The Executive Director, Women Environmental Programme (WEP), Priscilla Achakpa, has received another award in addition to her catalogues of awards.
This award was presented to her during the High Level Symposium on SDG 6 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, which held from 9th – 11th August, 2016. Over a thousand people including government officials, water policy experts, businesses, and civil society representatives gathered to discuss how to implement SDG 6.
This award is in recognition of her laudable contributions at national, regional and global levels to ensuring that no one is left behind in access to water and sanitation.
Priscilla Achakpa is an Ashoka Fellow, and currently the National Coordinator, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, Nigeria; and the Regional Focal Point, West and Central Africa for GEF-CSOs Network.
When we launched WEP Volunteer and Mentorship programme in 2018, little did we know it will record such impacts it has recorded.
We were inspired by the new vision of WEP in her 2018-2027 strategic plan of “a world where the lives of women and youth around the globe are positively transformed” and decided to create a programme that will lead to the positive transformation of the lives of youth.
This birthed the WEP Volunteer and Mentorship programme with the goal to assist communities address development challenges through volunteer service. The programme has the following specific objectives:
Equip volunteers with community development skills
Provide guidance to volunteers on designing and implementing community development projects
Assist volunteers to build a career in the development sector
The programme had started barely 3 months, when we were still at the introductory stage, that participants started pouring in testimonies about how their eyes had been opened to things they never imagined. The screenshots of WhatsApp discussions below explain more:
At the end of the programme, more testimonies came in from participants on how impactful the WEP Volunteer and Mentorship programme has being.
Read testimonies of some of the participants in the programme below:
“While my employment with the Federal Civil Service Commission was terminated, I decided to look for volunteering jobs particularly in areas of environment to keep up to date with happenings as I needed to update my knowledge as per environment because I had already developed passion for its sustainability.
I had known WEP during my HSE induction in 2017 and I decided to look further on what they are up to while I started following WEP on all her social media platforms as well as a subscription for newsletter or updates as the case may be hoping for my volunteering opportunity to be actualised. After few months, I read a tweet from WEP handle on Twitter and Facebook about an upcoming volunteer and mentorship program which I quickly applied for as it was an opportunity I had long waited for. I was lucky to be among the few mentees that were shortlisted.
The WEP mentorship program has helped me build my self-confidence and taught me the need to take action even if starting as a lone voice, it has helped me understand that volunteering entails basic fundamental skills and knowledge that needed to be critically explored before applying as a volunteer and what it entails to be a team leader.
I used to believe the national budget passage does not have any significant effect on me but, now, I know that the comprehensive knowledge of the budget is significant to any developmental project to be embarked on. Now I can write a detailed project proposal as well as apply as a knowledgeable volunteer.
One thing I like specially about the WEP Volunteer and Mentorship program is the unique approach of mentoring which was well detailed with participants interactive sessions and practicable examples. The experience has widened my horizon which I found time worthy.
I have started recommending WEP Volunteer and Mentorship program to family and friends as the impact of the program has reflected positively in my relationship with people and the environment.
Towards the end of the mentorship program, my employment with the federal civil service commission was reinstated and I have been performing on the job beyond expectation, also, I have been recently contacted by a national government organization on climate change to be part of their volunteers team. All these was made possible by WEP volunteer and mentorship training which was made available to us at no cost.
My appreciation goes to the founder of WEP, the brain behind the mentorship concept, the facilitators, all staff of WEP, greater heights by God’s grace. Thank you WEP, I will always make you proud.” Abiodun Fatima Animashaun.
“My name is Doom Torhee. I joined the WEP volunteer training in the 10th month in 2018, but I must say it has been a great journey. I gained a lot on how to use the TOC approach in project design which I am applying in designing my campaign against child abuse in 2019.
In the course of my training program, I was given the opportunity by WEP to attend the Protection of Civilian (POC) training course, organized by the Nigerian Army in Jaji. This course has exposed me to the UN guidelines on mission projects and the importance of protecting the rights of human beings, who are the core components of every project we embark on.
