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Saturday, April 06, 2013

Empowering Women of the Future Launches FREE Literacy Classes in Ajegunle

Participants and non participants of the EWOF project in Ajegunle complained about their inability to read and write properly as one of the main reasons they lost interest in school and dropped out altogether.

In a survey taken in this community, some of these very young women who already have kids said they were discriminated against when they tried going back to school and as a result, they dropped out without sitting for the junior secondary school or senior secondary school leaving certificate examination as the case may be, while others said they quit school because after a while, they just could not understand what was being taught in class.

It became important that we assist those who were willing to learn and go back to school in any way that we possibly can.

The Empowering Women of the Future Literacy school has three (3) categories, namely:

Group 1 - For children in Nursery 3 to Basic 6;

Group 2 - For teenagers in secondary schools especially those in certificate classes i.e Junior Secondary School 3 and Senior Secondary School 3 and

Group 3 - For teenage and adult women who already dropped out of school.

The aim of the literacy school is to:

Assist the very young girls in Nursery and Primary schools to excel in class and make good grades, this would help them cope and do better academically when they enter into secondary school,

To assist teenage girls already in secondary school especially those preparing for certificate exams with their difficult subjects, hopefully, this would motivate them to remain in school, help them make better grades which may make them eligible for full or part scholarships into the University;

Lastly, the literacy school is committed to assisting all women irrespective of their age, religion or personal belief system, political affiliations and social-economic status in learning how to read and write effectively, how to write formal and informal letters and correspondence, how to communicate in English language and in the very near future, enroll them for the GCE examinations and then assist them in acquiring some tertiary education.

This is a community where women are told repeatedly from a very tender age by their mothers that a woman who is 'too educated' cannot find a husband and they too have passed this belief on to their daughters!

Some of the Empowering Women of the future participants are already determined to put an end to this tradition and have enrolled their children for the literacy school.

We hereby call on individuals, cooperate institutions and organizations to kindly support, partner, sponsor and or volunteer with us in bringing this very important project in its entirety to fruition.

Empowering Women of the Future – Day 3, Ajegunle

Today at EWOF was fun, exciting and interactive.

We divided the participants into groups, played games to cheer the group up while some participants volunteered to discuss and write about some of the topics we had for discussion on the flip chat despite their 'being shy'.

Some of the topics were:

Financial dependence VS Sexual exploitation;

Financial independence leads to empowerment and

Importance of Learning a skill and earning a living.

We then took turns to talk about a time we had to compromise because we needed money desperately and had none of our own. The responses we got reflects how much we have grown to trust each other as a group and how determined we are as individuals to make better decisions in the future.

After discussing these topics extensively, we had our soap making workshop which was facilitated by Ms Blessing Ashi.

After the soap making training session, we reflected on how we felt after sharing some very personal details about ourselves that we once considered embarrassing and humiliating, about the new skill we just learnt and how it would affect our life from today on.

Some of the participants came with their very young children.

We ended with Affirmation of self.

More pictures below:

Ms Blessing teaching us how to make the soap

We made 3 colors of liquid soap -  pink, blue and green, they all smelled like banana

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Violence Against Women

I am very excited to share this beautiful piece about "Violence Against Women" by Bisoye Fagbemi (Bold Bisoye). She is 8 years old and in Junior Secondary School 1. She is one of the participants of the Empowering Women of the Future Project in Ajegunle.

Definition of Violence:

Violence is an act that hurts other people. While woman is an adult female person therefore violence against women is an act to hurt a female person.
Women are exposed to violence from their opposite sex because it is presumed that women are weaker and so women continue to receive attack from their male counterpart.

Types of violence against women are many and some of them are:

·         Sex Abuse;
·         Marital Problem and
·         Bad Culture.

·         Sexual Abuse: Women are always facing sexual violence in terms of sexual intercourse for example rape.

For instance there was a story on the news about a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) female member that was seriously raped and killed and another lady who was also raped and killed in a hotel room in Lagos.
Even in my community, we hear stories about a lot of young girls being raped and they are often laughed at because some people believe it was the girls fault.

There are also cases of female students being taken advantage of by their lecturers and female employees being sexually abused by their boss.

  •          Marital Problems: Some women in my community are forced to marry against their wish at a very tender age to men old enough to be their father, most of these women give up their education to take care of their old husband and bear his children.

These women are treated as lesser humans because they are still very young and uneducated especially when their husbands die suddenly. The properties of the man are taken over by his family without leaving any means of sustenance for the widow and her children.

  •          Bad Culture: Due to some culture that promotes circumcision of the girl-child, women are exposed to infections after the circumcision.

Some cultures forbid the woman from coming out against their will so the woman is locked in.
As part of some traditional burial rites in some cultures, women are forced to confess to killing their husbands, drinking the water that wash used to was the corpse of the dead husband and her hair is shaved publicly.


Violence against women is evil and should be stopped all over the world by enlightening the men and women about the woman not being a weaker vessel but as a human being who should be honored and respected.

"Violence Against Women" was one of the 3 homework topics participants from the Empowering Women of the Future project were asked to write about after our group meeting on Day 1.

Empowering Women of the Future - Day 2, Ajegunle

I arrived Ajegunle 4 hours before our group meeting time yesterday because I intended to visit some of the women leaders to discuss ways of improving the lives of teenage girls in the community and how they can support.

After taking a walk round with the secretary to the community- Chief Samson Afolafun and discussing with some of the well respected women, he took me to a birthing home that is owned and managed by a woman leader popularly called ‘Matron'.

The Narrow Path Leading to the Birthing Home

The Front of the Birthing Home

The birthing home consisted of two (2) rooms, one served as the delivery room while the other served as an aftercare ward.

Holding One of the Baby Girls

There I met four teenage girls who just put to birth, 3 middle aged women and a woman who was well into her late 40’s, they barely had clothes to wear, food to eat and money to access quality healthcare. They received our donations of baby and adult clothes, baby towels and wrappers with joy in their heart and tears in their eyes.

Some of the women were seen wearing the clothes they had just received before I left.

Later at the EWOF session, we were surprised at how much the group increased as we had 10 new girls in attendance.

After introducing the program to the new participants, we went straight to the business for the day. The topics we discussed were: Definition of a woman and the role of women in the home, society and in the world.

We got some very interesting response to the question: Who is A Woman. Some of them were:

  •  a woman is a grown girl;
  • a woman is a human created from a man;
  • a woman is a mother and
  •  a woman is a person who takes care of children.

The response we got for the roles of women in the home, society and the world were very similar to the definitions we got.

As a group, we took turns talking about some of the problems/challenges we faced at school for those who are in school and at our place of work for those not in school. Some of the girls said they were being bullied and put down by some of their classmates and teachers, some said they have trouble reading and writing while others said they hate mathematics.

Participants were given these Essay topics to write on and submit at the next meeting:

  • Who is a Woman;
  • What role can women play in nation building and
  • What are some of the setbacks women face in their journey to self-actualization?

We closed the 1 hour 30 minutes session with Affirmation of self.