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In commemoration of the 2024 International Women’s Day, the African Women Mentoring and Inspiring Initiative (AWMII), an organization dedicated to empowering women, embarked on a transformative journey, reaching out to a local community in a rural setting to uplift, educate, and support women in need. The event, held on 15TH March 2024, at Igbedi Community in Kolokuma/Opokuma LGA of Bayelsa State, was a testament to AWMII’s commitment to fostering a more inclusive and empowered society.

AWMII Team in Igbedi Community

On arriving Igbedi, the AWMII team was received by women who had come out in their numbers singing melodious songs in the local language showing the hospitable and accommodating nature of the Ijaws.

The day began with a series of impactful initiatives aimed at addressing various crucial aspects of women’s health and well-being. Educational sessions were conducted to raise awareness about women’s health issues, while free HIV/AIDS screenings and cervical cancer screenings were provided to ensure early detection and prevention. Moreover, dedicated counselors were on-site to offer support and guidance to victims of gender-based violence, creating a safe space for dialogue and healing.

Medical Screening and Counseling

In a bid to promote environmental consciousness and community solidarity, a community clean-up initiative was organized, bringing together women and community members to work towards a cleaner and safer environment for all. The spirit of collaboration and shared responsibility was palpable, as participants joined hands in creating a more sustainable future for their community.

Recognizing the significance of menstrual hygiene and access to sanitary products, AWMII distributed free sanitary pads to young ladies, aiming to break barriers and stigma surrounding menstruation. Young ladies were also taught the basics of proper body care, the dangers of substance abuse and how to respond rape cases. Additionally, elderly women were offered clothing items as a gesture of care and appreciation, fostering a sense of dignity and respect for all generations.

Free sanitary pad distribution to young girls

In his opening remark, Chairman of Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa state, Hon Dengiye Ubarugu expressed gratitude to the AWMII team and other collaborating NGO’s for the outreach, stating that it is a move in the right direction as Governance is a collaborative effort. He enjoined participants to put in practice all they learn, ensuring that they give priority to their health and well-being at all times.

Founder and Executive Director of AWMII, Dr (Mrs) Nissi Ikenna Amadi, expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support and enthusiasm shown by the community members, highlighting the importance of collective efforts in driving positive change and empowerment. “Today’s outreach is a testament to the resilience and strength of women in our community. We stand together in solidarity, advocating for a future where every woman has the opportunity to thrive and be heard. Our goal is to empower women and improve their quality of life by providing education, resources, and essential services. Through initiatives like this, we aim to create a positive impact and foster a supportive environment for women in need”, she said.

Hon Ubarugu flanked by Dr Nissi (Founder, AWMII)

Another high point of the outreach was the opportunity provided for women in the community to enroll and get their Bank Verification Number (BVN), free bank account opening, financial counseling and start up business capitals in partnership with Union Bank Plc.

The event was met with enthusiasm and appreciation from the local community, with many women expressing their gratitude for the valuable insights, services, and resources provided by AWMII. The outreach program not only raised awareness about important health issues but also highlighted the organization’s commitment to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in rural areas.

As the sun set on a day filled with empowerment, education, and compassion, the echoes of unity and empowerment lingered, serving as a beacon of hope for women everywhere. The event served as a reminder that through collective action and unwavering commitment, transformative change is not only possible but inevitable.

AWMII in Action

The African Women Mentoring and Inspiring Initiative (AWMII) remains dedicated to its mission of supporting and uplifting women in the community, and initiatives like the rural outreach program serve as a testament to the organization’s ongoing efforts to create a more inclusive and equitable society for all.

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