I would like to use this opportunity to appreciate the leadership and staff of WEP for this great initiative and for giving their time and resources to empower volunteers especially women and youths in Nigeria. I hope this effort will grow and we will make you proud.”
“WEP made my 2018 very meaningful in no small measure.
My dream of pursuing a career in the development /humanitarian sector got rejuvenated at WEP.
The volunteer/mentoring programme has indeed equipped me with more confidence, the resolve to make a difference.
I met and made new friends. Learnt new skills and can now take on more developmental challenges.
I can now initiate a community development project from start to finish with monitoring and evaluation. The fun aspect can’t be forgotten.
Thank you WEP, this knowledge will go a long way.
My name is Micheal Orkuma Goon and I’m proud to have partaken in this programme.”
“WEP Volunteer and Mentorship programme was very impactful, it helped me secure a contract job presently which I’m doing, it’s a project which is themed Building a culture of Pro Bono project in Nigeria where three parties are in partnership which is the Nigerian Bar Association, Justice Research institute, and Open Society Initiative for West Africa.
The project is in its second phase which I’m privileged to be amongst the team in Abuja and we are overseeing about five other states which are Sokoto, Kaduna, Kebbi, Lagos and Osun.” Adzege Stephanie Doofan
“Knowledge they say is power and I have been empowered thanks to the Women Environmental Programme (WEP) .There was a time, I thought it was alright to sit from afar and determine a communities’ needs but I was wrong. WEP taught me to go close and relate with the community to decide their actual need.
Through the WEP mentorship programme, my skill and knowledge in volunteering, stakeholder mapping, project design, community needs assessment, monitoring and evaluation, community development, proposal development etc has improved greatly.
I am so grateful to WEP for this wonderful opportunity.” Nguvan Mercy Agaigbe
“The WEP volunteering and mentorship program inspired me to believe more in myself and my abilities. This training inspired me to successfully design, manage and execute a 10days peer mentorship program for teenage refugees from southern Cameroon, through different trainings, cross-cultural interactions and capacity building tasks. It is a life changing experience how my little effort can change the world by volunteering and championing the Sustainable development goals (SDGs).” Agber kwaghdoo Sussan
“In today’s globally competitive environment, creativity has become the watchword for individuals and national success. Many non-governmental organizations are providing support programs, skills and knowledge to potential youths who aspire to be leaders in different spheres of life. WEP happens to be one of such that has created a conducive environment for volunteer youths to develop themselves towards achieving greater heights
The WEP volunteer program has enabled me think like a developer, carry out advocacy, conceive, implement and manage a project. Before now l had limited knowledge but with the training undertaken in the past months has clearly proven that one can improve their skills, rediscover their talent and have a zeal to contribute great towards societal development.”
Thank you WEP and God bless.” VAJIME GRACE
The volunteers will soon unveil the community development projects they have conceived. We at WEP wish all of you well as you go out there to become ambassadors of community development.
The year 2017 was a period of transition and progress on many fronts for the Women Environmental Programme (WEP). As a way of projecting into the year 2017, WEP organized a two-day retreat for her Staff and Board of Directors to review her projects/activities of the previous year, to share success stories, lessons learned and to plan ahead towards attaining successful implementation of projects and activities and strengthening our global presence. WEP recorded a significant stride in the history of her existence with the celebration of her 20th anniversary tagged “WEP @ 20, celebration of service to humanity.” As at 2017, WEP had reached over 20,000,000 lives globally with her innovative and actionable initiatives. Download and read our report here – WEP’s 2017 ANNUAL REPORT AND AUDITED ACCOUNTS
WEP has provided sub-grants of 1000 Euros each, under the Women2030 project, to 11 women and gender CSOs in Nigeria to implement activities that promote gender equality and contribute to the overall attainment of SDGs in the country.
