My Experience in Windows of Opportunities

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To say I did not enjoy the WOP (Windows of Opportunities) meeting conference 2015 is to say the least. My name is ADEOLA ,incase you are wondering what my name is….lolz ! My experience in Windows of opportunities (WOP) had a great impact in my life and it will forever be a memorable one. I was given the opportunity to do one out of all I love doing most which is impacting and touching lives positively. I empowered about close to 25 girls, teaching them ICT (Information and communication Technology) and how to transform, implement and move their businesses into the next level using ICT in a dynamic and a practical way. Also illustrated how Technology has caused more good than harm which is available for people who are willing and determined to unlock their hidden potential to get the great satisfaction it has in store for them. My inquisitive audiences were also passionate and were ready to learn more about Technology. There is nothing more interesting and captivating than planning for an event and seeing it work miraculously. I must confess that the WOP organizers did a wonderful job. The timing was excellent, the program flow was superb, it was also impactful and above all God took absolute control of the program as I could tell on the expression on each faces that they all left the program fulfilled and happy that the time invested was worthwhile. Meanwhile, I was intrigued by the program transition from the commencement of the program till the end. There was never a dull moment. The program started by 9am with a welcome speech from the promoter of the WOP initiative Olayinka  Odumosu, afterwards, she introduced the first speaker on stage. The first speaker spent close to two hours discussing computer in a theoretical way with practical illustration. The second speaker spent almost 2hours teaching hands on computer practical. Finally, we visited Omatek Computer Limited where we saw how they assemble computer cases, speakers, keyboards and mouse. We also learnt about solar system techniques. My experience at Omatek was motivating and inspiring as some of their staff welcomed us and told us some life changing experiences. I won’t hesitate to accept the offer to come for another WOP because I really enjoyed every moment I spent there.

To enjoy the photo’s and video’s  please visit AMORVARD website ! http://www.amorvard.com

Thank you !

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The Extraordinary Girl Child !

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Esteemed people, in my opinion, i believe every girl child should be computer literate ! At the least ,the girl child should have the basic computer skills.

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One Girl Reaching Another !

Social work is not only to identify social problems but rather social work is a profession service based on scientific knowledge and skills in human relations which helps individuals,groups or communities to obtain social and personal satisfaction and independence. Social work profession promotes social change,problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being,utilization theories of human behaviour and social systems. Social work enable people to develop their full potential ,enrich their lives and prevent dysfunctioning.Professional social work is focused on problem solving and social change which is what motivated the program ”Windows of Opportunities”  This is an Initiative of AMORVARD ! This program seek to empower the Girl Child ! Guess what ! First on the program sheet , is to expose The Girl Child having a domestic challenging story to basic computer skills ! This expose’s HER to more opportunities and better ways of doing things which can be applied on her current handiWork, trade,business,job and education etc.
We see HER self esteem move up as she is exposed to good and quality information ! We are positive this will boost her confident level and encourage her to do ordinary task in an extraordinary way…

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The Child.

Enjoy a fulfiling week end !

It Won’t Drown YOU !

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One girl reaching another girl !

On my way back from the old people’s home today,the keke marua i boarded from Omole phase1 to beager was a 28yr old excited and high spirited female driver ! Her name is favour Edafe. Favour is a young lady from Delta state who finished from the college of Education Oro in kwara state. She made up her mind to do this job because she needed to survive. At the least ,favour makes up to 6,500naira daily…She is hardly harassed by touts because of the boldness she had in defending herself and insisting she wasn’t going to pay them any money !Favour usually closes by 7:30pm but she decided to close by 9:30pm today which was unusual because she needed to make more money. Although, favor’s parent are alive,she understands her humble background and would rather be a keke driver than get involved in harmful habits just to survive.The moral of this true life story is that no situation can drown you ,if you don’t permit it !For every challenge there is a positive and legitimate way of escape.There are legitimate things you can do even when you have not gotten a job !

YOU have ideas in YOU !

I am not asking you to be a keke maruwa driver but i am saying YOU can discover a legitimate niche and stay on it !

LIVING AND LOVING…

Living and loving...If you ask me, the greatest legacy anyone can leave is the lives they have touched, the love they have given to others, the word they shared to bring eternal life to another who’s in danger of eternal damnation. Indeed, nothing outlives the kindness you have shown to that fellow in need, the compassion  which has moved you to visit the sick, the encouragement you have given to that (wo)man without hope, the care you have shown to that fella who feels rejected, the caring hand extended to the broken hearted, the clothes given to the naked, the water given to the thirsty, the hospitality showed to that least deserving person…..the list goes on and on.

