KIND and DFID support women in politics – KIND this week

This week in collaboration with the Department for International Development (DFID) South West Nigeria Regional office, we at KIND  hosted a conference on women’s participation in the upcoming local government elections in the South West region.

The program held on 11th and 12th of January 2017 at Ibis Hotel, 23 Toyin street, Ikeja.

DFID is a United Kingdom government department responsible for administering overseas aid. The goal of the department is “to promote sustainable development and eliminate world poverty”.  In Nigeria, DFID funds many organisations who are working to end poverty through open competition.

Experts and gender development activists have continually advocated for the active participation of women in governance and other levels in the society. The aims of the conference and workshop included:

  1. To advocate and develop strategies that would work as sponsorship vehicles to ensure the target of greater participation of women in the coming local government elections.
  2. To engage with a wide range of political parties (multi-party system) towards a greater representation of women in every electoral process.
  3. Increase the tempo of mentoring for women politicians.
  4. Solicit support from other women’s groups, particularly women in business, towards a solid financial base for women politicians aspiring for elective positions.

Below are photos from the conference:

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An Evening with Hafsat Abiola

Tonight, there will be a gathering of friends to honour Hafsat Abiola on her work in advancing women’s rights in Nigeria, by 6:30 to 8:30pm (New York Time).

It’s an evening to learn her incredible story of overcoming adversity and using her experience and voice to champion change.

This session with friends will be held at 525 Broome Street #6 – (between Thompson and Sullivan), SoHo, NYC.download

Fostering an Improved Education Sector

IMG_20141104_172544_857Following the GPP Contract Signing between KIND and the Japanese Government for the construction of a Block of 6 Classrooms with 4 Toilets, Provision of 138 sets of desk and chairs for the students, and 7 tables and 8 chairs for the teachers, which was carried out at the Office of the Governor of Ogun State on the 4th of November 2014, work has already commenced at the site of the school.

The project which is coming as at a time when the world is reviewing the Millennium Development Goals, which includes access to education for all, is being carried out under the watch of the Office of the Special Assistant to the Ogun State Governor on MDGs, the Imoro Community Residents Association and the school’s Parent-Teacher Association.

On completion, this project would help to reduce the overcrowding in the classes available now, which has become highly uncomfortable for learning as a result of heat and limited space. In the words of the Head Teacher, “we are glad that finally Imoro Community Nursery and Primary School has been remembered for a project such as this, and we are looking forward to the completion”. Imoro Community Nursery and Primary School is located at Igijo in Shagamu Local Government Area of Ogun State.

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KIND/YV4C Ambassador participates in the Governorship Aspirant Q&A Pally

With the elections really heating up, the need to create an interactive process between the aspirants and the voting populace has birthed continuous and consistent public fora and interviews on various platforms, including the social media.

Most recently, our Purple Brand Ambassador of the Young Voices for Change “Safe Spaces” Programme from the Lagos State Polytechnic, Mr Godwin Edigie, was a member of the young panel that interviewed the governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party in Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, over the Google Hangout platform.

His key questions on Education and Agriculture within the state, indicated his understanding of important issues that affects that youth, of which the governorship aspirant needed to elaborate his agenda for those sectors. KIND is glad to have an alumnus of one of her training actively involved in the electioneering process for the good of the youths in the state.

Click to view interview…Jimi Agbaje 2015 Campaign Google+ Hangout

The Supreme Price screens at LABAF

IMG_20141116_171656_746The Supreme Price was again screened at the just concluded 16th Lagos Book and Art Festival on the 16th of November, 2014. The Supreme Price which is a feature length film by Joanna Lipper, traces the struggle of the late Kudirat Abiola to challenge the impunity of the military regime; ostensibly spotlighting the activities of the pro-democracy movement of the time.

discussThe Lagos Book and Art Festival which is a yearly event is designed to promote the development of the literary arts, had The Supreme Price as its only screen event this year. The screening of The Supreme Price had an attendance of over 100 art enthusiasts, comprising both the young and old from various works of life. After the screening, there was a panel discussion on the issues surrounding the pro-democracy movement and the importance of documenting Nigeria’s history. Among the panelist were Mr. Femi Odugbemi, a filmmaker; Mrs. Joke Silva, veteran Actress; Tosin Otudeko, Art Manager; Ed Keazor, a Lawyer and Historian; and the panel was anchored by Tosin Fajj.

Other personalities at the event include Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, foremost Civil Right activist during the pro-democracy movement; Mr. Makin Soyinka; and many others.

GPP Contract Signing by KIND and Japanese Government

IMG_20141104_172544_857On Tuesday, 4th of November, 2014 at the Office of the Governor of Ogun State, the Executive Director of KIND, Mrs. Amy Oyekunle and the Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, H.E. Mr. Ryuichi Shoji, signed the Japanese Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) for the construction of a Block of 6 Classrooms with 4 Toilets, Provision of 138 sets of desks and chairs for the students, and 7 tables and 8 chairs for the teachers.

The project which would be undertaken at Imoro Community Nursery/Primary School in Sagamu Local Government Area of Ogun State, was a GGP grant which KIND applied for in February and out of 200 proposals across Nigeria, KINDs proposal was selected in July. In the words of the Executive Director of KIND, “we are extremely excited about the prospect of working with the embassy of Japan and the opportunity of further strengthening our existing relationship with the Ogun State government, Office of the Special Adviser on MDGs, Sagamu LG and other bodies involved.”

