NGO empowers 880 women with various skills in Plateau

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Jos

Women for Women International-Nigeria (WfWi-N), an international NGO, has empowered 880 women in Plateau, with various skills in the last 12 months.

Ms Bukola Onyushi, WfWi-N Country Director, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday in Jos, that the beneficiaries were drawn from conflict and post conflict communities of the state.

Onyushi said that the women were from Langai, Rigiza and Dorowa Babuje communities of Mangu, Jos South and Barkin Ladi local government areas (LGAs) of Plateau respectively.

The country director explained that the training was aimed at empowering vulnerable women socially and economically, and to place the beneficiaries in better positions to enable them contribute to the growth of their families, and the society in general.

“Our mission speaks to helping women in conflict and post conflict communities to rebuild their lives and make positive contribution to the development of the society.

“We came into Plateau in 2003, and that was after the 2002 crisis that affected many women and children, and since then we have worked with 41,714 women in the state.

“What this programme does for these women is to empower them economically, socially, mentally and otherwise.

“Socially, they learnt about women solidarity, health and wellness, gender equality rights and decision making, and how to influence change in their communities.

“Economically, they are taught business skills, vocational skills, including trading, animal husbandry, poultry, and mechanised crop farming, among others,” she said.

According to Onyushi, the training also gives the women a clear understanding of how best to seek for their rights, equal opportunities, and how best to get access to education and income generating activities.

“In addition to conflict is the fact in our society, women are relegated to the background; women are denied education, pushed into forced and underage marriages, as well as other forms of discrimination.

“So, what this programme does is to teach these women how to break the culture of silence, fight against victim blaming, shunning, and shaming.

“It also teaches them how to enlist stakeholders within their communities to use their influence to promote change, instead of being road blocks for victims of Gender Based Violence (GBV).

“We have provided them with referral pathways, and they now know where to go and get help when their rights are violated.

“They now know how best to take care of their health, family planning, personal and environmental hygiene, among others,” she said.

Onyishi, who said that the programme was largely funded by individual contributions, said it was part of the organisation’s mission of building a balanced society.

The country director however, identified the current insecurity in some parts of the state, difficult terrain and poor funding, as some of the challenges hampering WfWi-N’s efforts in this regard.

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