My Father’s Son 

You see, it was my father who first told me, “You are man, you come from a line of great men”. I believed him. For this much was true. As he walked me to school from tender age, he’d speak to me. And then at night when I slept he’d go through my books… I remember the early morning sessions we had before I had to go to school. And he made sure I attended the best. 

I know one truth, and I learnt from my father, you can be the best at whatever you will if your mind is set to it. Even if you fail it doesn’t lessen your knowledge or skill, you just didn’t get it right then. Try again. 

I miss those conversations. I hold these memories close to my heart. For I know even in the face of all my troubles, his voice remains strong… Like it was yesterday I told him a story of certain setbacks in my life… And he said, “Son, if they treat you bad, they don’t deserve you”. 

I know a better deal will come. I only wish I had one more conversation with the man. My father. He was a great man. And he lives in me. I am my father’s son.

GERI JOINS OTHER CSOs TO CELEBRATE RURAL WOMEN

On Friday, 14 October, 2016 GENDER AN ENVIRONMENTAL RISK REDUCTION INITIATIVE (GERI) an NGO based in Makurdi, Benue State joined other CSOs, partners, rural women farmers and key stake holders in government and the private sector to celebrate the rural women. This was on the occasion of the International Day of Rural Women organized by the National Association of Women in Agriculture NAWIA. The International Day of Rural Women often called Rural Women’s Day Celebration is a day set aside by the United Nations to recognize Rural Women’s importance in enhancing Agricultural and Rural Development worldwide. This followed a recommendation made in the 4th World Conference on women in Beijing, China 1995. The day had since been marked annually since 2008 on the 15th of October. The theme for this year’s celebration was: CLIMATE IS CHANGING, FOOD AND AGRICULTURE MUST TOO.

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GERI’s Programme Officer, Gift Abudar (front center) leads a section of young women at the rally                Pic: Otene Ogwuche

The occasion commenced with a rally from the Cool Off Park Wurukum to the IBB Square in High-Level and featured music, dance, with the participants bearing banners and placards with key messages such as “Climate is Changing,  Food and Agriculture must change too…”, “Prioritise women” “End food wastage” “Prioritise local Agro-factories” and the hashtag #united4food. GERI staff and volunteers lead some sections of the march bearing banners.GERI as an organization is actively involved in shaping the position of rural women and farmers in communities in Benue especially through some of her projects with support from various partners.

The messages from various stakeholders at the IBB Square, including the NAWIA President, Mrs. Ngizan Chahul, was clear, based on the theme for this year’s celebration. She called for a change in the State Agricultural Policy, more budgetary allocations for agriculture, and investment in agriculture in line with the change in Climate.

In her message, Bethule Nyamambi a Trust Africa representative from Zimbabwe commended the strength of the Benue woman and encouraged all women present to continue to strive hard for better options for rural women farmers.

Other stakeholders and partners who spoke at the event lent their support to amplifying the voices of rural women farmers to say STOP FOOD WASTAGE, PRIORITISE LOCAL AGRO-PROCESSING FACTORIES and above all PRIORITISE WOMEN.

The Benue State Ministries of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Women Affairs and Social Development as well as the Benue State Planning Commission alongside other relevant government agencies were well represented at the event which also had in attendance members of the Civil Society organizations in Benue State.

The event drew women farmers from Benue, Kwara and other locations, was supported by Trust Africa and Oxfam In Nigeria.

NAWIA CELEBRATES RURAL WOMEN; CALLS FOR ACTION TO PRIORITISE WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE

Benue Development

The National Association of Women in Agriculture NAWIA marked the International Day of Rural Women today in grand style in Makurdi on Friday 14th October 2016. The International Day of Rural Women often called Rural Women’s Day Celebration is a day set aside by the United Nations to recognize Rural Women’s importance in enhancing Agricultural and Rural Development worldwide. This followed a recommendation made in the 4th World Conference on women in Beijing, China 1995. The day had since been marked annually since 2008 on the 15th of October. The theme for this year’s celebration was: CLIMATE IS CHANGING, FOOD AND AGRICULTURE MUST TOO.

rwdc_1016_ot-140 Leading the walk to celebrate rural women

The occasion which started early in the morning with a rally from the Cool Off Park Wurukum to the IBB Square in High-Level featured music and dance, with the participants bearing banners and placards with key messages…

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GO PINK DAY! WEAR IT PINK FOR CANCER OCTOBER 5th 2016

Su'eddie in Life n' Literature

Hola!

You must have heard it somewhere that today is Wear It Pink day in Nigeria, yes? No? But it is! So, we are working together – all of us – to try to emphasise early detection of cancer as a means to save lives. Have you heard of cancer? Of course, you have. You think it is farfetched and can’t come near you or yours? Nice joke!

I have seen it first-hand. Only last year, I lost a dear dear loved one, Mr. Peter Aduro to cancer. I still don’t know how it happened and till the end of time, I am sure we will trade different stories about how it happened. Bottom line? Cancer. I have had friends talk about it too, how cancer affected their loved ones. In December last year, an elder friend of mine who is like a big brother, lost someone dear to him…

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Stakeholders Renew Commitment to end Open Defecation in Nigeria

It was an amazing week in Calabar, Cross River State when over 20 CSOs, Government Representatives and other stakeholders on the Concern Universal’s RUSHPIN Programme and CHISHPIN Project sat down at the Conference Hall of Channel View Hotel Calabar, to review the activities for the year.

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In his welcome address at the meeting, Mr. Nanpet Chuktu, the Programme Manager for Concern Universal invited all the participants to participate actively during the review meeting, key into new learning and network with other stakeholders on the project. He commended the efforts of the Local Government WASH Units, CSOs, Natural Leaders and CU staff for all the successes recorded so far.

The review meeting brought together stakeholders from nine local governments in Benue and Cross River States to review the work done so far on the Rural Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion In Nigeria RUSHPIN Programme in Logo, Agatu and Gwer East (Benue) and Obanliku, Bekwarra, and Abi Local Governments (Cross River) as well as the Community Led Health Improvement through Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion In Nigeria CHISHPIN Project in Yala, Biase and Ikom Local Government Areas of Cross River State.

During the presentations, CSOs working on the project in several Local Government Areas of Benue and Cross River States were recognized for their outstanding performance during the period in review.

One major outcome of the review meeting was the commitment of the stakeholders and partners present, especially the government representatives to do more towards achieve 100 percent Open Defecation Free (ODF) communities across the 9 Local Governments and scaling up to other States and Local Governments in the very near future.