Oct 6, 2017

Revival

“WHEN IS A REVIVAL NEEDED?
WHEN CARELESSNESS AND UNCONCERN
KEEP THE PEOPLE ASLEEP”.

 

As we mentioned in our last report, Educate a Girl (EAG), Nigeria, #EAGNigeria is about giving girls in need the ability to transform their lives, enter the workforce & have a voice.

In our previous reports we have shared many stories about girls that how their lives were changed after #EAGNigeria and just like that today we are sharing story of Amarachi, who is also one of the #EAGNigeria scholar and whose life was transformed completely after the training.

She is now working at Sunrise FM & ETV channel 50. She also mentor girls in different schools and organize events to reawaken the cultural values.

Her sonorous voice and captivating stagecraft are charming and thrilling. Anyone listening and watching her perform for the first time would wish for an encore. Amarachi, the Executive Director of Nwadioramma Concept and founder of OJA Cultural Development Initiative, has carved a niche for herself, using her poetry performance to preach her messages of peace, love and hope.

The Enugu State-born native is on a mission to promoting Igbo culture, correct societal ills and return traditional values of honour and respect to the society. Using poetry performances, books, cultural activism and story telling as her medium, Nwadioramma, as she is fondly called by her admirers, has written four books: Tomorrow’s Twist, My Broad Daydream, Making A Difference and Akuko Ifo Nnemochie Kooro m, a collection of short stories in Igbo.

Saying Nwadioramma has warmed herself into the hearts of art and culture-loving people within and across Igbo-speaking areas in the country is merely stating the obvious. While recently speaking about her performance, the broadcaster said: “I scribble words from my soul on paper and paint pictures with them. I write different types of poetry – sonnet, narrative, epic, free verse, couplet; I am not limited to a particular type. My poetry is simple and comes in both English and Igbo languages. I also do special kind of performance, which is neither spoken words nor recitation. While I recite my English poetry, I chant most of my Igbo poems. So, I call myself an indigenous performing poet. It is my own kind of poetry performance. It is my creation.”

She came in contact with books early in life, and began to imagine how authors string words together and dreamed of becoming an author someday. That dream came to pass, when she published her first book.

“I began with prose before venturing into poetry,” she said. “I was very young; I cannot tell the accurate age now, but I published my first prose, when I was 19. Poetry came much later. My membership of the Young Creative Writers Society of Nigeria actually motivated me to do poetry because the association kept organizing poetry contest, and to participate, I had to write poems. Igbo poetry came in 2014. I tried it out and it came out well and since then I have not looked back. In fact, I want people to hear me in my own language. That was after my youth service, especially as there was no job in view.”

Aside writing and performing them in her closet and before a group of friends, She yearned for visibility to enable her reach out. To do this, the current Vice Chairperson of Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Enugu State and a member of Enugu Literary Society (EnLS) had to do volunteer services for her state broadcasting station.

According to her, “Going to the state media house for volunteer services exposed me to new knowledge. In fact, it was thinking of how to positively engage myself each day I got home that led to what we now enjoy as Amarachi’s Igbo performance poetry. For me, writing generally just happened. It’s like the food you stumble upon and love; just the right way to let your thoughts flow. You look at it and find out it makes sense. Perhaps, you let an eye or two see it and comment on it. And ever since people say they like my works; I have not relented to give them the best.

“However, I must point out that the audience was a bit confused when I started. They found it difficult to categorize my work, until 2015 when I forcefully carved a niche for myself. I kept performing for free at any available event just to make my voice heard in Igbo. And before long, I gained recognition, then the prizes and others goodies followed.”

On why she chants in Igbo, the award winning poet and author, said, “I use Igbo more because I am Igbo and want my messages to get to the grassroots, make people hear and identify with them. I use it to tell the people to choose peace and not war because the Nigerian Civil War affected Igbo nation, killed millions of people.

