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Widows Empowerment in Nigeria

Organized by: Philip Costa

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THE STORY:

PROPOSAL TO EMPOWER INDIGENT WIDOWS IN OUR COMMUNITY

Name of Organization: Centre for HIV/AIDS and STD Research (CHISTRE) Address: Mgbala Agwa Town, Oguta Local Government Area Imo State Nigeria CONTACT PERSON: Nduka Ozor Email: chistre@yahoo.com or nduka@chistre.com Phone _+234 8035719595 Website: www.chistre.com

 PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Agwa town is situated on a tableland in a green belt including mostly palm tree and Melina. It is relatively isolated from the mainstream, and because of this, it has maintained much more of a traditional characteristic. While retention of identity and tradition is highly valued, it comes with a great amount of superstition and ignorance. These are significant constraints to the overall development of the people and the town as a whole, and as a result, Agwa is remarkably less developed economically and socially when compared to other towns in Imo State. Poverty, isolation, and the crude traditional practices within the town are significant issues surrounding risky behavior. The town has some cultures and traditions that can be described as archaic. Most harrowing and senseless is the social and economic exclusion of widows. Because of the exclusion, they are subjected to several forms of insufferable conditions, denied economic and other income generating activities. Consequently, bringing up their children becomes the phenomenal responsibilities of the woman solely. Because of the high level of poverty and other forms of discrimination against these helpless widows the Centre for HIV/AIDS and STD Research (CHISTRE), an indigenous non-governmental organization based in the town and led by an indigene of the community intervene so as to reduce their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS infections and empower them economically to be able to support themselves and their children (see our website).The project will support them economically by providing for them skill and resources for income generating activities. By doing this, it reduces the poverty and sufferings as a result of the death of their spouse CHISTRE has a very strong presence and it is strategically positioned to address the problems associated with the customs and tradition because of its previous and current projects and, its positive reputation even with the other institutions in the town. In 2007 to 2009, the Government of Ireland through the Irish Aids program funded our project for three years. GOALS/OBJECTIVES: The goal of the project is to empower the Widows through Vocational Skills to be able to lead a more quality of life while reducing the anguish of the death of their spouse.

Objective 1. To strengthen the capacities of 35 Widows in Agwa on vocational skill acquisition program within 12 months 2. To establish income generating activities for at least 30 Widows based on the identified areas of their skills and strengths within 12 months.

ACTIVITIES I. Meet with the community leaders in Agwa to intimate them of the project II. Conduct basic training on HIV/AIDS preventions, care and supports for 35 Widows III. Conduct training for the selected Widows on vocational skill acquisition. The training will cover making of soap and other detergent, sewing, Garri productions and sales, snacks and other confectionaries, GSM recharge card sell, buying and selling of food items and bead making.

OBJECTIVE 2 To establish income generating activity for the selected Widows based in Agwa community within 12 months Activities: a. Give them hands-on to review and negotiate the supply of equipment or tools to take-off b. Train them or their children on simple Bookkeeping for their business. c. Purchase and hand-over the tools and equipment required for the business d. Conduct regular checks, mentor, and monitor and evaluate their business until they are self-sustaining.

CRITERIA: Through this project, your organization will further its mission to support the needy and disadvantaged women and children; promote and emphasize its mission of love with service to economically disadvantaged areas especially those subjected to such cultural muddles and discriminations. Women and children have been on the receiving end of the obnoxious traditions that excludes them from the mainstream of life. This project aligns with your philosophy that supports effort that address the oppressed and those deprived of their rightful place in society. Unless projects like this are supported, widows and the vulnerable children will be living in squalor and abject poverty against the philosophy of your organisation

