These spaces have given the women and girls an enabling environment to discuss issues that concern them as it relates to GBV.
How is your organization empowering women and girls to a life of security and dignity?
What we do majorly is to increase their awareness, build their capacity and educate the minds of the children both males and females, people with disabilities, those that have been affected by environmental hazards like floods with vital information that will build their resilience and hasten their recovery. We link them up with agencies that are into skills training and acquisition i.e. Industrial Training Fund to benefit from their packages and we have pockets of testimonies from it. We also offer them capacity building on different subjects of priority like, women certification in Nation buildings, women certification in selective appointive positions, women’s certification in electoral process, the education of women and empowerment of women. These enhance the awareness of their rights as citizens; how they can be involved, and how they can bring in their own support in Nation building when they get one. With this information, they are able to stand on their own and they are given the chances in terms of their participations in elective positions. We just had one of the women who came up from one of the political parties contested in the last gubernatorial election conducted in 2023; we are looking forward to more women emerging as candidates of elective positions beyond just campaigning for the men and voting as well. Democracy as we all know is for all gender.
Can you tell us the areas and the communities that your NGO has impacted so far?
We have cut across the three Senatorial Districts in Kogi State; we have worked in six Local Government Areas out of 21 LGAs and different communities in these six LGAs.
How many lives have you impacted through your organization?
People that have been impacted through my NGO is over a million and I will justify it by saying that my organization has been running a live phone in Radio sensitization and awareness programme for more than a year now and this programme has greatly impacted and reached the audience from far and near and even outside the state because the radio station, Grace95.5fm, has a very wide coverage area across different states aside its host state, Kogi State. One of the fastest platforms for information dissemination is the radio and with less barriers in reaching the vulnerable populace or target audience in the hard-to-reach area and Chachavivi Women and Girl Child Development Foundation has taken huge advantage of this platform to impact millions of lives around the country and the world through their radio link grace955.com as well. Successes from this our radio programme cannot be overemphasized as we keep receiving calls, text messages, and emails on the impact of it on individuals, families and organizations.
Can you tell us about your enhancement programmes and projects?
What we do mostly is partnership with agencies and institutions to offer enhancement programmes and projects to target beneficiaries across our target communities. Some of the institutions that my organization (ccwgdfoundation) has enjoyed partnership with in this regards is National Development Institute, with livelihood skills and empowerment opportunities like catering, hairdressing, tailoring and others. We have also enjoyed partnership with Hydroelectric, Power Producing area Development Commission (HYPPADEC) in granting vulnerable students in tertiary institutions with scholarship opportunities and this has covered some of my target beneficiaries as well.
Do you get support from government, individuals and corporate organizations?
Government has created an enabling environment for us and that’s also a support. Some of the ministries have also been of great support to our work and one of them that stand out is the State Ministry of Environment headed by Hon. Victor Omofaiye Adewale, who has always been at the fore front in supporting the organization financially and technically. Another Ministry that has been supportive is the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development; I can’t forget the support of the Finance Commissioner who has shown his support as an individual. Permit to say thank you these exceptional persons and their offices especially the Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Victor Omofaiye and his team.
What and what do you want the government to do to support your organization?
My organization; Chachavivi Women and Girl Child Development Foundation, envisions a world where women and Girl child are empowered to a life of security and dignity and in achieving this, we need government support financially, enabling environment, buy in and robust partnership for effective actualization of our goals. Every year, we have International events that speak to issues around women and children. We want those events like International Women’s Day; Children’s Day; International Youth’s Day; UN Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking; International Day of the Girl Child, international Day of Peace and many other events revived for the best interest of our women, youth and children. Chahchavivi Women and Girl Child Development Foundation is ready for partnership and committed to this course.
What are the challenges while running your NGO?
Funding is a constraint. We have more than one thousands ideas and initiatives to reach out and impact lives positively and the result will evidence for all to see but we have little resources (funds) to achieve them. I call on Government; both Federal and State, International organization (UN Women, UNODC, UNICEF, WHO, International alert, etc.), Private agencies and organization, Individuals and Philanthropist, lest commit and channel our resources to the right course, to the development of humanity and Chachavivi Women and Girl Child Development Foundation is right beside you to champion these. We are the voice for the Vulnerable.
Our social media handles are: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Facebook: chachavivi women and girl child development foundation; Youtube: chachavivi dev. Women foundation; Website: chachavivi.og.ng; 080 3077 6360.