The life of an AWLO Member: Leku Slyvie Nakou

  • Give us a detailed biography about yourself stating what you do, the challenges faced and success stories

I am Leku Slyvie Nakou, a passionate volunteer whose assignment on earth is to ensure love and harmony through listen to the plights of her community and looking for possible ways to solve them, Also an agripreneur who is out to solve the problem of unemployment and to boost the economy of my country through empowering women, girls, and farmers. I faced so many challenges because my community didn’t believe in me and what I could do as a woman living with a disability. Yet I didn’t give up on the vision. I would walk from door to door rendering my service either to help make manure out of their waste as HYSACAM (a company that collects waste) was not coming in our community yet. Moreover, they would refuse. I would organize free training on waste management, some on food transformation and inform them but no one would show up. Nevertheless, my brains kept on working and I decided to invite the youths for an educative talk and few of them came. But I said to myself ”Sylvie this is the beginning of greater achievement”. And I have been able to organize training, talks to empower the youths and women.

Leku Slyvie Nakou, Member of the AWLO Youth Council Cameroon
  • Do you have a morning routine? Tell us about it.

Every morning, I always do my morning devotion, immediately after it I plan my day and I arrange my bed and take a bath, set to confront any vibes during the day because I’m well-armed.

  • What is the favorite part of your routine?

I love my morning devotion because it inspires me to plan my day and it helps me accomplish whatever I had planned to do.

  • What are your personal mission and vision statement?

My mission is to educate youths especially young girls to have a patriotic spirit and self-value. My vision is to create a world of equity where women especially those living with disabilities are no longer relegated at the periphery but they have equal opportunities as theirs of men, can speak without any prejudice, and their rights are respected.

  • What is your typical day like?

My typical day is putting a smile on someone’s face and giving them hope for a better tomorrow.

  • Mention 2 people you spend time with on most days and why?

My Mum Florence and my best friend Flora, they are always ready to listen to me without judging me. And they always make me surpass all oaths and limits because they always support and trust that I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.

My Mummy and I
  • Where is your favorite/ inspirational place? Why?

When I’m standing in front of the mirror. When I see who I am and the great potentials I have, I always say to myself

“I need to impact the world”.

  • Would you say you have become more empowered since you joined AWLO and how

Yes, I have, AWLO teaches something new every day and when I apply it to my life, it makes me more empowered and stronger. For instance, AWLO is the first women-led organization where men are not left behind, but instead, we work hand in glove with them, and this has helped me in my activities.

  • What is your personal contribution towards closing the gender equality gap?

I’m also working with youths because I believe that boys and girls need to be cautious and be aware of their social responsibilities so as to see the role they have to play in each other’s life

  • Who is our favorite colleague member and why?

Kim Farrelle, She is always available when I need and she also loves what I’m doing and encourages and gives me advice as well.

  • Favorite book and why?

“Afrika Ba’a” by Remy Gilbert Medou, I love this book because it shows that we have the power to change the world if we stop blaming others and start to build what we want to see in the world.

My favorite book
  • What have you done that you are most proud of?

I’m proud of assisting women and girls with information about their health and helping them with business ideas for the sustainability of their livelihood.


The life of an AWLO Member: NCHOTU MILLIYCENT

  • Give us a detailed biography about yourself stating what you do, the challenges faced and success stories.

I am Nchotu Milliycent Ngwe, holder of a bachelor’s degree in women and gender studies and the creative director of N&M beading perfection. From the North West Region of Cameroon the Bafut sub division Mezam division. 
I am into beading accessories like bags necklaces. sandals and more. this art business started when I was still in the university and upon graduation, I decided to continue since I do have a passion for it. It’s been challenging especially when I was in school I had to work while schooling also one of the most difficult parts of being into the arts of beading is getting quality material because I have but from Kenya and getting them to Cameroon is always very expensive.  My success stories are enormous. through beading, I have been able to teach other people especially young girls who are running the same business and doing well for themselves. I have been privileged to partner with Non-governmental organizations like the Economy of Communion, She’skild, The International Dynamic Oroko Women, youth parliamentarians of Cameroon and a host of others. Together we thought young girls and boys the skill of beading and most especially thought young displaced women and girls from the part of Cameroon that’s affected by the ongoing crisis (North West and southwest region). seeing these people been able to assist themselves financially is the success stories I can say i achieved.  

