One of the objectives of the Nigerian Women Trust Fund’s Feminist Transformational Leadership and Networking Programme supported by the Ford Foundation is to expand the space for catalyzing and nurturing young women feminist and leaders that will serve as the next generation of leaders raising their voices against Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG).NWTF sought to raise a generation of young feminists who are aware of their rights and demand for it. .
Grace Eze Obi participated in the three (3) days EVAWG training and is currently a mentee of NWTF. with NWTF. She has taken up the baton and is leading to bring an end to the scourge of GBV in Cross Rivers state. What she started as a meeting to impact knowledge received has now blossomed to something bigger.
Passionate about ending violence in her immediate community, Grace heard and applied to participate in the NWTF feminist transformational leadership programme. After the training, she was paired with a mentor. It’s now five months into the mentoring programme, Grace is helping adolescent girls and young women rise above their challenges through soft skills and knowledge to claim their rights in Cross Rivers State.
According to Grace, after the training received, her resolve to make a difference became stronger because she noticed that adolescent girls and young women in her community found themselves in conditions of sexual abuse, exploitation and violence while looking for financial support to either fend themselves, take care of children, go to school, or start a business. She started by teaching and working with the stay – at- home mothers in her immediate neighborhood. Word soon got out and more women began to trickle into her mini shop turned residence and office to learn skills in fashion designing. While training, Grace also teaches them about Sex, Gender and VAWG issues. The training Grace offers are tuition-free having known that one of the major barriers to skill Acquisition is funds.
However, since the COVID-19 outbreak, she noticed that the number of cases of violence in her Community was on the increase. She came up with the End Violence Initiative, a weekly program that comes up every Friday, to teach her interns all that they need to know about Gender-Based Violence and their role in stemming the pandemic.
Grace believes that her interns are the next generation of young world leaders, she is, therefore, preparing them up to take up their place in the grand scheme of things as champions and advocates Against violence against women and girls. She has been astute in her resolve to guide and mentor them into working out their possibilities as well as that of others.
Among the people, Grace teaches are teenagers, undergraduates taking advantage of the lockdown holiday, Post-University and post NYSC youth, stay at home mums, mothers with babies and toddlers as well as young men. Grace’s success story is very inspiring to the Nigerian Women Trust Fund as she currently has a little over twenty interns. The End Violence Initiative, which started as a small in-house program is beginning to gain public relevance, and growing to a platform where seaso A ned speakers, human rights activists, and gender experts are invited to speak on key topics that bother on the issue of Violence Against Women and Girls.
If there is a list of ladies to watch out for in the coming years, Grace Eze Obi will make the list. As it stands, Grace Eze Obi isn’t relenting just yet, she is still full of energy, dedication, and unquenchable passion to serve her community and humanity at large.