The organizations and activities supported are:
Centre for 21st Century Issues (C21st): Capacity building of policy makers and women’s CSOs and awareness raising on climate change and the UNFCCC’s Gender Action Plan (GAP) in Lagos, Ogun and Oyo States of Nigeria. The aim is for policy makers to integrate gender issues in climate actions and for the women’s CSOs to have the skills to push for this to happen.
Centre for Development Support Initiatives (CEDSI): ICT skills training for boys and girls at Government Secondary School Oginigba, Rivers State through setting up a mini computer laboratory in the school and conducting ICT skills training.
Echoes of Women in Africa Initiative (ECOWA): Advocacyfor a gender and equal opportunities law in Lagos State to increase participation of women in politics.
Women and Youth Environmental Safety and Empowerment Organization (EWAY): EWAY is teaching 10 women from Kuje and Kadokuchi communities of Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) and Kuje Area Council respectively, upcycling skills to convert waste plastics into handbags and other products which they can sell and make money and at the same time clean the environment.
Fresh and Young Brains Development Initiative (FYBIN): FYBIN is empowering 3 youths (2 females and 1 male) from Mpape community of Abuja in poultry production. The youths have been trained and given starter packs to set up their poultry farms. FYBIN is also running social media campaigns to raise awareness on issues of gender, vulnerability and SDGs.
Gender Perspectives and Social Development Center (GPSDC): GPSDC is advocating for inclusion of people with disabilities in governance in Anambra State of Nigeria in Urum (Awka North),Osumenyi (Nnewi South) and Ukwulu (Dunukofia) Local Government Areas covering the 3 senatorial zones.
Kwande Sisters Foundation (KSF): KSF is training 4 women and girls on tailoring skills in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State.
Murna Foundation: Murna Foundation is working to strengthen advocacy on gender and women’s engagement in achieving SDGs goal 5 in Katsina State of Nigeria specifically in the following Local Government Areas – Daura, Malumfashi, Batagarawa, Rimi, Kankia and Kaita
Niger Delta Women’s Movement for Peace and Development (NDWPD): NDWPD is carrying out Capacity building and skills development in Catering, Soap making and Coconut oil production for 30 women in Isoko North, Oshimili North and Warri South Local Government Areas of Delta State
Organized Center for Empowerment and Advocacy in Nigeria (OCEAN): OCEAN has proposed to build capacities of policy makers and CSOs in Plateau State of Nigeria on mainstreaming SDGs in policies and programmes of the state.
Ziongate Empowerment Initiative for the Less Privileged (ZEIP): ZEIP is advocating for policy and law on inclusive education in Kano State of Nigeria.
Build capacity of women’s and gender-focused civil society organizations on planning, monitoring and implementation of the SDGs/post 2015 agenda and the climate agreement.
Create awareness at all levels of gender-equitable best practices and progress of national post-2015 SDG plans
Ensure more gender-responsive SDGs/post 2015 plans with participation of women and women’s organizations.
In the same vein, WEP has also provided sub-grants of N600,000 each to 8 Civil Society Organizations – 4 each in Zamfara and Benue States, under the project “Ensuring Effective Implementation of Programmes, Policies and Legislations, that Contribute Towards Achieving Gender Equality in Nigeria by 2030.”
The organizations are:
Environment and Climate Change Amelioration Initiative (ECCAI), Nigerian Association of Women in Agriculture (NAWIA), Initiative for Women’s Health Development and Right Protection (WRAHI) and Community Links and Human Empowerment Initiative (CLHEI) from Benue State. Others are Life Helpers Initiative (LHI), Voluntary Aid Initiative (VAI), Millennium Development Centre (MDC) and Future Hope Foundation (FHF) from Zamfara State.