Nchotu Milliycent Ngwe, Member of AWLO Youth Council Cameron
  • Do you have a morning routine? Tell us about it

 My morning routine is prayers thanking my God is something I do not miss out on the rest activities follow on any order.

  • What is the favorite part of your routine?

The favorite part of my day is when am creating new designs. 

Some of my designs
  • What is your typical day like?

My daily life as an entrepreneur is quite simple because I often spend my time working to either satisfy clients or am out of town teaching.  So it’s not really a routine as such because every activity is been carried out depending on how important it is.

  • What are your personal mission and vision statement ?

My personal mission statement for my life is to reach for the top, learn more skills and empower myself more so I can in return impact those around me. And also strive to grow my beading business worldwide. Have a wider market and impact more lives positively. 
  I see myself and my business in the future to be worldwide recognized for its quality products and for my service to humanity because I do not intend to stop my humanitarian activities. 

  • Mention 2 people you spend time with on most days and why?

 I do usually spend more time at home with my sister and my mum. they usually help me do some of my work and at times give in ideas which i can use to bring out new designs.

  • Would you say you have become more empowered since you joined AWLO and how?

I have become more empowered since I joined AWLO because I have learned leadership skills and developed myself through our monthly leadership training program. AWLO has made me have many more opportunities to empower other people through our numerous activities carried out by our AWLO Youth Council. 

  • Who is our favorite colleague member and why?

My favorite colleagues are Lucho Joycelyn and Martin Tiku. Joycelyn and I always have something new to teach one another and Tiku usually hooks me up to projects that give me money and also makes me do what I love best.

  • Favorite book and why?

  I don’t have a favorite book because am not much of a book reading person but that which i actually enjoyed was “poor dad rich dad ” it made me see the need for financial dependence not looking to be employed by someone but trying to create more ways to let money work for you.

“Learn to resist self-doubt ,fear and laziness”. 

My Favorite Book
  • What have you done that you are most proud of?

I am proud of the woman I am so far and that woman is still working to become a positive influencer. mentor and humanitarian.  I am proud of the fact that I see myself helping people in community and country putting smiles on faces.  Giving them hope when they thought all was lost. 
   

Thank you for reaching out to me and I pray this inspires many more people to selflessly devote themselves to humanity.


AWLO-500 CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP

African Women in Leadership Organisation in partnership with Justina Ovat Foundation set to create empowerment opportunities for 500 women in Niger-Delta Region and Others

While women make up a large population of the Nation, women’s economic participation is comparably low. A World bank’s 2019 research, shows that Nigerian women’s under-participation in economic activities stems from cultural factors, namely; gender-specific roles. The WEF’s 2018 gender-gap report also corroborates that the gender pay gap is a resultant of women’s considerable participation in unpaid tasks. Overall there is an incidence of 77.1% gap in women’s economic participation and opportunities, making it the area with the highest gender-gap incidence followed by Political participation.

The African Women in Leadership Organisation’s (AWLO) participation in the 2018 UN Women’s empowerment principles forum, saw it adopting resolutions to form its 2019 scope of work with the theme- Empowered for Sustainability. Thus, channeling the forum’s resolutions for long-lasting empowerment solutions.

The AWLO-500 Capacity-building Workshop, as a result, is an effective economic empowerment initiative with the goal of key women into opportunities; for upscaling their skills to gain empowerment in areas of decision-making, enterprise building and financial asset control.

The workshop targets 500 women and will be a prerequisite for post-workshop opportunities namely; cooperative membership, access to resourceful business community, routine business mentorship, ready-market opportunities, and funding. AWLO is collaborating with the Justina Ovat Foundation to deliver the workshop in Cross River State. Justina Ovat Foundation is a not-for-profit Entrepreneurship, Employability and Enterprise Development organization that delivers innovative, high-quality solutions for the development and growth of people who are independent of government but are core contributors to the commonwealth of their communities.