This event had in attendance the Governor of Ogun State, H.E. Senator Ibikunle Amosun, ably represented by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ganiyu Olatunde, Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, H.E. Mr. Ryuichi Shoji, The Commissioner of Education of Ogun State, Barr. Segun Odubela, The Special Adviser to the Governor of Ogun State on MDG, Mrs. Hafsat Abiola-Costello, The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education, The Executive Director of Kudirat Initiative for Democracy, Mrs. Amy Oyekunle, The Vice Chairman of Sagamu LG, amongst others.

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SPEECH OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF KIND AT THE CONTRACT SIGNING EVENT

“Good Afternoon, Your Excellency, The Governor of Ogun State Senator Ibikunle Amosun, H.E. Ambassador Ryuichi Shoji, the Ambassador of Japan and representatives from the Japanese embassy, gentlemen of the Press, permit me to stand on existing protocol.

On behalf of the board and staff of KIND, I welcome and thank you for making time to attend this contract signing ceremony between the Embassy of Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Project (GGP) and the Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND) for the construction of a 6 – Block Classroom/toilets for the Imoro-Ogijo Community Nursery and Primary School located in Sagamu LG in Ogun State.

KIND applied for the GGP grant in late February and out of 200 proposals across Nigeria, our proposal for the construction of 6 blocks of classroom in Imoro Community Nursery/Primary School in Sagamu LGA of Ogun State was selected in July. We are extremely excited about the prospect of working with the embassy of Japan and the opportunity to further strengthening our relationship with the Ogun State government, Office of the Special Adviser on MDG’s, Sagamu LG and other bodies involved.

We have had a long and fruitful relationship with Ogun State as a whole and Sagamu in particular. In 2012, Sagamu was one of the 8 local government areas selected to work with on the “Bridging the gap between government and citizens empowerment through engagement” a project funded by the social development civil society fund of the World Bank and Open Society for West Africa (OSIWA). Through this project, KIND trained local government personnel on community engagement and social accountability and facilitated platforms of engagement for community members and local government.

KIND also worked extensively with youths of Ogun State on Youth Entrepreneurship and Leadership programme called YouthTrade – an initiative to complement the efforts of government to address youth unemployment and create sustainable jobs. Our work has allowed us to become intimately conversant on the needs of the community thus prompting our submission of a proposal for grants assistance for grassroots human security project (GGP) to the Embassy of Japan.

We are convinced that this, like our other projects will strengthen individuals, organizations, communities and eventually our thriving democracy.

We thank the Embassy of Japan and the Ogun State Governor for this opportunity.”

 

SPEECH OF H.E. MR. RYUICHI SHOJI, AMBASSADOR OF JAPAN TO NIGERIA AT THE CONTRACT SIGNING EVENT

“Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Hafsat Abiola-Costello, Founder of Kudirat Initiative for Democracy and Special Adviser on MDGs to the Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Amy Oyekunle, Executive Director of Kudirat Initiative for Democracy, Representatives of the Ogun State Government, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon. I am most grateful to all of you for attending today’s signing ceremony. I would also like to express my deepest gratitude to His Excellency Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Executive Governor of the State, for being here with us to witness this auspicious occasion.

Today, we are having the signing ceremony for “The Project for the Construction of Local Government Education Authority Imoro Community Nursery/Primary School in Sagamu Local Government Area in Ogun State”. The project is designed in response to the request from Kudirat Initiative for Democracy, which was founded by Mrs. Hafsat Abiola-Costello, Special Adviser to the Ogun State Governor. At the Imoro Community Nursery/Primary School, pupils are studying in congested classrooms with many in classrooms which are still under construction. Through the project, 1 block of 6 classrooms and 4 toilets, 138 sets of chairs and tables for the pupils, 7 tables and 8 chairs for teachers will be provided.

Ladies and Gentlemen, each time I visit Ogun State I feel the state moving forward. The dynamism which is transforming Nigeria is tangible here. Given the current economic situation in Nigeria, we believe that growth led by the private sector should be given the driving seat in Nigeria’s economic development. Mindful of this, the Federal Government, States and Japan as development partner, are collaborating their efforts to improve the hard and soft infrastructure and create a better environment for the business sector.

With regards to creating a business friendly environment, Ogun State is a case in point, as attested to by the recent ‘Doing Business in Nigeria’ report, prepared by the World Bank. Yes, growth is important, but growth should be inclusive. Everybody is to be made to participate in and benefit from growth. That’s why we need to make extra efforts to provide decent opportunities for children, boys and girls, to be able to fully explore their potentials.

I happily take note that the Ogun State Government has been serious in providing better education for children. One of the notable policies set by Ogun State, as I understand, is “Affordable Qualitative Education” which includes promoting free education, improving the quality of teachers, renovating dilapidated classrooms and constructing new classrooms blocks. The policy is in line with a legacy of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who struggled to receive education in his childhood due to financial problems. Chief Awolow’s legacy coincides with the belief we Japanese hold. Whe Japan opened up its doors to the Western world, one of the first things it did was to ensure that every boy and girl was going to school. These efforts should be sustained and accelerated in Nigeria. I believe that the project we are going to sign will be a modest but important contribution to support what the Ogun State Government is doing in this regards.

I am convinced that the project will put a big smile on the faces of boys and girls, who in the future will certainly be important contributors to the nation building.”