“Apart from this, I see it as a way of contributing my quota to the ongoing revival of the language. I want to see and hear Igbo children read and speak the language, as it ought to be because language is part of a people’s culture. And culture distinguishes a group of people; it makes them unique and autonomous. Without culture there is no identity. And the best way to revive our culture is to organize events in different cultural expressions such as festivals, traditional dances, exhibitions of local arts and crafts, dressing, language, folklores and vernacular discussion programmes on radio and television, as well as publications in magazines and others.”

We, at team Educate a Girl are so happy for Amarachi and for the change that our training was able to bring in her and it was all possible because of the generosity and support of our wonderful donors like you all and for that, on behalf of  Amarachi and all other #EAGNigeria scholars, we would like to thank you.

 

There are many other girls like Amarachi in Nigeria who are just waiting for a ray of light which could help them identify their path and we know we can provide that light but for that we ask for help from all of you so we can transform more and more lives.

Together, we are transforming lives.

Oct 6, 2017

CARE FOR ORPHANS

“YOU ARE GOD’S PLAN FOR THE ORPHAN!
HOW WIILL YOU RESPOND?
EXPLORE THE NEEDS AS WELL AS WAYS
THAT YOU CAN CARE OR ORPHANS”.

There comes a time when every parent departs from their children by leaving this world and every human being, no matter what their age, dreads that day of segregation. Many children living in this time and age are parentless and depend on their society to exist and thrive.

With constant change in economic and social circumstances, ongoing conflicts and political turmoil in many developing and transition countries like Syria, Myanmar, Somalia, Sudan, Mali, Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine, we are faced with many situations where the number of orphans and needy children is constantly increasing. According to UNICEF, there are between 143-210 million orphans in the world. This figure includes children who have lost either both of their parents or one of them.

The problems faced by orphans are complex and impact on their individual age and circumstances. The mental trauma and agony of witnessing warfare or losing parents and family members is not easy to deal with and requires tremendous courage and patience to recover from it and adapt to a new situation.

One might not be able to take away the grief of orphans and needy people but they can extend their hands in generosity to let them know that they are cared for and supported. Since we live in a globalized world, societies are inter-dependent on each other for survival and progress. From this perspective, people living in different regions of the world are responsible to help children in dire need of support and sympathy.

Keeping this in mind, we are trying our best to bring joy in the lives of these kids, however we could.

We visited Idara Al Khair with our team which is a school for orphans and those who couldn’t afford their studies. We met many kids over there and realized that it’s not only orphans who need our help and are our responsibility but there are many other kids as well who are less fortunate, although they have parents and are living with their families but still their families are not able to provide for the basic needs of these kids, no matter how much they wish to.

Keeping that in mind we realized that its our responsibility to help them as much as we could and that’s why we started working on this. And with support of our wonderful donors like you all, we were able to pay one semester fee for 30 girls last month.

These girls were so  young and the main festival was near so we wanted to make them happy somehow so we gave them gifts like teddy bears which is a part of another programme of ours.

We felt so happy because we were able to do something for those in need and we think it’s a blessing and for that we wanna thanks to all our donors, because it won’t have been possible without your help!

There are so many lives who are waiting for someone to bring light in their life and we are willing to do that as long as we have all your support.

Thank you!

Together, we are transforming lives!

Oct 4, 2017

#EAGLahore

In our last report we mentioned about the Educate a Girl Lahore 100 Scholarship funded celebration,now we are so excited to share with our donors that last week we conducted our training in Lahore - Pakistan and was able to transform 200 lives.

Lahore: Dawood Global Foundation & Hashoo Group hosted the Educate a Girl Lahore Summit at the Pearl Continental Lahore. The training educated an audience of 200 deserving Educate a Girl Lahore Scholarship winners from grass rooted background including deserving girls from SOS Children villages, Lesco/Wapda girls high School Shalamar Lahore, Lesco/Wapda girls high school Allama Iqbal Town Lahore, Syedanwala Girls College and cancer patients from Shaukat Khanum Memorial Hospital.