Dr. Elisha Attai; the Founder of African Women in Leadership Organisation noted that the backbone of the organization is “to harness the synergies of alliance and create an empowering platform for women”. Hence the end goal of the workshop is to build an industrious community of women that will maximize the leverage of AWLO to get funding, assets, mentorship, and e-marketplace for their businesses. This he said will be achieved via post-workshop activities, and will help AWLO achieve its vision of a continent with women who are home and nation builders with equal access and opportunities.

He conveyed the backing of the management, while commending the AWLO General Manager; Ms. Ekemini Akpakpan; for ideating the initiative, and being an organizational builder, saying “She has gone a step further to build the right partnerships, and we are currently in the middle of plans to launch the most impactful economic empowerment experience for women”. According to him, the program first aims at creating a beneficial membership experience for AWLO Members targeting a minimum of 200 AWLO members in Nigeria.

AWLO is collaborating with Justina Ovat Foundation for the AWLO-500 Workshop; to effectively reach women of the Niger-Delta Region for a substantial impact, local participation, and local content. The Founder of the Justina Ovat Foundation; Mrs. Justina Ovat, who is passionate about Human capital Development and the project, said, “ Human capital development is at the core of JO Foundation. We are hinged on impacting and connecting with a new generation of smart, ambitious African women and it is a delight to be hosting the AWLO-500 capacity building workshop in collaboration with the African Women in Leadership Organization, come December.“

The AWLO-500 Capacity building workshop holds on 14th December 2019 at Tinapa Calabar for women who own small businesses, need access to subsidized loans, grants and the necessary tools to grow their business. It is also for women who have skills to transform into businesses, want to start businesses, or are in paid employment but want a side hustle. There will be post-workshop opportunities for women in production businesses. These are women in Agri-businesses, merchandize production and sales, Craftwork, Textile & Fashion, Product manufacturing, and others.

The one-day workshop will be providing practical business lessons in the areas of business set-up and growth, finances, leadership, and management. Onsite activities include Exhibitions, Skills Acquisition Booths, Business Set-up Unit, Business Resource Corner, Free Cooperative Registration, Networking Lunch, and others.

The AWLO-500 Registration portal opens on October 14th, 2019 via www.awlo.org/500. More details coming soon. AWLO Induction Dinner for new members also holds the following day – 15th December 2019 at Transcorp Hilton Calabar.


AFRICAN WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP ORGANISATION HEFORSHE SUMMIT

The African Women in Leadership Organisation HeForShe Summit held at the Sheraton Hotels, Lagos on the 25th of July 2019. It was a confluence of 200 men, women leaders and stakeholders from African countries and the Diaspora.

Prof. Uduak Archibong, Mark Garratt and Mr. Peter Thomas
HRH Dr. Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar

The summit started with an impressive keynote and graduated into plenary sessions, goodwill messages, presentations and discussions. The theme of the summit was: A Pledge to Gender Parity. According to Dr. Elisha Attai – the summit convener and AWLO Founder, “the UN intended the HeForShe to be an invitation for people of all genders to ensure gender parity. To create a bold, visible and united force for gender equality. The men of HeForShe are not on the sidelines. They are working together to ensure gender parity, build businesses, raise families, and give back to their communities.”Some of the stakeholders in attendance were; HRH Alhaji (Dr.) Yahaya Abubakar, AWLO President – Dr.Violet Arene, Professor Uduak Archibong – Professor of Diversity and Inclusion, University of Bradford, Mr. Peter Thomas – British Deputy Head of Mission(Special Guest of Honor), Mark Garratt – Director of External Affairs, University of Bradford, Kufre Ekanem, Arc Ezekiel Nya-Etok FNIA, the Principal Partner of Novone Consult, Yewande Austin – Social Activist and honorary U.S Cultural Ambassador, Gilbert Ewehmeh – Founder and Managing Director YES CAMEROON, Hon Samuel Ikon – Serial Entrepreneur, Oluyemi Odubote CEO and Founder of the ImeyReach Solutions Consult, Henry Ukeni Daniel-Elebiga JP – Consultant, Hon Temba Mliswa – Independent Member of the Parliament Zimbabwe , Fatima Ada Ishiaku, Dr Favour Ayodele – Convener of the Third Force Form, Ubong King – Chairman of Protection Plus Service Limited, Mr. Churchill Udoh – CEO Westgate LifeCare, Maureen Omeibe – Executive Director Degab Groups Limited and AWLO Dean of Coordinators.

