WODECO’S REPORT FOR YEAR 2014
Women’s Organization for Development and Empowerment of Communities (WODECO) is a non-governmental and non-partisan organization founded on November 11, 1997. WODECO’s major focus is on women and the goal is to reduce their vulnerability and increase their self worth and confidence. Our mission is to promote empowerment for the total development of women, by providing necessary support services to prepare them well for an improved and productive future.
The organization which was founded by Mary Ajayi is registered with Corporate Affairs Commission, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Ogun State Ministry of Women Affairs. The organization addresses the economic, social and political empowerment of women in order to improve their conditions and positions by addressing their practical and strategic needs so that they can take responsibility for their own development.
WODECO is a membership organization governed by a seven member Board of Trustees and a five –member Advisory Board. The Executive Director runs the daily affair of the organization with ten members of staff and twenty-two volunteers. The organization is endowed with committed staff and board members who are highly interested in its goals and objectives. The year 2014 was a very busy and interesting one for WODECO with the organization venturing into new projects that fall within its noble vision.
Notable among WODECO’s activities within the year are the following:
In continuation of its goal of women‘s economic empowerment, WODECO gave soft revolving loan of 18 million Naira to 460 beneficiaries. A substantial amount of the loan came from Ogun State government through the Ministry of Women Affairs while the remaining came from the Bank of Agriculture, The interest rate ranged from 9% to 12%. Our organization also attended a meeting convened by the Minister for Industries to plan the modalities for accessing loans by small and medium scale entrepreneurs in Nigeria.
TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN GOVERNANCE
In further pursuance of transparent and accountable governance, WODECO still continues to be the only NGO observing the opening of tenders at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta in compliance with the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) Act Section 19(bi). Our organization also observed the opening of Tender at the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta once during the year. As a member of Publish What You Pay, we also monitored the amount remitted to the governmrnt in the extractive industries in Ogun Sate.
HIV AND HEALTH RELATED PROJECTS
WODECO is one of the beneficiaries of NACA/WORLDBANK-HPDPII PROJECT which runs from July 2014 to December 2015 having successfully executed two other projects supported by Global Fund as a sub-recipient. The goal of the project is to reduce reported cases of HIV and STI cases among Female Sex Workers and Transport Workers in 9 Local Government Areas in Ogun State by 55% between 2014 and 2016. The project is expected to reach 354 female sex worker and 155 transport workers within the specified time frame.
The major project objectives are as follows
Increase number of MARPs that have access to HIV testing and counseling, including facility based screening for STIs, Ca Cervix and HIV related disease.
Reduce the number of female FSWs/TWs who report being discriminated against.
Advocate for community response to Strengthen relationship between FSW and their immediate community members in 6 LGAs in Ogun State by December 2014.
Strengthen relationship between FSW and their clients.
Prior to this intervention WODECO had earlier undertaken the following health related projects
Global Fund Round 9 HIV Grant
WODECO was a sub recipient of Global Fund Round 9 HIV grant through the Society for Family Health, the recipient for project titled HIV prevention among Most at Risk Persons (MARPs) Country: Nigeria, The project was carried out in Obafemi /Owode, Abeokuta North and Ado-odo /ota Local Government Areas of Ogun State. The major goal of the programme was to promote HIV prevention intervention using the Nationally Adopted ‘Minimum Prevention Package’ among most at risk persons that would lead to the adoption of safer sex practices. The actual services provided by WODECO within the assignment was training of FSWs peer educators, HCT and referrals. Promotion, distribution and ensuring correct and consistent use of condoms and lubricants. Process documentation and dissemination.
Round 9 Global Fund phase II project
WODECO was also a sub-sub recipient of Round 9 Global Fund phase II project titled ‘ The Principal Recipient (PR), Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), Ibadan and sub recipient is Civil Society on HIV/AIDS (CiSHAN), The Project Location is Obafemi/Owode Local Government Area and the project aim was to strengthen capacity and improve integrated ATM response in Nigeria through referrals and public health awareness. Specifically the main objective of this project is to restore public confidence in Primary Health Care services in Nigeria within the context of the Community System Strengthening (CSS) GF phase 2 project implementation cycles. A core deliverable on the CSS project was monthly community outreach and support for referrals that is geared towards effective demand creation for uptake of ATM services in high risk communities and congregate settings like churches and mosques. The community outreach includes Community sensitization to create awareness for the various ATM services available at the health facilities using particular clinic days especially within the PHCs. Mass mobilization of the community members for services uptake and continuity of service and Community dialogue to reduce stigmatization, discrimination thereby increasing willingness of people to uptake service and Linkage of community outreach with other GF projects (Malaria and TB outreaches) in the communities. Within the project, WODECO’s staff conducted community outreaches in markets and religious houses, conducted appropriate referrals to Health Facilities and also carried out community sensitisation, report writing and documentation.
2015 NATIONAL ELECTIONS
In preparation for the National Elections coming up in February 2015, WODECO in collaboration with Committee for the Defense of Human Rights applied for observers’ status from the body that oversees election in Nigeria, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to observe the 2015 national elections. The application was approved and this gives us the opportunity to protect women’s mandate and to empower them to know their civic by encouraging them to go out and cast their votes for the preferred candidates without fear.
Besides our organization is one of the 3 Non Governmental Organizations appointed by Centre for Civic Education also known as Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) under the Quick Count Project to coordinate the Electoral process in Ogun State. Mary Ajayi, the Executive Director was appointed as Ogun State Deputy Coordinator and she is saddled with the responsibility of coordination electoral activities in Ogun East Federal constituency which comprises of 9 out of the 20 Local Government Areas in Ogun State.
In this capacity, our organization is responsible for recruiting and training of 9 Local Government Supervisors and 32 Observers who will observe the elections in their Local Government Areas. Moreover our organization was also trained by UNDP, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Hundred Women Lobby Group and ECOWAS for gender sensitive elections. WODECO was actually one of the lucky nongovernmental organizations to be trained by BRIDGE (Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections) on gender and elections at the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja.
GENDER AND HUMAN RIGHTS
We continued our struggle against domestic violence in 2014 working closely with the Federal and State’s Ministry of women Affairs and the Citizen’s Rights Commission; we are progressing slowly but a lot more needs to be done to get the men to understand the need for gender equality. Many women are still been intimidated, violated and discriminated against on a constant basis and we wished we had a shelter to keep them for a while before their issues were resolved. For many men, even those who are educated, they cannot conceive the idea that women can be equal to men. A significant minority do understand and are in support of our cause, however we are more determined than ever to continue with our vision believing that slowly but surely we shall win the men over to our side. WODECO took part in the campaign to bring back our Chibok girls and we are still looking forward eagerly to their glorious return. It is important to mention the fact that the Gender Based Violence Bill submitted to the State House of Assembly is yet to be passed by the Lawmakers. We shall not relent in our efforts to ensure the bill is passed into law.
Our deepest appreciation go to all those who supported us financially and morally during the outgoing year. We appreciate them for believing in us and trusting us enough to donate their precious resources for the cause of women. We assure you all that we shall perform even better in 2015 and that we shall never relent until we see that women get their places of pride and are treated with respect and dignity in Nigeria and indeed all over the world. We love you all and have a wonderful and prosperous 2015.