Community sensitization is an effective way of providing first-hand, reliable information to communities, to this end, FIDA Nigeria, Lagos State branch on the 6th of September 2021, successfully carried out her first sensitization/awareness campaign under the Ford Foundation project at Odugunyan/Odonla community Ikorodu, with the theme: “Community Actions to address Gender-Based Violence and Social Norms and Values that Entrench Violence Against Women”.
In attendance were the Baale of Odongunyan Community, Iya Loja of Odongunyan and the Iya Loja of Odonla, Hon. Bola Adaramola Councillor Odogunyan Ward, Members/representatives from the community, Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson FIDA Ikorodu Branch.
To kick start the campaign was a brief introduction of FIDA and Ford Foundation to state the essence of the awareness campaign.
The Odongunyan Grammar Schools, both Junior and Senior Secondary, the markets and the streets of the community were all sensitized.
During the campaign, ad-hoc legal clinic, for men, women, and students was carried out issues related to gender-based violence were reported and attended to, also inviting them for the next legal clinic session. The impact was massive.
On the 8th and 9th of September, 2021, history was made as FIDA Nigeria inaugurated her 39th and 40th branches- FIDA Badagry and FIDA Ikorodu respectively in Lagos State.
The occasion was attended by the Country Vice President, FIDA Nigeria, Rhoda Prevail Tyoden; Regional Vice-President, Africa (North and West) Mrs. Joy Ezeigbo; National Publicity Secretary, Mrs. Eliana Martins; the Asst. National Publicity Sec., Mrs. Lizzy Akah; and Chairperson, FIDA Lagos, Mrs. Philomena Nneji, amongst others.
The CVP, in her opening address, reminded all FIDANS of FIDA’s mission which is to promote, protect, and preserve the rights, interest and well-being of women and children through the use of legal framework to ensure that they all live free from all forms discrimination, violence, and abuse in the society.
She encouraged FIDANS and indeed the key stakeholders in attendance to speak out against Gender-Based Violence/Domestic Violence so as to eradicate all forms of violence in society.
She encouraged the newly inaugurated Badagry and Ikorodu branches to ensure teamwork, cooperation, and unity in their service delivery to better impact the communities and achieve greater heights.
The Regional Vice President, Mrs. Joy Ezeigbo, and the National Publicity Secretary, Mrs. Eliana Martins also stressed the need to focus on the noble aims and objectives of FIDA for effectiveness and efficiency.
Goodwill messages were received from members of the judiciary, the police, learned silks, the NBA, traditional leaders, faith-based groups, and the youth and market women representatives who applauded FIDA for her great works, particularly her quest to move closer to the communities they serve.
FIDA Nigeria, bringing her services closer to the communities!
FIDA Nigeria held a capacity-building workshop at Obadore community, Alimosho Local Government Area, Lagos State
FIDA Nigeria, Lagos State branch, with the support of Ford Foundation, held a capacity building workshop themed, “Elimination of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) through effective implementation of the VAPP ACT 2015 and the Protection Against Domestic Violence law of the State 2007” at Obadore community, Alimosho Local Government Area, Lagos State on the 5th of May, 2021.
Highlights of the workshop were discussions on sexual violence, discriminatory traditional or cultural practices in the community and provisions in the VAPP Act and Lagos State Domestic Violence Law that outlines punitive measures for perpetrators
FIDA Lagos in collaboration with the Nigeria Human Rights Commission, Lagos Chapter, yesterday 25 November 2020, flagged off this year’s 16 days activism against Gender Based Violence, themed: Stop the Violence!!! Fund, Response, Prevent and Collect. Orange the world!!!!
Theme: “Work with Gatekeepers, Women Leaders, Religious Leaders and Traditional Rulers to Address Social Norms that Negatively Affect the Status of Women and Entrench Violence Against Women and Girls” Held at Obadore Community on the 27th October, 2020
Miss Adaeze Joy Nkokelonye, the Program Officer in her overview of the purpose of the project said that the 2year project is funded by Ford Foundation and being implemented by FIDA Nigeria through her Lagos State branch, the purpose of the project is to put an end to harmful cultural practices in the community that affect women and girls. She pointed out that the men are also not left out as they have an important role to play as well being Fathers, brothers, sons and husbands. She reminded the stakeholders that their full cooperation and support towards the success of the project will be appreciated.
