A 30th Birthday Wish for Women's Empowerment in Nigeria
Organized by: Nwanyinma Nnodum
My name is Nwanyinma Nnodum and I'd love for you to help me celebrate my 30th birthday by donating to Ifendu for Women's Development. The proceeds will help launch its second microcredit program in Orsu LGA, Nigeria, my family's hometown. The goal is to raise $6386 to empower over 100 women in Southeastern Nigeria.
Why I am doing this
Losing one's spouse is hard. And it's even harder when you're a woman in rural Nigeria. This became especially apparent to me when I went home with my family to bury my father in 2013. In Nigeria, a woman whose husband dies is often subjected to humiliating rituals, ridicule, and even stripping of property and land. An already devastating loss is compounded by shaming and isolation. My family had the privilege of insight and independence to denounce these traditional practices and avoid the social and financial devastation experienced by many widows in Nigeria.
Already very familiar with Ifendu's efforts to eliminate such practices that perpetuate gender inequality, my mother was moved to give a small donation to the executive director of Ifendu. She curled $300 into her hands after the funeral ceremonies, saying, "Use this little bit to help widows." And the inspiration to expand Ifendu's programming to microfinance was sparked.
I am amazed at how little is required to pull a woman out of abject poverty, towards financial independence. It’s exciting to be a part of an effort that goes beyond feeding a person for today and actually provides a means to feed themselves tomorrow. Ifendu is empowering women with skills and now economic means to be elevate themselves and thus their families and communities.
“When you empower a woman, you empower a community.”
Donations of $5, $10, or $20 can go a long way to make a difference! Just $50 can provide a start up kit after skills training for one enterprising woman. The kit would provide the initial capital for a home based business such as trade in provisions and foodstuff, animal husbandry (poultry, fishery, piggery, etc), crop farming (cassava, tomatoes, etc), and cosmetology (pomade/body cream, dettol, soap-making, etc).
I think it would be pretty awesome to raise $6,386 (see what I did there) for Ifendu's Women's Microcredit Program in time for my 30th birthday on June 3rd, 2016. This could help over 100 women!
We can do this! Help grant my birthday wish!!!
About the Microcredit Program
In response to a project proposal for supporting the vulnerable women of Uhunowerre, Ifendu for Women’s Development (Ifendu) received a grant from Nächstenliebe Weltweit (NLW a German- based partner) for empowering 100 women in Igbo-Eze South LGA, Enugu State, Nigeria.
The project is a three-phased integrated empowerment package which consists of: literacy training involving social learning, business skills training, and an award of micro-credit. The project aims to improve the standard of living by increasing participant income through skill training, provision of start-up kits, and ultimately gainful self-employment. . By further developing each participant’s ability to read and write simple sentences, the project also expands on record-keeping and business acumen Can you imagine the enhanced sense of self-esteem, and the knowledge and ability to notice and discuss social issues affecting them negatively in their community and jointly seek a solution.
Ifendu is a non-governmental organization based in Enugu, Nigeria, which is dedicated to promoting inclusiveness in the society. It was founded in 2002 and registered (no.16,525) in 2004 with the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja. It gained special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN) in 2010. ‘Ifendu,’ in Igbo language, means ‘the light of life’ ; that is, the light that comes from increased social awareness, often experienced as an ‘eye-opener.’
Right from inception, Ifendu concentrated on an indirect approach to social justice issues; addressing the roots of women’s oppression and seeking positive changes in the society mainly through training and publications. These activities over time have yielded unquantifiable positive results for families and couples across the nation and beyond. With time, sharing of success stories and best practices in gender relations became part of the trainings and contributed further to greater openness to positive changes among participants.
With an initial donation intended to alleviate the plight of widows in southeastern Nigeria, Ifendu now seeks to extend its impact to economic empowerment for women. The pilot microfinance program started November last year in Igbo-Eze South LGA, Enugu State, Nigeria. Ifendu hopes to start a second program in Orsu LGA, Imo State, Nigeria this summer.
Learn more about Ifendu and read their past annual reports at ifendu.org.