Keynote speakers included Australian Honorary Consul General Salim Ghauri, Souriya Anwar, Founder, SOS (Children's Villages), Syeda Henna Babar Ali, Packages, Sameena Kareem (late Arfa Karim's Mom), Maheen Taseer (wife of Shabaz Taseer), Hina Salman (make up artist), Omar Jamil, Qasif Shahid, Monis Rahman & Shameelah Ismail.
The full day training was focused on Entrepreneurship, Coding, Negotiation, Building a Brand, Grooming, Self-Confidence & Leadership.


“With the partnership and support of so many, we are delighted to introduce our award-winning Educate a Girl programme in Lahore, starting with the education of 200 deserving girls," stated Tara Uzra Dawood, Founder, Educate a Girl. "The aim of the program is to encourage young women to become leaders and women of influence and are very excited about our fantastic trainers and speakers.”


Pakistan’s female population is estimated to be 48.65 percent of the total, the majority of which lives in the country’s rural areas. In rural Pakistan opportunities, for women are still lower than those the limited ones for their sisters in the urban centres. According to Labour Force Statistics (LFS) 2012-2013, of the estimated 180 million people, only 12.51 million Pakistani females of various ages are in employment of some sort. There exists a cultural bias, which manifests as a discouragement from hiring women. Thus, this program is an important step to address an urgent need to increase the representation of women holding influential jobs in Lahore, to better address issues affecting women and girls, such as: domestic abuse, rape and sexual assault, harmful cultural practices, level of access to quality education and healthcare, child marriage, enacting laws and enforcing legislation to enhance overall welfare of women, female genital mutilation, funding constraints for business start-ups, entrepreneurial training and mentorship, gender equity in corporate board representation, pay differentials, low level of participation in governance and leadership by women etc.

 

Educate a Girl is a partnership between Dawood Global Foundation and Facebook's internet.org to educate 1 million girls globally and was just recognized by the World Bank as top 2% women-led initiative in MENA. EAG has successfully educated 1000 deserving girls in Karachi, Pakistan and 1250 in Lagos, Nigeria, including those orphaned by the atrocities of the Boko Haram. Funds are currently being raised for Morocco, Turkey and Canada (First Nations). This launch in Lahore will take this international movement truly national and we may even educate a future Prime Minister in our audience.


Educate a Girl to date has had many renowned trainers speakers such as Sculptor Amin Gulgee, Designer Deepak Perwani, News Anchor Nadia Naqi, Imran Zakir [Bureau Chief (KHI), Pakistan International Press Agency], Social Development Professional Bilquis Rehman, Grooming expert Khadija Chagani of Pivot Point, Honorary Consul General of Finland Sadia Khan, Fashion journalist Zurain Imam, News anchor Sana Hashmi, Tehmina Khaled, Shanaz Ramzi, Khursheed Hyder, Iram Noor, Dr. Fouzia Khan, Masood Lohar, Swiss Consul General Emil Wyss, Russian Consul General Oleg N. Avdeev, British Deputy Head of Mission Gill Atkinson, Juliet Kego Ume-Onyido, Wana Udobang, English Professor Emeritus Dr. Ishrat Lindblad of Sweden, Pakistan High Commissioner in Nigeria H.E. Agha M. Umar Farooq, Climate Journalist Sarah Phillips of Australia (in partnership with the UNDP and the Australian High Commission), Muhammad Ali, Northwestern University Professor and Chicago Tribune ace Finance Journalist Susan Chandler of the US (in partnership with the IBA Centre of Excellence in Journalism), as well as Alex Preston of the Guardian and BBC (in partnership with the British Council).


In Karachi, 5 scholars have become news anchors, 19 girls have contributed scholarships out of their first ever paychecks, 1 girl has funded 4 scholarships for her peers from her success and several girls have been placed in successful jobs or become entrepreneurs.

All of this was possible because of the support of our well wishers and wonderful donors like you all so on behalf of these girls, we would like to thank you all.

 

Together, We are transforming lives.

Students
Students
Trainers
Trainers
 
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