The organizations are expected to:
Conduct interactive meetings with women in selected rural communities in theses states to identify their priority needs and push for their inclusion in the States or National Budget
Monitor implementation of selected capital projects in the States and National Budgets to ensure they deliver positive results for the youth, women and children
The project,“Ensuring Effective Implementation of Programmes, Policies and Legislations, that Contribute Towards Achieving Gender Equality in Nigeria by 2030” is supported by the Kingdom of Netherlands and is being implemented in Benue and Zamfara States over a period of 5 years (November 2016- December 2020), targeting Legislators, Legislative Aides, States’ Executives; Civil Society Organizations; Traditional and Religious Leaders.
The objectives of this project include:
Advocate for policies and legislations that promote women participation at all levels of decision making, and remove all obstacles (social, political, cultural and economic) hindering women’s empowerment and participation in decision making and infringing on their rights.
Ensure effective implementation of programmes and projects through capacity building of CSOs, budget monitoring and information sharing.
Raise awareness amongst stakeholders on the fundamental rights of women
Women Environmental Programme (WEP), on 27 June, 2018 at The Consort Luxury Suites, Plot 799 Kaura District, Abuja, organized a policy consultation on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This policy consultation was part of the activities of the Women2030 project, which created a platform for different stakeholders to discuss Nigeria’s SDGs’ plans, policies and programmes, and make necessary recommendations that will help the country realize the SDGs. Stakeholders at the event were drawn from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government, private sector, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and the media.
The Keynote address at the event which was titled: “Funding Implementation of SDGs in Nigeria,” was presented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals (SSAP SDGs), Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, who was represented by Mr. Yahaya Hamza. Princess Adejoke explained to the participants the different funding sources available for the implementation of SDGs in Nigeria. She also highlighted the strategies employed by her office as well as the different programmes being implemented by the office towards achieving SDGs.
According her, the funding sources for implementing SDGs in Nigeria are: “Funding from Annual Budgets: Through partnership with Ministry of Budget and National Planning, SDGs are mainstreamed into long term and medium term development plans e.g. the SDGs core areas such as energy, food security, agriculture, infrastructural development, industry, macroeconomic stability and inclusive growth have been integrated into the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (NERGP). At the sub-national levels, the SDGs are being mainstreamed into State development plans. The MDAs align these sectoral plans with the annual budget and work plan for resource allocation and implementation.
Debt Relief Gains: The Debt Relief Gains (DRG) is a robust financing strategy that emerged when Nigeria obtained debt relief from the Paris Club of Creditors. The DRG funds were administered by the then Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs and was utilized to scale up high impact pro-poor interventions geared towards achieving the MDGs. Unfortunately, the DRG funds are not available for now but the SDGs Office is strongly advocating at relevant quarters, for the reintroduction of the DRG funds for SDGs interventions and activities.
The Conditional Grants Scheme: The Conditional Grants Scheme (CGS) was introduced in2007 as a vehicle for fostering inter-governmental collaboration towards scaling up efforts for achieving the MDGs. To prioritize the SDGs implementation at the sub-national levels, this innovative financing framework has been adopted. The CGS is being used to incentivize the domestication of the SDGs and will leverage investments from the sub-national governments through an equal; counterpart contributory arrangement that ensures high impact interventions in the social, economic and environmental aspects of development is delivered to poor rural communities.” Other sources she said include: The United Nations Development Assistance Framework and the Green Bonds.
After the Keynote address, participants were taken through the 17 goals and the 169 targets and how the SDGs could be mainstreamed in policies and programmes of organizations by Linda Akpami, Environment Consultant.
This was followed by the presentation by WEP on the preliminary results of the assessment she carried out on specific goals and targets of the SDGs in 11 states of Nigeria: Lagos, Delta, Rivers, Anambra, Benue, FCT, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kano, Yobe and Katsina. The assessment sought information against the following SDGs and targets: Goal 1, targets 1.2 and 1.4; Goal 4, target 4a; Goal 5, target 5.5; Goal 6 targets 6.1 and 6.2; Goal 7, target 7.1; and Goal 13, target 13.2. However, only the quantitative results for goals 1,4, 5, 6 and 7 were presented at the policy consultation.