FUNDING: We are requesting $15,000 U.S. to be used exclusively to empower the Widows to be economically self-reliant so as to provide at least basic needs for themselves and to their children, as well as alleviating the suffering from the reckless traditional abandon. Another funding is available ONLY through online crowd funding for which we are grateful, along with the contributions from the board of trustees during an annual meeting. These sources, currently, are not sufficient to support the project and alleviate the sufferings of the Widows and their children ADMINISTRATION: The project will be overseen by the Project Director of the Centre for HIV/AIDS and STD Research (CHISTRE) and the project team comprising of 2 project officers, accounts officer and a monitoring and evaluation specialist. EVALUATION: Our organization has developed a monitoring and evaluation framework which includes indicators and milestones that will be achieved at every point during the implementation. The framework also enables us to check if the activities and outcomes are in line with our objectives as planned. Every activity has its success measurement built into the framework. The major outcome indicator of this project will be the number widows that were trained on skill acquisition; number of widows that were empowered and are now generating income based on the supports they received; number of widows or their children that can keep simple record of their income and expenses. This will inform the success or not success of the project. Therefore, by the end of the 12 month project life, the evaluator will be able to identify if the project is successful based on these indicators.

REPORTING We will provide both narrative and financial reports at the end of the project that will explain how the funds were used. The report will be in line to your requirement; thus, by November 2016 (12 months after the project) the report of the project will be submitted to your organization .The full list and contacts of the beneficiaries as well as the attendance list of the training will be included as annex in our final report. The process of selection will also form part of the report SELECTION CRITERIA Due to the expected high number of applicants for the support, we will develop a tool to help us in the selection process. Part of which is to know the number of children the widow has, the ages of the children; to know if any of the child is already working or not, if she has already an existing business. Why she needs the money. If the widow has an adult child working or doing business we may not give immediate consideration to such application, we will prefer to enlist the widows that have many children but do not have any meaningful source of income; special consideration will be giving to widows with girl children. This is to prevent them from being exposed to risky activities that will endanger their future. This project is expected to have manifold positive impact We will also consider those that have been humiliated and subjected to some forms of deprivation as a result of the death of their husband. The selection tool will help us identify the most in need of the grants. It will not be based on emotions storytelling or referral. The selection process and the tool will be part of the report and annex that will be submitted at the end of the project BUDGET JUSTIFICATION The budget justification explains or clarifies the cost contained in the budget. It is necessary to make this clarification so that the team or persons reviewing the financial cost of the project understands the context and the reason attached to each task. I. Meeting with community Leaders NGN 38,500 Venue 0 0 0 0 PAS 0 0 0 0 Stipends for local transport 1500 11 2 33,000 Photos 100 5 11 5,500 There are 11 villages that make up Agwa Town. Each of the village has traditional rulers and its cabinet members comprising of about 10 -15 members. These groups of people are called community leaders. Two CHISTRE staff will hold meeting with each of the 11 traditional rulers and their cabinet members to inform them of the project. The meeting with the gamekeepers will be held at the palace of the traditional rulers with the cabinet members in attendance. Two CHISTRE staff will spend the sum of N2000 as cost of local transport to attend each of the meetings. CHISTRE will cover the meeting with photograph, 5 pictures at the cost N100 will be taken in each of the meeting. A total of 55 pictures will be taken at the cost of N5, 500.Total expenditure for this event amounts to N38, 500 2.REVIEW MEETINGS/Monitoring - 15 attendees - quarterly NGN 189,500 Meeting Venue 0 1 4 0 Meals and water 1000 15 4 60,000 Transportation 2000 15 4 120,000 Photos 100 5 4 2,000 Writing Materials 500 15 1 7,500 During the project, there will be monitoring, evaluation, mentoring of the beneficiaries to ensure that they are using the funds judiciously and where necessary correct them. Every quarter, the project team and representatives from the communities with few of the beneficiaries will gather in CHISTRE office to review their activities .The meeting is expected to last for about 8 hours each day; CHISTRE will provide meals and water for the participants. The cost of these meals and water for the project period will cost N60, 000. CHISTRE staff and some of the community leaders will also move around to monitor the beneficiaries. These movements to monitor each of the 32 beneficiaries for the project period of one year and the transportation during the review meetings will cost N120, 000.We will provide a one time writing material for the participants to write down their findings and other issues during the meeting and monitoring 3.Basic training on HIV/AIDS preventions and Skill Acquisition - 40 attendees - 3 days NGN 249,000

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Philip Costa

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