Dr. Violet Arene, President of AWLO


At the summit, a communique was developed that captures discussions and input of thought leaders, and stakeholders towards gender parity.

Click below to view the communique.


The Time Is Now

Achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world. UN Secretary-General, António Guterres

[Tweet “Achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world. -UN Secretary-General, António Guterres”]

International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized, and celebrated for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. 

It is a day that the searchlight is beamed on women’s resource building, equality issues, and advocacy rights. 

Based on this year’s theme, “International Women’ Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.” – Antonio Guterres

All over the world, we find the girl-child and women homeless, friendless, and powerless. 

They are homeless due to wars; victims of natural disasters, poverty discrimination, fallouts of inheritance claim, domestic and sexual abuse, widowhood rites, trafficking and migration – displaced from their origins. 

They are friendless because of the harmful practices inflicted upon them, by a world that seems too weighed down by the enormity of the problems they face. 

They are powerless, simply because the environment places certain hurdles against them, and society is slow or reluctant in effecting the enabling measures that would place women in the mainstream of decision making and taking. 

Making their way as best they can on the cruel edges of the world; women have stories to tell, changes to make, lives to touch, and dreams to build. 

I believe that the world should partner with women, on this noble cause. 

More than ever, the time is now to keep pressing on the advancements made in correcting the wrongs of the past, in initiating and consolidating changes for the present, and in establishing core values for the future. 

It is not the time to rest on our oars; but with every handshake of acknowledgment, there should be a corresponding double back-slap of encouragement. 

The goals are clearly spelt out in the UN charter, and the targets are achievable. The discourse is focused on women’s rights, equality and justice. 

It is a sad reality of our times that increasing cases of child molestation and abuse, sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women has captured headlines and public awareness, and fueled a rising determination for change.

As we utilize this yearly opportunity to transform this momentum into action, let us also make the resolve to keep our promise. 

We all agree that it is time for change. 

It is time to develop, train and empower all women and the girl-child in all communities, both rural and urban. 

It is time to celebrate the activists who are working tirelessly, relentlessly, most often quietly, to claim women’s rights and realize their full potential. 

It is time to deal with deep-seated gender inequalities, exploitation and discrimination. 

It is the time for empowering women for acquisition, and enhancement of their leadership and entrepreneurial skills.

It is time to put an end to the abduction of our young girls for whatever reasons. Our daughters are not commodities, they are not bargaining chips. They are not merchandise to be traded for by faceless tribal agitators, and certainly not for auction. 

It is time to transform women’s lives everywhere. 

We shall not forget the sacrosanct place of human dignity as the core of our national identity, in shaping, guiding, and effecting our resolve. 

Let us with tact and wisdom, shove aside what clearly no longer serves us. The unfair burdens of culture, the bias of stereotypes, and the unwholesome limitations of tradition.  

The woman deserves, and has earned a place of honor, respect and protection. 

It is time for the needful to be done, for the sake of the future generations.

The girl-child is a blossoming asset for humanity. Let us educate her. Let us protect her.

The time to press for progress is NOW!

 

Written by Uboho Bassey


Young Leader Wall of Fame: Saran Kaba Jones

Water is  crucial  in accomplishing  Africa’s development goals. Africa faces endemic poverty, food insecurity and pervasive underdevelopment, with almost all countries lacking the human, economic and institutional capacities to effectively develop and manage their water resources sustainably. According to the United Nations, 768 million people worldwide are without access to improved water sources. One of the most marginalized areas affected by this is Rivercess County, Liberia, where only one-fifth of its 80,000 population has access to clean water. This week, Saran Kaba Jones is on our Young leader wall of fame; as she is one the young people who have taken it upon themselves to create lasting changes in their community and country at large. Saran is a social entrepreneur and the Founder and CEO of FACE Africa, a community development organization working to strengthen water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure and services in rural communities across sub-Saharan Africa.