The result of the assessment revealed the following:
High poverty rates across the states assessed as income levels of respondents with highest percentage fell within the income category of N1-N10,000 which translates to the fact that most respondents live on less than 1 USD a day.
Many schools assessed had no infrastructure for equitable and quality education: Apart from FCT, less than 50% of schools in the other states had computers for use by teachers, pupils/students. Averagely, 90% of schools assessed had no infrastructure and materials adapted to the needs of children with disabilities. Similarly, many schools had no electricity, drinking water sources, toilets, and handwashing facilities.
Major drinking water sources of respondents were found to be borehole, sachet water and wells across all the states as most respondents had no access to public pipe borne water. Similarly, an average of 10% of respondents across all the states assessed had no toilets in their households.
An average of 80% of respondents had no access to public electricity supply, while over 60% across all the states depended on kerosene, firewood and charcoal as their major sources of cooking energy.
None of the states assessed had a woman as a governor. The states also had by far, fewer number of women in their Houses of Assembly and as Commissioners than men.
The participants at the consultation proffered the following major recommendations to be implemented if Nigeria must achieve the SDGs by 2030:
It is important that all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the government align their activities with the targets of their relevant SDGs and draw up actionable plans that will be implemented over time to achieve the SDGs targets. Until the MDAs work in line with the set targets of the SDGs, the country will be far from achieving the SDGs at the appropriate time.
Governments at all levels should ensure all private and public schools are inclusive and have infrastructure for equitable and qualitative education which gives access to education to both the abled and children with disabilities.
Governments at all levels should increase investment in renewable energy and create an environment that will open doors for more players (local and foreign) in renewable energy sector, thereby making as many communities as possible have access to mini-grids and off-grids energy systems as well as clean and affordable cooking energy.
Ministries and Agencies of Government responsible for provision of water to the citizens should make concrete plans to ensure more Nigerians have access to portable water by expanding their distribution networks and exploiting more, the abundant water resources in the country for provision of portable water to the citizens.
Government should commit to implementing the Affirmative Action in the National Gender Policy for more involvement and meaningful participation of women in public decisions. While it is recommended that the Lawmakers translate the Affirmative Action into a law, the Executives should be guided by the National Gender Policy in their appointments so as to achieve gender balance.
Women Environmental Programme (WEP) organized a 3-day retreat for staff and Board Members of the organization from 7 – 10 January, 2018, at Royal Choice Inn, Central Area, Abuja, Nigeria. As it is customary to WEP, at the beginning of every year, Staff and Board Members of the organization convene for a retreat where the organization reflects on her activities for the previous year and plan for the new year.
The 2018 staff retreat was a unique one as WEP used it to plan for commencement of implementation of her new 10-year Strategic Plan, which runs from 2018 – 2027. The development of this new Strategic Plan was supported by the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF). The newly produced WEP’s Resource Mobilization Strategy, also supported by AWDF, was presented to the Board Members and approved. WEP’s new Strategic Plan provides for International Board of Directors as well as National Board of Directors in her countries of operation. With this provision, some notable international women’s rights and gender activists – Sascha Gabizon from the Netherlands, Winnie Lichuma from Kenya and Yuyun Ismawati from Indonesia – have joined the International Board. Sascha and Winnie were at the retreat to share their wealth of experience with staff. Other Board Members at the retreat were: Yakubu Aliyu, Professor David Ker, Professor Kabiru Isyaku, Dr. Janeth Asagh, Dr. Reubem Ibaishwa, Anne-Marie Abaagu and Dr. Priscilla Achakpa, the Exceutive Director.
After the Staff retreat, WEP hosted her partners to a new-year dinner at Royal Choice Inn, Abuja to appreciate the support to her work received from the partners over the years. The partners were drawn from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government, Civil Society Organizations, United Nations Agencies and the Media.
