A total of One hundred and eighty-six (186) women participated in the 3-part sessions of the 2015 edition of the Young Women Leadership Program (YWLP) by Guardians of the Nation International (GOTNI), and funded by OXFAM in Nigeria. This program was an intensive mentorship training that brought choice facilitators who mentored women from all walks of life on practical subjects bordering on leadership, governance and political roles.
Facilitators included Mrs. Ijeoma Nwafor, Linus Okorie, Thelma Obaze of NTA, Adora Onyechere AIT, Godswill Ayemoba, Mrs. Uloma Nwosu, Dr. Ejike Orji, Barr. Ikechukwu Uzoma, Mr. Kelechi Agwuom, Mrs. Chikodi Alameyeseigha, Jenny Chisom Opara, Mrs. Nkiru Linus-Okorie, Imo State former Majority Leader, Comrade Iyke Ogbonna, Mrs. Munachi Onuzo, Pastor Alphonsus Eberendu, amongst others.
Keynote speakers for the program launch include Senator Grace Bent, Barr. Sharon Ikeazor, Chioma Ukwuagu (OXFAM), Uche Nwosu (Imo State), amongst other eminent Nigerians.
It was indeed revolutionary and many participants have called for more of this kind of mentorship outreach to empower women for a better led Nigeria.
As was highlighted by Senator Grace Bent during the program launch on Sept 4, that Nigeria has been led by only half of her team, the need was really amplified by the mind revolution and willingness to serve, exhibited by the participants, now alumnae. They were mentored on subjects like Leadership etiquette, Productivity, Team work efficiency, Rule of Law, Women in the eyes of the constitution, Virtue, Vision, Social media for advocacy, Media for advocacy, Entrepreneurship, Communication, amongst others.
The women left the 5-day training sessions more committed to becoming the change we all desire and went ahead to establish their own advocacy projects in groups. In all, seventeen (17) advocacy group projects were established.
The group chose advocacy projects that range from tourism, stopping harsh widowhood practices, sickles cell anaemia, waste management, freedom of speech, Women support, Self-esteem, Stopping molestation of the Girl child, Abuse, Celebral Palsy, amongst other issues.
The groups all started off their advocacy projects on their Social media of choice. 2 of the groups adopted Twitter, 2 others adopted blogs, while the others chose Facebook groups, making the program outcome easier to manage and assess.
On the official YWLP Group on Facebook www.facebook.com/groups/YWLP2015 the interactions are robust and we encourage such approach to be adopted by advocates as a first line of action.
The role of OXFAM to ensuring equal opportunities for women in Nigeria drove the vision of GOTNI which is to groom leaders consciously for Africa, and these 186 women are empowered to execute that dream.
As we draw the many lessons and follow up on their progress, it is our hope that more Nigerians will benefit from these participants and together the deficit of women in leadership, governance and politics will become history.