Saran Kaba Jones is a global citizen, clean water advocate, fortune hunter, wife and a Mother. From a very young age she was exposed to a world of diplomacy, travel and community service. This paved the way for her and helped her to focus on  something that would help people in a meaningful way; thus,the FACE Africa intiative.



Saran was born in Liberia but left the country at eight, shortly before the country’s civil war began. Saran spent her formative years living in Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, France and Cyprus before moving to the United States in 1999.  On returning to Liberia almost 20 years after, Saran was chagrined to find her country in dire need for clean water and made it her mission to help. She  focused on providing safe drinking water, sanitation and empowering women and girls through education and skills training.

[Tweet “.@sarankjones  focused on providing safe drinking water, sanitation and empowering women.”]

Face Africa started out as a project to give back and contribute to improving lives in Liberia. When she realised the impact of Face Africa upon completion of her  first project in October 2009, she decided to focus on the Project fully. She launched FACE Africa, and decided to quit her job to focus on running the organization full time. It was a hard decision for Sara to make at that time.

In an interview with a popular  website, Saran stated “we completed our 20th project recently and our projects combined have impacted over 10,000 people in Monrovia and its outskirts. In January of 2013, we launched an ambitious new initiative to provide clean water coverage to the entire county of River Cess, one of the most marginalized and under-served counties in Liberia. We’re calling it our ‘County by County’ commitment and the goal is to construct 250 clean water points, which will provide clean water access to over 60,000 people. The plan will cost about $1.2 million and take place over 3 – 5 years so it’s a huge undertaking but once completed will be a major accomplishment for us and for Liberia”.

[Tweet “.@sarankjones: our projects combined have impacted over 10,000 people in Monrovia and its outskirts.”]

Saran used her company, Face Africa launched in 2009 to raised hundreds of thousands of dollars from JP Morgan Chase, Coca Cola, the Voss Foundation, P&G, Chevron and the Robert Bosch Foundation to build over 50 WASH projects and  has reached 25,000 people in rural Liberia. Face Africa was also at the forefront of Ebola response efforts in Rivercess County, Liberia, where they conducted social mobilization, prevention and awareness and community engagement programs.


Face Africa was launched in 2009.


Saran says, “I decided to focus on water because water is life and directly affects every area of development. Children cannot attend school if they are sick from dirty water, and adults suffering from water-borne illnesses overwhelm hospitals and cannot go to work. Hours spent looking for and collecting clean water mean hours not spent adding to a family’s economic well being. It made sense to tackle the issue of water because without it, a country cannot make true progress in terms of development”.

[Tweet “.@sarankjones: I decided to focus on water because water is life and…”]

Saran is also a board member of the UN Women Civil Society Advisory Group West/Center Africa and a 2013 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. She was listed by the Guardian UK as one of Africa’s 25 Top Women Achievers alongside President Joyce Banda of Malawi and Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee.  She  has received the Longines/ Town&Country “Women Who Make A Difference’ Award for her work with FACE Africa.



I also read an article that stated that saran is a  frequent speaker on topics including water infrastructure, entrepreneurship and gender equality and has served on panels at the World Economic Forum, Harvard University, MIT, the London School of Economics, and the African Union. She is also a member of the U.S. State Department’s International Information Programs (IIP) and frequently conducts workshops globally on entrepreneurship. She has been selected as a TED Fellow, a prestigious international program comprising leaders from across the world (TEDGlobal 2017 Fellows). And  she is first Ted fellow from Liberia.

I envisage a reader might say, ‘ she had a platform and he/she does not”. But am sorry to counter that notion by saying that; we can all make a difference; starting small.

Every little effort we put into a cause, springs up some how- only if we are dedicated to that cause/endeavour.

Saran’s zeal and achievement shows how much young people are making a huge difference across the global.

What is stopping you though?

You are Gold!


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