Thursday, March 17, 2011

Celebrating International Women’s Day & Improving Maternal Health in Nigeria

Last week I had the rare opportunity of co-hosting a dinner to celebrate women as part of the Global Dinner Party to celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. The dinner was organized by the Nigeria Health Campaign of the White Ribbon Alliance in Nigeria in partnership with Save the Children Nigeria. Our focus was to enlighten the media about commitments made by Nigeria’s government in support of the UN Secretary General’s Global Strategy for Women's and Children’s Health.

At the event, we shared copies of the Atlas of Birth flyer that highlights the commitments that were made, and we also called on everyone to support the National Health Bill. The film "Tracking Commitments for Child Health" from Save the Children was also presented at the meeting. At the end we all agreed to the following:

1.Strengthen the existing Network of Health Correspondents through capacity building on maternal, newborn and child health reporting

2.Work together in a collaborative manner by recognizing media as a partner for development

3.Strengthen advocacy to National and State Houses of Assembly

4.Embark on advocacy visits to heads of media organizations to address identified bottlenecks for the health correspondents

In attendance were: the Country Representative of UNFPA, Dr. Agathe Lawson; The British High Commissioner to Nigeria represented by the DFID Country Advisor, Jane Miller; Secretary of the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Lucy Chindaba; President of International Federation of Women Lawyers, Ezinwa Okoroafor; USAID MNCH Program Manager, Dr. Folake Olayinka, and representatives of over 20 media houses.

There was excitement on the faces of all the participants as Save the Children presented the EVERYONE cake dedicated to the women of the world. Being one of the Women Deliver 100 Young Leaders and also a program assistant at the WRA Nigeria Office, I was invited to co-host the dinner to celebrate WOMEN. I used the opportunity to call for more involvement of young people in maternal health advocacy especially young women in Nigeria, and the signing of the Nigerian Health Bill to safe guard the future of young women in Nigeria.  I am very proud to be a woman, a Women Deliver 100 Young Leader, and a Nigerian.

Esther, in action, at the Women Deliver 2010 youth pre-conference below:

Women Deliver is a global advocacy organization bringing together voices from around the world to call for action against maternal death.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In a Nutshell, This is who I am

Siping a cup of Kenyan black tea I remember growing up with a dream of being one of Nigerian's Young Champion for sustainable development, a dream that  has pushed me to learn from others, get inspired and involved. Now I feel it time to give back.  I have spent over 15 years learning and contributing to solutions to development issues (mostly as a volunteer), from Child rights to adolescent and youth sexuality issues, from Poverty,Gender issues to Climate change and Biodiversity Conservation,  and yes, Global environmenatl governance has been part of it as well

2010 was a year I call, "year of Inspiration'. a year of sharing experience and get more young people inspired to become development actors in the communities. Using social media networks to communicate to urban youth and travelling north and south to meet with  rural youth on various projects on climate change and biodiversity education and awareness programmes has been the high point of 2010 year of development activism.

So what did I do in 2010? Here are a few..

1. Managed the Engaging Naija youth in Climate Change Project funded by Building Nigeria's Response to Climate Change (BNRCC)

2. Invited as a Resource person by UNFPA to the National Consultative Forum on Young People Health and Development, Abuja, Speaking on "Fostering Youth Leadership and Paticipation in Decision Making"

3. Selected as one of Women Deliver 100 Young Leaders to participate at the 2nd Global Women    Deliver Conference at the Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC

4. Speaker at the Earth Charter +10 Anniversary event at the Peace Palace in Hague, Netherland . The  Earth Charter Initiative, is a diverse global network of people and institutions that promote values and the principle of sustainable development

5. Invited to join UNICEF delegation to the Seventh African Development Forum, (ADFVII) as one African youth Delegate, also had the rare opportunity of addressing the opening session, delivering the "Message from the Youth" on behalf of African Youth. The African Development Forum is an initiative led by the UN Economic Commission for Africa to establish an African-driven development agenda

6. Winner of 7th Annual LEAP Africa Nigerian Youth Leadership Award 2010

7. Selected as a Commonwealth Youth Climate Fellow during the Commonwealth Youth Climate Fellowship Programme in London in Nov, 2010, joined by a Fellow Young Nigerian Climate advocate, Taiwo Oyelakin

8. Selected as one of the 25 students/Learner at the 2010 World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE2010) in Doha, Qatar

7. Written many Articles on Youth, Climate change and Development while built sustainable relaltionships.

...But we are now in what been happening??
Please check back another time for  more updates, I am still who I am. giving back and sharing this wealth of Experience among Nigeria's greatest asset, The Youth.

before you leave, here a link to an interview I granted with Bella Naija earlier this year. Happy reading :