Representatives of the various groups spoke about the project and they all expressed a good understanding of the project and most importantly made their commitment to contribute towards the success of the project. In the discussion, one of the representatives from the religious group (Islam) expressed confidence in the confidentiality of any information communicated to the FIDA team via phone or in person at any point in time. This he said is necessary for the people to be aware or to ease any tension or fear that might prevent them from speaking out. Also, the Treasurer of FIDA buttressing on the contribution made said that as Lawyers, the law binds them to keep secret the identity of an Informant in any legal matter.
As contribution, the Personal Assistant to the Oba, said that women should be made to have total confidence in FIDA and they should be assured protection to encourage them speak out when their rights are violated. He also requested that secondary school students on the community should be included in the project as one of the groups, especially the female students.
The Chairman Alimosho Local Council Development Area appreciated FIDA and Ford Foundation for the effort and for bringing the project to the community. He emphasized on the need for victims and even eye witnesses to always say something whenever there is something to report for the safety of women and girls.
A surveillance team was established to serve as the eyes and ears on arising gender based issues around the community and escalate it to FIDA.
A 4-day stakeholders’ meeting geared towards forming a network of the members of the Bar, Bench, Police and Correctional Service for an effective implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State, a FIDA Nigeria project sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation, was successfully concluded on the Friday, the 16 October 2020. The meeting, was in four phases, ended with the joint meeting of all the stakeholders, the Bar, the Bench, the Police and the Correctional Service.
The Lagos State Ministry of Economic and Budget Planning received the delegates from FIDA Lagos, who paid a courtesy/advocacy visit to the Commissioner, on the 28 July, 2020. The delegates, while reiterating the core objectives of FIDA and other works done by FIDA Lagos on advocacy, continuous legal education, public sensitization programs on the rights of women and children including legislative reforms, informed the Commissioner of the ongoing project by FIDA National titled “United Nations Spotlight Initiative” in partnership with UN Women.
The project seeks to respond to all forms of violence against women and girls, with particular focus on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Harmful Practices (HP), beaming its spotlight on existential issues, with the view of achieving gender parity and women empowerment, in line with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
The Commissioner was commended on the giant strides achieved by the ministry and was invited to be part of the workshop on Training of Parliamentarians on Gender Responsive Budgeting in August, 2020 to discuss effective gender responsive budget allocation and implementation in Lagos State.
Finally, FIDA Lagos urged the Honorable Commissioner to encourage more gender responsive budgeting including ensuring adequate allocation of funds to the education system, particularly, the primary and secondary schools to take care of the welfare of Children and in all spheres of the economy as the process makes it possible to identify uneven distribution of funds and overcome gender gaps in the polity.
FIDA Nigeria, Lagos State Branch Trains CSOs on National Action Plan on Gender and Government’s Accountability for Budget Allocation
FIDA Nigeria, Lagos State branch on July 6th and 7th , 2020 held her Capacity building workshop on training of CSOs on the National Action Plan on Gender and Government’s Accountability for Budget Allocation and Release, and Monitoring of the Budget Utilisation.
The keynote speaker Mrs Josephine Effah-Chukwuma a leading Activist on gender based violence and women’s human rights in Nigeria and currently the Executive Director of Project Alert on Violence against women and support victims in Nigeria, stressed on the basic objective of the training, which was on how to hold the Government’s accountable for budget allocation and release, monitoring of the budget’s utilization and Gender Responsive Budgeting for VAWG/GBV/HP.
FIDA LAGOS since this lockdown, has been collaborating with the police, WAPA, especially the director in charge of domestic violence, Mrs. Olorufemi, Domestic & Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) and other NGOs like STAND TO END RAPE(STER) INITIATIVE etc. on GBV cases.
Ekiti branch is in collaboration with the Gender Desk Officer of the Nigerian Police Force Ekiti, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, the S.A. Gender to the Wife of the Governor and some other partners to deal with all cases of GBV during this pandemic.
FIDA OYO enjoys the partnership of the Child Protection Network(CPN), Oyo State GBVRT, NAWOJ, MWAN, JDPC and some other bodies.
FIDA AKWA-IBOM and TARABA are part of their State’s COVID-19 CSOs team to help in sensitizing the public and reporting challenges caused by the pandemic.
FIDA BAYELSA also enjoy good synergy with the Governor’s wife and the Police in curbing GBV cases.
FIDA CROSS RIVER in collaboration with other CSOs have held a virtual meeting proposing measures on how to assist the Ministry of Women Affairs to deal with GBV cases during this pandemic.
FIDA Nigeria, Lagos State branch calls on all women to rise above their limitations. Together we shall surmount the obstacles that deters us and be veritable tools for developing our families and society. Happy International Women’s Day