The Nigerian Women Trust Fund (NWTF) with support from the Ford Foundation under the Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG) project has concluded the mentorship of 200 young women in three project focal states of Adamawa, Cross River and Nasarawa as well as the FC. The mentorship seeks to provide a platform for mentoring young women to effectively mobilize a critical mass of feminist and transformational leaders towards transforming power relations between women and men by addressing the root causes of gender inequality and violence against women and girls. 50 young women were mentored in each of the four focal point. The mentorship was rounded up with a close out interactive session. Although challenged by COVID – 19, both mentors and mentees were able to hold sessions virtually and afterwards a combination of virtual and physical meeting was deployed.

The close out meetings which served as a milestone to graduate the mentees was very rich with experience sharing and information exchange.  The close out meetings held in Adamawa on 16th September 2020, Nasarawa (Lafia and Keffi) 23rd September 2020, FCT on 25th September 2020 and that of Cross River took place on 7th October 2020

Some of the mentees share their experiences as follows:

Mary Danbaji a mentee in Adamawa state: “the training has equipped me with a lot of information which has enhanced my emotional intelligence because whenever I stand to speak now, I speak from an informed perspective.  Because of the E.V.A.W.G program I now I know the difference between gender and sex”

Toyin Oguntuase a mentee in Abuja “The Ending Violence Against Women and Girls programme has taught me to understand my rights as a woman and what society expect of me. It has improved my knowledge of self-awareness and has also given me the Zeal and inspiration to know that there is no limit to what I can achieve as a woman”

Mfere Asigbe a mentee in Cross-River:  “The mentorship programme has been the bedrock to the creation of my organization Cyprus Global Health which is a health and wellness organization in which one of our focus area is ending gender-based violence Recently I launched my book managing stress the pathway to building a heathy relationship and family. All this were made possible due to the mentorship programme. I now recognize myself as a feminist who believes in the social economic and political equality of the sexes. I am now a strong advocate of Ending Violence Against Women and Girls. This programme has provided me with the necessary tools and skills needed to create safe spaces for women”

Uzoka Harriet Chinaza a mentee in Abuja: “I and my fellow mentee came up with an online advocacy and sensitization campaign movement #StandAganistChildAbuse where engagers share placards with #StandAganistChildAbuse we also had a zoom seminar tagged “End Violence Against Her” where we discussed what constitute gender violence, the right approaches to ending VAWG and the unequal power relation as a core driver of VAWG”

Hannah John a mentee in Nasarawa state: “The mentorship programme has broadened my capacity in the area of advocacy, sensitization, mobilization and being positive in my political career not minding the stereotypes and the discouragement around leadership roles of women in Nigeria”

Maureen Danladi a mentee in Adamawa state: “the E.V.A.W.G program has improved my communication skills and provided me with a mentor I can rely on. It has also impacted my community positively because we have carried out different sensitization programs” Grace Obi a mentee in Cross-River:“The EVAWG training was a redefining moment for me as it set the tone for my life work. Hitherto, I had several experiences on gender but I didn’t have a definition or a caption for those experiences and my meeting with the Nigerian Women Trust Fund under the EVAWG project have helped me to put a handle on my experiences. My work with women has been amazing as a result of the mentorship programme I have enjoyed. The mentorship programme has increased my hunger to take courses on gender issues; one of such courses I took is managing Gender Base Violence (GBV) in emergencies which was provided by UNFPA and I have been certified in that course and I have also enrolled in Philanthropic university where I have started several programmes. All this would have not been possible if I didn’t have contact with the Nigerian Women Trust Fund”

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