• Tuesday, July 23, 2024
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HELWEI, others train women on leadership skills, community advocacy

HELWEI, others train women on leadership skills, community advocacy

A non-governmental organisation, Healthy Living and Women Empowerment Initiative (HELWEI), in collaboration with the European Union (EU), and Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation, has embarked on two-day capacity-building training for women and vulnerable groups on leadership skills, financial literacy and human rights, among others.

The two-day training was implemented by the British Council in partnership with the Healthy Living and Women Empowerment Initiative and was attended by hundreds of women in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State.

Speaking on the essence of the programme, Ebere Okey Onyema, founder/executive director, said that the programme was targeted at building women to become leaders and change agents in their respective communities and groups.

Okey-Onyema said that the training would also help the women to have increased gender equality, and economic inclusion in society, noting that desired change in communities should not completely be external but that women should have a role to play.

She added that the organisation was partnering with the Lagos State Association of Tradesmen and Artisans and leaders across wards in Alimosho to mobilise women to attend the training.

She added that with the training, the participants are equipped to lead and be part of governance and decision-makers in their respective communities.

According to her, “We want them to also participate in community governance; we don’t just want women to be praise singers. We are also teaching them advocacy.

“You can see them identifying the leaders in their groups; if they have identified the leaders, what is the need in their communities? Those needs we begin to go for advocacy towards actualising then.

“We would expect that they lead the process because they live in the community; they should participate.”

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Wilfred Eyeke, Operation Manager of Education Cooperation Society said that the programme was targeted at women and aimed to equip them with leadership skills in their respective spheres.

Eyeke said hundreds of women had benefited from the organisation’s capacity-building programmes in recent years, while several others are currently undergoing training across several councils in the state.

“I am here to oversee the activity targeted at women and empowering women and making them become leaders in their respective spheres, exceeding the leadership they give at home which is very important. It is also necessary for them to go out of that sphere and influence society,” he said.

A facilitator at the programme, who taught women leadership skills, Obioma Agoziem said that leadership skills were imperative for women, to enable them to excel in their businesses and daily interaction in society.

She noted that character building and having the right attitudinal mindset was necessary for leadership in women and Nigerians at large.

According to her, “If you have a good attitude naturally you would have good customers. When you have a good attitude, you would sell more. Even as a country. You can see what we are going through. When you have a good understanding of these issues you can reject inducement at the voting point.”

Tokson Abigail, a participant, trader and physically challenged, commended the organisers, saying she had learnt leadership skills from the training, while also learning to be more tolerant in her relationship with people around her.

Another participant, Esther Salami, who is also

physically challenged, applauded the training and called for more of such programmes for women and vulnerable members of the society, she however advocated for more attention and equal treatment of vulnerable people in Nigeria.

“The programme is good for us, I have learnt how to interact with people, character building. Everybody has rights. I want government and Nigerians to try and treat us the way they are carrying along those that are not physically challenged in the society,” Salami said.

Speaking on the programme, Omobolanle Toyin Bolarinwa, Assistant Head Women Affairs Poverty Alleviation Development in the council, commended the organisers for the idea, noting that such a programme was needed to help change erroneous beliefs and impact right values in women in the society.

“The programme would add a great change in women, I believe when they go out they would make a great impact,” she said.

At the two-day training, the women were taught human rights, redress pathways, community-level advocacy leadership, self-esteem and social inclusion.

The event was attended by large groups of persons with disability and physically challenged women within the council area.