Dewdrop Foundation held an induction for the Women community Volunteers’ on the Women Empowerment and Inclusive Governance project on Saturday, March 4th, 2023. The objective of the meeting was to formally induct the community volunteers on the project, discuss in details the project activities to be carried out with the expected outcomes.

Our project on Women Empowerment and Inclusive Governance was introduced as an 18-month project funded by Oxfam through the Voice program in Nigeria. The project is a consolidation and up scaling of the outcomes of our previous Inclusive Governance project implemented in 2018 with an aim to build the leadership capacities of more women in the community to confidently participate in and take leadership roles, demand for and access resources especially land resources for economic empowerment. The project will be implemented using our GHEEES (Governance, Health, Education, Environment, Enterprise and Security) model for sustainable community development.

Nkemka Nwobu of Dewdrop Foundation welcomed the women and thanked them for making time to be present at the induction. She highlighted the overview of the Women’s Empowerment and Inclusive Governance project as the up scaling of the previous inclusive Governance project implemented in 2018. She further gave a breakdown of the planned activities of the project and the outcomes expected to be achieved with them.

Mrs. Agatha Nnaji reiterated on the goals of the project which is primarily to build the capacities of women in leadership so they are able to represent the women and the community in leadership roles in the local and state levels. The women identified to have potentials in leadership will receive leadership trainings on the basic requirements for effective and impactful leadership at all levels, they will receive trainings on how to represent the interests of women in leadership and governance positions in the community and at higher levels. These trainings will have Women leadership experts as facilitators. The women will also go through entrepreneurial trainings where they will learn business packaging and the effective ways of advertising and commercially selling out their farm products in the market, and also building clientele.
The women will also go through trainings on project management with the aim to gain relevant skill set need to run the Women cooperative farming and Leadership trainings with the aim to gain relevant skill set for Governance and politics. There will be quarterly review meetings to evaluate the impacts of these trainings.

The women applauded the project activities stating that they will bring empowerment to them and build their capacities to confidently take up roles that will contribute to community development. They suggested that the project works with only the women in the community who are willing and would always make time for these activities in order to achieve the expected outcomes. Mrs. Nnaji pointed out the need for the women to ensure every woman in the community is involved in the project and the leaders are to see to it that every woman in the community is to be carried along on this project.

Mrs. Nnaji informed the women to come up with a sustainability plan for the project. She said the importance of having them draft it is so as to be fully involved and also to have a plan which is achievable by them to ensure they sustain the outcomes of the project and that they continue with the work even at the end of DDF’s project cycle in the community.

The women mentioned some of the areas they would also want the project to support them in improving which include;
• Healthcare for the community – there is a need to support the daily running of the community’s health center and this would require getting more Nurses and at least two Doctors.
• Community Skill center – there is a need to equip it for use as a bakery so the women will learn to bake all kinds of confectionery.
• Community Eke market – there is a need to revive the community’s eke market so as to afford women a place to easily sell their farm and bakery products on the market days.
The leadership empowerment trainings and entrepreneurial workshops will go a long way in empowering the women to carryout commercial activities thereby contributing to the growth of the community.

Mrs. Nnaji stated the roles and responsibilities of the women as community volunteers on the Women Empowerment project and encouraged the women to ensure they actively participate in their roles as it will aid in better implementation of the project and achieving its expected outcomes. She also stated that the volunteer roles will be subject renewal every 6 months on the basis of active participation and delivery of expected outcomes.

The women pledged their commitment towards the project and agreed to carry all Umuode women along on the project to achieve impactful and sustainable outcomes.

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