Could you tell us about The New Generation Girls and Women Development Initiative?
The New Generation Girls and Women Development Initiative (NIGAWD) is a non-profit, non-government organization established with a focus on promoting the political and socio-economic needs of women, girls, and youth, in Nigeria. The organization is duly registered with Cooperate Affairs Commission, Ministry of Women affairs and other regulatory bodies; it also has special consultative status with United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). NIGAWD has implemented many donor-funded programs across the country and is at the forefront of the END FGM abandonment campaign in Africa; Promotion of the Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of women and girls; women development through economic and psychosocial support and empowerment; prevention and response to Gender Based Violence, Youth Policy Advocacy through the Ekiti Youth Agenda campaign, NIGAWD is the Convener of the southwest Vote Not Fight: Election No Be War Campaign in Nigeria.

What warranted the formation of NIGAWD, what have been its driving force?
NIGAWD was born out of deep passion to empower girl, women, children, and youth. NIGAWD envision a society where women are intellectually, economically, politically, and socially empowered as positive change drivers; while its mission is to develop the capacity of young women (girls), through strategic sustainable initiative that will empower them in the areas of reproductive health, Life building skills, water and sanitation, political inclination among others to become women of exploit in the society and not entertainment objects.
God has been the main driving force for NIGAWD as well as the passion for a society where women are empowered in all spheres to be able to meaningfully contribute to the advancement of the society.

You proposed to celebrate a decade anniversary of the group soon. How has the journey been in the last 10years?
The journey has been challenging I must say. The first four years was not fun at all, as the founder and director, I had to work hard, I did all sorts of menial jobs including home lesson for children, sending of bulk SMS, crude fish farming among others to sustain the organization, no funds, no support, but criticism. Many in the space criticized the audacity of a 25-year-old lady to start up an NGO, some friends and families felt I should go get a job to take care of myself first and when I become successful, I can return to my passion but glory to God the last 10years has been one of impact and glory despite the many challenges that confronts startups in Nigeria. The organization is proposing to celebrate her 10th anniversary with an impactful program targeted at indigent women and more details of the program will be made available to the public soon

What have been the challenges and accomplishments since its creation?
The major challenge of Non-Profit in Nigeria is funding. It is so challenging for young organizations to access funding as there are several requirements that inhibits them from accessing funding. Also, there is little support for institutional support to non-profits in this part of the world.
Most funders provide support that cater for the implementation of project activities alone and when they provide institutional support it is only for the period of the project, this leaves nonprofit organizations with the struggle for survival after expiration of project.

Your activities revolve round Ado Ekiti and Ekiti axis?. Why is this so, any expansion plan?
It is not correct to state that NIGAWD activities revolve round Ado-Ekiti and Ekiti axis alone. NIGAWD’s impact is global. The Southwest Vote Not Fight campaign is being led by the organization. We have also supported regional programs in Africa including training of CSOs working on FGM abandonment in The Gambia, Senegal, Niger, Mali, etc NIGAWD has also been part of organizing of international programs such as the 3rd African Girls summit in Niger led by African Union Commission among other programs
NIGAWD ED has been recognized globally and she serves as a EndFGM Ambassador for The Girl Generation (TGG), African Union Saleema Victorious Youth Ambassador for West Africa and member Africa Regional Reference Group for the Global Spotlight Initiative

You seem to have concentrated your effort in the campaign against Female Genital Mutilation lately. Why are you doing this? How do you go about the campaign.
FGM is a violation of women and girls human right and Nigeria one of the countries with high rate of FGM. As at today, 20% of women aged 15-49 have undergone FGM in Nigeria. In the southwest Nigeria, Ekiti state has the highest prevalence rate and second highest in Nigeria with a prevalence of 57.9%. Hence, the need to intentionally engage communities to abandon the practice. As a survivor of FGM, I have firsthand experience of the harmful effects this practice has on women, so I am passionate and determined to significantly contribute to its abandonment in my generation so as to protect the sexual and reproductive health of girls and women.

