Three young leaders get Women Deliver grants
Three Nigerians are among 20 “young leaders” each awarded $5,000 seed grants by the global advocacy organisation Women Deliver to support six-month projects aimed at advancing girls’ and women’s health, rights and wellbeing in their communities.
Olaoluwa Abagun is behind Safe Kicks Initiative: Adolescent Girls Against Sexual Violence.
Some 592 out of 845 female patients at Mirabel Centre, a sexual assault referral centre in Lagos, between 2013 and 2015 are adolescent girls, many of them resident in Kosofe and Alimosho Local Government Areas.
“Through the education and empowerment of 250 adolescent girls, as well as the mobilization of key members of the community to adopt a Community Action Plan, Olaoluwa hopes that the project will prevent sexual violence against adolescent girls in Alimosho by 2017,” Women Deliver said of Abagun in a statement.
Boris Nwachukwu, the second Nigerian on the list, wants to work to build capacity of 5,000 students at the University of Port Harcourt on comprehensive sexuality education and contraceptives choice.
The ultimate goal is to ensure that at least 25% of the entire student population of 40,000 will benefit from the youth centre.
The third awardee, Isaac Ejakhegbe, a monitoring and evaluation volunteer at the Women Health and Action Research Centre, has a project “My Body, My Right”, which aims to advocate against female genital cutting, still widely practised among many groups Nigeria.
“With half the population in the world under the age of 30, the voices and choices of young people is absolutely crucial for people and planet.
“With the new Women Deliver seed grants, 20 inspiring young leaders from 15 countries can catalyze action and improve the lives of thousands of girls and women in their communities,” said Katja Iversen, Chief Executive Officer and President of Women Deliver.
The three young leaders are not new to activism. Abagun, now with a law degree, entered advocacy world at 13 with a nomination to the Nigerian Children’s Parliament, and then founded Girl Pride Circle in 2014.
The seed grant is the first ever grant she’s received and has given “my ideas wings to fly,” she said.
Nwachukwu’s passion for protecting the health rights and welfare of women and girls follows stories he heard from his mother, including of her near escape from harm when heavily pregnant. in