WEP also presented awards to some of her Staff for outstanding performance in year 2017. The awards were: Award for Outstanding Performance Through Innovative Ideas, presented to Mr John Baaki Terzungwe; Award for Being Excellent Team Leader presented to Mr. Cliff Gai; Award for Being Proactive, presented to Ms Damaris Uja; and Award for Dedication to Work presented to Mr. Barau Bature.
WEP wishes to engage the services of Non-Governmental Organizations (CSOs)/Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) to support in delivering on the objectives and the goal of her Kingdom of Netherlands-supported project.
Specifically, the CSOs/CBOs will:
Conduct interactive sessions with women in rural communities of Benue and Zamfara States to determine their priorities and push for their inclusion in national and or state budgets.
Monitor for effective implementation of some capital projects in the states and national budgets to ensure they deliver the intended positive results for women and girls.
Design activities to identify and leverage on existing structures in the states
One of the pillars of Women Environmental Programme (WEP) is Peace and Security. The organization works assiduously to update her staff on current issues.
Nguvese Tracy Ogbonna a Program Officer at WEP participated in a two-week course on Protection of Civilians at the Martin Luther Agwai International Institute for Leadership and Peace Keeping Center, Jaji – Kaduna state.
This course focused on The United Nations mandate to Protect Civilians due to the high risk civilians face during conflict situations. Some topics that were covered, were introduction to peace keeping, mission planning, tools to conduct peace keeping operations, UN operational concept on protection, case studies, conflict mapping, first aid and child protection. Some table top exercises were about planning a peace keeping operation in a simulated country called Carana Republic. The course ran from 1st to 16th September, 2017.
WEP participated in a one week intensive workshop on “Delivering Effective WASH Training” organised by United Purpose, an international development charity organization in collaboration with the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND), a non-profit making organization concerned with building the service delivery and engagement capacities of governments, civil society organizations, and communities in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
The workshop which took place from 14th – 19th August, 2017 at PIND’s conference hall in Warri, Delta state, was aimed to provide participants with the knowledge and skills to facilitate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) trainings.
During this workshop, participants built core skills in the areas of communication, instruction and facilitation of trainings. They were equally equipped with the basic concepts in lesson design. On completing the training workshop, the participants are expected to be able to facilitate pre-existing lessons focused on water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and make small adjustments to lessons to tailor them for specific target audience.
Amazemba Theophilus Ternenge, WEP’s Program Officer (WASH) participated in this training.
In the current development space, funding for core humanitarian interventions are constrained by economic recession, changing priorities by Governments at the national, regional and global levels. Regardless of the availability of funds we have the moral responsibility to ensure that development challenges are addressed to build resilience of communities and prevent humanitarian crisis.
To this end African Women Development Fund (AWDF) organised a Resource Mobilization Boot Camp for 19 Civil Society Organisations from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Uganda and Zimbabwe, from 27th – 30th August, 2017 at Tomerik Hotel in Accra, Ghana. The boot camp was organised to build capacities of organisations on resource mobilization as well as develop a strategy to guide resource mobilization activities. The Resource Mobilization Boot Camp compliments the on-going review of WEP’s governance systems aimed at providing strategic direction to fund raising.
Due to the shrinking funding space, organizations were advised to broaden their funding base to reflect a variety of revenue streams that include funding from donors, corporate sponsors, public sector subsidies, charitable contributions, personal investments and other funding or investment mechanisms. This will allow for a diversification of funding sources so as not to threaten the effective implementation of critical programs that improve the lives of their beneficiaries.
The contextual situation of CSOs environment was assessed using the strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis. Using the Growth, Involvement, Visibility, Efficiency and Stability (GIVES) model, participants identified the most suitable approach to fund raising.
At the end of the training, each participant developed a zero draft Resource Mobilization Strategy for the period of 5 years to provide strategic direction for their organisations having been equipped with the technical skills to support Resource Mobilization in their organisations.