None of us have seen God at anytime, but I tell you, whatever you do to any of His creation in his name, you inadvertently do so unto Him, and your Labor of love will surely, NEVER go forgotten, here on earth, and in eternity. So, never withhold from being a charitable being of creation. GOD Bless You…

WHICH MEANS, YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS…

Window of Opportunity, an initiative of AMORVARD, will be reaching out to 25 girls in Nembe, Bassambiri Village, Bayelsa State this October 2015. These girls will be empowered with various entrepreneurial skills like soap making, beads making, ankara designs, etc. There shall also be talks on handi work, choice of career, and information to help them lead a better life.

We hereby wish to appeal for the assistance of volunteers in varying capacities, so we can achieve this lofty dream.

We indeed covet your support.           You may please reach us on:

Mobile: +2348109259122, +2348158683252

Email: amorvard@hotmail.com

Peace and blessings!

What is LIFE without LOVE???

Come to think of it , there’s always someone out there somewhere hurting, it may be physically or  emotionally… Beloved, let’s give love to someone daily… it could be a kind smile to an angry face, a word of encouragement to an unhappy sister, a financial aid to a needy person, an information to help that girl child improve on her SELF ESTEEM taking the gospel to someone you know needs it, a helping hand to an old woman, a shoulder to cry on to the broken hearted, a hand to hold in prayer for the sick person.. In whatever form it comes,.. Let’s  be that HAND of JESUS this week to touch and transform lives.

Loads of Love…

THAT SOCIAL WELFARE QUESTION

At a function recently, some of the guests, knowing my interest and passion for social welfare, walked up to me and asked: ”Olayinka, what exactly is family social welfare about, and hey, is there a structure put in place by the Lagos State Government to handle issues that deal with the family? ”

Suffice it to say, my response in the affirmative got a few shocked faces staring back at me, and that in itself, had me amazed. At that point, it dawned on me that perhaps, members of society needed to be better informed of the presence of social welfare institutions established for the equitable handling of sundry social and domestic issues. These institutions exist so vulnerable members of society do not have suffer deprivations and other form of injustices, without foreseeable reprieve.

It is in the light of the foregoing that I wish to inform you my reader, that there is indeed, a family social welfare office in Nigeria, and it is located in Ikeja, Lagos.The purpose of this agency is to ensure the proper functioning of the family without any interference that comes with the potential to affect the well being of the child (or children as the case maybe). That is, the agency’s operations are majorly focused on ensuring the child isn’t left with the short end of the stick, under any circumstance. Should there be anything that affects the wellbeing of the child, the agency is required to step in to mediate and do the needful on the best interest of the child.

It is also noteworthy to state that the duties of the agency to the child, are backed up by the Child Rights Law of Lagos State.

The Family Social Welfare Office, focuses its activities on Paternity Denial, Matrimonial Cases ranging from custody, access, maintenace, paternity dispute and sometimes reconciliation through mediation. It also handles cases of juvenile delinquency

The Family Social Welfare has its head office located under the Ministry of Youth and Social Development, Alausa, Ikeja. They work within the specified areas of jurisdiction for the purpose of efficiency .

And here is hoping these information is useful to someone reading this right now.

Loads of love ….

Making Your Dreams a Reality…

Is a world of possibilities
Is a world of possibilities

Girls, i am positive these steps could help make your journey to your dreams a bit stressfree !

What ideas make you feel excited and enthusiastic?

Make a decision and believe

Delete Fear

Make a move !

Love YOU

Get a mentor

Dont stop at the busstop called ”Mistakes”

Ensure self discipline

Say No to bad habits..”Am sure you know them” Smiles…..

Dont forget the Universe is your friend !

Blissful Week.

PROTECTING THE GIRL CHILD (3) – EQUAL & GOOD EDUCATION.

Empowering TheGirl ChildIf you agree with the conventions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1960), then, the provision of education is a fundamental human right. The 1948 declaration, particularly, gave humanitys a fresh responsibility to lay the frame work for a better world; a blue print to birthing a new and better human race, rising from the ashes of a disastrous world war that had almost brought the world to the brink of implosion. Of course, you agree. We all agree. I mean, what kind of person wouldn’t agree to the declaration of human rights, anyway? Maybe, only a Bokoharamite….those bad guys…those evil…well, matter for another day. So, yea, education is a fundamental Human Right. Meaning, you deny me a good education, you owe me. And by international law, should I choose the option of the courts, your behind is mine – that’s me assuming kids knew to sue. And suppose they did, statistics say it would be the female ones keeping the courts busy, all day, every day.