What have been the impacts and who are your partners on this campaign?
NIGAWD has recorded many tremendous success and impact stories too numerous to mention. I will mention a few and they are;
Facilitated the public declaration of FGM abandonment in over 80 communities
Trained and establishes over 1,500 youth End FGM champions and surveillance team in the southwest
Re-enrolled 4 teenage mothers back to school
Empowered indigent widows with startup resources of small-scale businesses to ensure their economic sustainability.
Successfully implemented several funded projects to the satisfaction of donors and beneficiaries with tremendous impact
Influenced budgetary allocation for youth development through Ekiti Youth Agenda Policy Advocacy campaign
Contributed significantly and meaningfully to peaceful elections in Ekiti, Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo and Lagos states and Nigeria at large
Built capacity of over 30 individuals who have had the opportunity to be part of NIGAWD as staff and or volunteers
Contributed significantly to the reduction of FGM in Nigeria and Africa
Prevented and responded to over 100 cases of GBV
Rescued over 5 street/trafficked children and reunited them back to their families

Tell us other female initiatives you have embarked on lately and your experiences therein?
We engage teenage girls and boys through our When Girls Talk and When Boys Konnect against GBV program. It is a Sexual and Reproductive Health adolescent focused programme to empower young girls/boys to say no to GBV and social injustice while building their life building skills.
This is a bi-annual self-sponsored program by NIGAWD.

Domestic violence, spousal abuse and rape against women have taken heavy toll on the female gender lately. What are your concerns about this and what should be done to nip this in the bud?
Domestic Violence and VAW/G must be put in proper perspective, it must be described as a pandemic, one that requires the effort of everyone to curtail as we did with the covid-19. Data has it that 1 in 3 women and girls have experienced either physical, sexual and or intimate partner violence or nor partner violence. That is a lot.
A major concern for NIGAWD is that a lot of funds are being pumped into ending VAW/G but the problem is on the increase, this is very worrisome. Also, one reason GBV is on the increase is that most perpetrators are not brought to book and there is lack of institutional system to implement the numerous legal instruments available. Weaponization of poverty among women is another constraint to fighting GBV, when women are not empowered, they remain in abusive relationships, when there is no shelter or transition home for victim of GBV, its difficult to rescue a woman from an abusive environment and keep in a safe space.

Government and funders need to fund more project catering for these issues.
NIGAWD will continue to support women and girls through her programs to be economically self-sufficient as this will increase their chances to challenge abuses and walk away of need be; NIGAWD will also sustain advocacy to stakeholders to implement without biases penalties for GBV perpetrators to serve as deterrent to other while also advocating for the establishment of a survivor fund to cater for the needs of victims and survivors of GBV.

Women are said to be feeling the pains of the current economic crisis in Nigeria. What is your group doing to help me gender out?
As sated earlier, NIGAWDs aim to promote the psychosocial needs of women and girls. Aside the economic empowerment given to indigent widows, NIGAWD programs targeted at young girls encourages them to learn and acquit themselves with digital skills in other to be self-sufficient in the technology driven economy.
We are also in the process of promoting families to adopt measures that will guarantee the sustained empowerment of women and female children upon the demise of breadwinners through writing of inheritance wills. This will go a long way in to increase economic wealth of women and girls.

The controversial Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) regulations bill is back to the House of Representatives. What is your take on this bill?
Civil Society Actors in Nigeria has described the bill to regulate NGOs an attempt by government to gag CSOs and civil movements. CSOs are meant to operate independently without interference from government or private sector bodies so I am not in support of a bill targeted at frustrating the good works that CSO is doing in Nigeria and my fellow colleagues who marched to the National assembly made this clear to the lawmakers and entire nation.
A Yoruba adage says you don’t throw the water away with the baby, if there are issues with some NGOs it should be treated as an individual case, it does not call for a total disrupt of the great work NGOs are doing in Nigeria. NGOs have covered up a lot of lapses caused by the dead state of local government administration in Nigeria NGOs are closer to the grassroot than any government, many times, it is NGOs that support citizens to engage with government therefore, I join other actors in the space to call on the legislators to pass bills that will promote our democracy as a nation but sabotage it.