According to data results from several research on Nigeria’s education performance, female children in Nigeria do not enjoy equal access to education like their male counterparts. And please, don’t even argue. This gender gap, predominant in the northern parts of Nigeria, sees a disparity of 1 girl to 2 boys in some states, and 1 girl to 3/4 boys in others. Findings show that these girls, rather than given access to formal education, are compelled to stay at home to do domesticated chores and to bring additional income into the family. Already, many families across Nigeria cannot afford the associated costs of sending their children to school, so, pre-existing cultural bias makes the decision easier as to who gets to stay home to help, who helps in hawking the wares that feed the family and who in the not too distant future, gets to marry some money into the family – ready or not. More findings also declared that girl children from wealthy homes had better access to education than those from poor homes. As unsurprisingly logical as that is, this piece of information still comes in all shades of bleak. Why? In 2010, 62.1% (conservative in my opinion) of Nigeria’s population were estimated to live below the poverty line. Five years on, it is almost anyone’s guess which side of the debate would win on whether that statistic has improved or deteriorated down the line. And please, enter the streets and see for yourself before you start throwing efico figures at me. Truth is, opportunities for educating the girl-child have actually gotten slimmer, especially in the North-West and North-East where the poverty rise appears exponentially geometric, especially, given the present challenges of violent displacements and abductions by those pre-historic boko Neanderthals. Sadly, early marriage becomes the flip side for the young female child with no education to fill in the gap of childhood. Well, there probably could be an attempt at an informal education at first, (like Quranic schools in the north), but ultimately, an early, unprepared bride ship comes in at some point not too far.

So, for girls, education has the benefit of, first, delaying early marriage and pregnancy. This way, a girl below the age of 20 does not get married, facing greater chances of suffering abuse. Instead, she gets an education and has a greater say in who she marries. An educated girl child can understand and adopt effective methods of family planning, which means, having fewer and healthier babies. And, perhaps to emphasize the importance of educating the girl-child, a World Bank research discovered that for each year of schooling, 2 maternal deaths are prevented out of every 1000 women each year! Education is amazing! In fact, I believe every year of schooling helps a girl make better decisions for her and her family which in turn, affects the rest of society positively. It has that domino effect. The popular saying goes: “Educate a boy, make a family rich; educate a girl, make a country rich.” While that almost sounds like ‘throw the boys to the dogs, they’d still get rich anyway – if they stay in the country,’ the main idea remains: there are wider societal benefits to letting that young girl pick a book than allow her become a piece of industry, or, to watch her take on that new surname rather prematurely. And, anyone notice how I didn’t mention a certain Senator’s name again this time? That’s me being nice until I come by you again.God Bless TheGirl Child !

By Olayinka Odumosu & Jide Odi

PROTECTING THE GIRL CHILD_2

PROTECTING THE GIRL CHILD (2) – SEXUAL HARRASMENT AND RAPE

Featured Image -- 482Beyond and above all else, the one challenge most females in Nigeria (and the world over) will readily identify with without giving much thought, is that of sexual objectification.  In simpler grammar, you see a female and the first thing that goes through your mind as a man is the image of her writhing on the bed in the throes of sex. You are checking out her physical statistics, front, behind and elsewhere.  And hey, it doesn’t really matter if she is a minor or a fully developed adult; she is fair game as long as she possesses a sexual reproductive organ. Which accounts for why the media continually gets awash with stories of horrific tales of sexual molestation of female minors, some as young as suckling toddlers.

We live in a patriarchal society where the right of the female is often subdued to accommodate the whims and caprices of the male. For instance, a female is raped in the most gruesome fashion but is so scared to speak out because, society would most likely, rather than call out the perpetrator for his crimes, turn on her, the victim, for being a victim. She could either be accused being too loose or for being the reason why the rapist was lured in the first place. You hear questions like, ‘what was she wearing sef? Wetin she find go there?’  So, eventually, the victim becomes a double victim while the perpetrator is left unchallenged to continue with his crimes. In other scenarios, assuming the perpetrator is caught and cannot effectively wriggle out of his crimes, you see family members going to meet family members of the victim, asking to ‘settle the matter’, which in this case, means, not allowing the law take its course, and attempting to use monetary inducements to salve the emotional trauma of the victim. And often times, these kinds of arrangements are supported by law enforcement agents who have been brought in to effect punishment on the crime and the criminal.

It is therefore deductive to say, the prevalence of rape and sexual molestation of the girl child enjoys the unwitting support of the most of us. From family members who try to ‘settle’ the victim, to the tendency of society to further victimise the victim through stigmatization, the girl-child almost stands no chance of true protection from sexual savagery.  What is more, with the recent passage of the anti-rape bill (as the Sexual Offences Bill is also known), the provisions contained in the section dealing with the age of consent to have sex leaves much to be desired, hence the public outcry that greeted it once the details were made public, most notably, from the Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka. The bill stipulates amongst other things, a life-imprisonment for any individual found guilty of rape or sexual intercourse with children UNDER 11 YEARS.

This, if signed by the president, will defy the international standard code of law which puts the age of consent at 18 and also, the provisions of Section 1 of the Child Rights Act which provided that “in every action concerning a child, the best interest of the child shall be the primary consideration.”  Perhaps, the odious bill drew its inspiration from practices prevalent in the Northern part of Nigeria where children are usually married off  at a tender age, a classical example being that of a senator and former governor of Zamfara State, Ahmed Sanni Yerima who got married to a 14 year old Egyptian girl. The controversy generated by the marriage prompted officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and other Related Matters, NAPTIP, to wade into the matter.

If the laws which are meant to protect (most notably), the girl child can be this trifled with, then, it stands to reason that society has yet to do its duty to this vulnerable class. Enacting stringent laws that have no place for sentiments, religious nor cultural, as well as, enforcing the tenets of those laws in protecting the girl child, is a duty we all owe to ourselves, irrespective of whichever side of the divide we fall. Victim or Perpetrator !

By Olayinka Odumosu & Jide Odi

The Girl Child

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Rhoda Samuel (not real names) stares at you, eyes oscillating between vacant and shifty. You sense she is tense. You sense she is scared. When she speaks, you can almost hear the hopelessness drip from her voice. Her pain reaches out, almost threatening to engulf with its profundity. Rhoda is orphaned, pregnant and HIV positive. She is 21 years old. Losing both parents in quick succession and left to the care of uncles and aunties who really cared less what happened to the young woman thrust into their care by the hands of fate, her future was up in the air. With two older sisters, one serving as a domestic maid somewhere far-flung, and the other, hurriedly married off to a far older man as an escape from the biting poverty, Rhoda was left largely to her own devices. Barely having enough to get by, she had been forced to do with whatever jobs she could find to survive, last of which was serving as a waitress in a motel. Suffice it to say, the circumstantial combination of a vulnerable girl in a motel under the lecherous attentions of inebriated men was never going to go in her favour. Today, pregnant, HIV positive and with very little education, her chances of a relatively decent future appear to have been brought to an abrupt halt. Bridget Jang is 15-years old, not an orphan, but a domestic maid. She says she was a Basic Five student in Jos before her uncle brought her to work as a maid for a madam in Lagos, with her parents fully complicit in the whole arrangement. In her words, “It was my uncle, David, who asked me to come to Lagos. I cannot remember the date. He said I should come to Lagos to stay with a madam. He put me in a bus. He gave the driver the madam’s phone number. When we arrived, he called her and she came to pick me. I was staying in her house. I washed clothes, plates and cleaned the house. She has two children. I was not collecting any money. She used to beat me. That was why I ran away. She told me the work I was doing for her was rubbish. She wanted to beat me again; I then ran away. I don’t know anywhere; I was walking up and down the area. It was someone who took me to the police. In Jos, my father and mother knew I was coming to Lagos. I have one elder brother and one sister. My father sells clothes, while my mother is a fashion designer. I want to return to Jos. I want to go back to my parents. I want to continue my schooling.” Reports suggest her parents are avoiding contact with the police for fear of arrest; meanwhile, Bridget, has been left to the care of social services pending when conditions improve and she can go back home, hopefully. Perhaps, one could say her case is luckier as providence has ensured a somewhat redeemable future for her. Both cases, as in many others, underscore the societal challenges faced by the girl child in her quest for a better life. In Nigeria, care for the girl child has mostly always been a back burner affair, with preference given to the boy child who ironically, has been better positioned by creation and societal standards to survive easier without that extra attention. Girls, though decidedly weaker and more susceptible to the vagaries of society, are often discriminated against in access to educational opportunity, good food and nutrition. In a male dominated world, the girl child is disadvantaged even before she drops from her mother’s womb. They carry the heavy burden of farm and domestic chores, are victims of sexual molestation, married off at early ages, expected to accept objectification, and in cases of family misfortune and conflict, are the worst affected victims.  Unfortunately, as tender and needing attention as they are, there isn’t nearly enough done to protect them. Statistics say, at least, four out of every five females have been sexually molested, successfully or unsuccessfully before the age of 15, either by family members or strangers. Discriminatory laws which put the girl child at risk abound all over Africa with no safety net to guarantee them a safer future. However, must it continue to be so? Must society keep quiet in the face of this gender injustice that makes the female child no more than an object of society’s whim? Where are those to stand in the gap? As we continue this series, we shall be discussing the various needs of the girl child and what society must do to upturn the worrisome trend of deliberate neglect and unconcern. I shall be sharing insights on how we may give her a better deal, making her a happier and better protected member of society, while hoping it pricks our consciences from mouthing less rhetoric into taking decisive actions in looking out for the protection and well-being of the young females around us. Until then, go out of your way to show that unhappy girl-child some much needed love today!

By Olayinka Odumosu & Jide Odi