INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR OLDER PERSONS 2021 THEME: “DIGITAL EQUITY FOR ALL AGES”

Dewdrop Foundation commemorates  with our dear country Nigeria as she marks 61 years today. We celebrate Nigeria as a Seenager today as the world also marks the International Day for Older Persons.

Today which marks the International Day for Older Persons brings with it the awareness and understanding of the roles of older persons in our communities and society at large. Over 20% (2 billion) of the world’s population is estimated to be 60 years and above by the year 2050, this calls for more efforts to combat age discrimination, neglect and abuse of the older population.

This year’s theme; “Digital Equity for all Ages” advocates the need for access and meaningful participation of the older persons in the digital world. The break of the Covid-19 pandemic has opened our world to the need for utilizing the technology at our disposal for growth and progress as it has shaped how we live, work and relate to one another.

In Nigeria especially in rural communities, older persons face discrimination on a daily basis which is caused by stereotyping, criticism etc. The younger population usually want nothing to do with the elderly . They are considered an economic burden with no value in society. This is mostly caused by the fact that a large number of older persons were mostly farmers, petty traders, and livestock rarer and as such are uneducated and retired. In most parts of Nigeria, older women are thought to be “witches” who bring misfortune to the family because they suffer age related health challenges such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia and the likes. Unfortunately, there is little or no knowledge awareness on the health challenge.  Some suffer all forms of abuse by family members & primary caregivers and are deprived of their right to a safe and happy life in older age. They also suffer from social marginalization, loneliness, and negligence, all of which violate the human rights of older people living in Nigeria.

In recent age, Technology advancements are becoming entrenched in many aspects of our societies and hold the potential to create opportunities towards an inclusive, sustainable development, and provide tools to surmount the challenges faced by many to fully participate in the development process. However, where access to ICTs is limited and not inclusive, it can intensify existing inequalities and even create new ones. Both the opportunities and challenges intrinsic to technological progress have been illustrated by the COVID-19 pandemic (United Nations 2020). Technological advances offer great hope for accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Digital equity refers to how people can access and effectively use the technology necessary to participate in the society. Also digital inclusion denotes efforts to remedy deficits in digital equity. Digital inclusion refers to the activities necessary to ensure that all individuals and communities including the most disadvantaged have access to and use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

To bring awareness of the importance of digital inclusion of older persons, it is necessary to identify the struggle of older persons with reduced reactivity which makes it harder for them to keep up with fast paced technology. Age itself is not a barrier to using digital technologies although older persons tend to face such barriers such as cost, skills and disabilities. It is important to breach the digital gap in the older population as it will be a welcome initiative in the fight against elder abuse.

Dewdrop Foundation has since been advocating for the rights of older persons in rural communities in Enugu State and Kuchingoro IDP camp in Abuja –Federal Capital Territory (FCT). In our advocacy on the rights of older persons, we have carried out sensitization awareness on the health challenges faced by older persons and how they can receive proper care. We engaged community leaders, stakeholders and family relatives and the community at large where we sensitized them on the challenges of the older persons and best care practices. The primary caregivers were also impacted with the proper skill set needed through our City and Guilds UK vocational training.

On this day and every day, we must acknowledge that all people, regardless of their age, have their role in society and should not be excluded or discriminated against due to their perceived ability. We encourage everyone to connect with and carry along the older generation in your community to unearth and tap into the talents and digital knowledge they have to share and contribute to creating a more inclusive and sustainable world.

WORLD DAY AGAINST TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS 2021 THEME: “VICTIMS’ VOICES LEAD THE WAY”

Human trafficking in the last couple of years has emerged as a global business that has cut across most countries of the world which reaps a lot of profit for the traffickers and their criminal associates. While there have been a lot of national outcry and aggressive “war” against a number of criminal activities such as the drug trafficking, arms smuggling, etc, the issue of human trafficking has continued as an area that most Nigerians are either reluctant or less interested to discuss. Meanwhile, hundreds, if not thousands, of law abiding Nigerian citizens are either forcefully captured or deceitfully taken away from their people and homes for the exchange of money to the advantage of human traffickers (Jegede, Anyikwa, & Igwe, 2011).

The issue becomes critical when one considers the overwhelming statistics of trafficking in persons in Nigeria. UNICEF (2007) estimates that about 8 million Nigerians are at risk of being trafficked each year internally and externally for domestic and forced labour, prostitution, entertainment, pornography, armed conflict, and sometimes ritual killings. What is worrisome it that the cartels behind the exportation of young girls and women to overseas countries to work in the sex trade remained faceless.

No matter how many times the women might be deported; they seemed to easily procure travel documents to return to the same or different foreign lands to continue in the trade. While some entered into the trade knowingly- sometimes even with the connivance, approval or acquiescence of their parentsothers appeared to have been lured into it with false tales of money to be made from plaiting or weaving hair, working as a maid or children’s nanny-tales which though false could seem quite reasonable to young women anxious to help reduce the hardship being faced by their families.

There are diverse reasons why many Nigerian children are vulnerable to trafficking, as the following factors includes; widespread poverty, large family size, and rapid urbanization with deteriorating public services, low literacy levels and high school dropout rates. The high demand for cheap commercial sex workers in countries of destination also strongly contributes to the growth of this phenomenon and the success of this criminal network. Parents with a large family, often overburdened with the care of too many children, are prone to the traffickers deceit in giving away some of their children to city residents or even strangers promising a better life for their children.

This year’s campaign highlights the importance of listening to and learning from survivors of human trafficking. They are the key actors in the fight against human trafficking as they play a role in establishing effective measures to prevent the crime, identify and rescue victims and support them on their journey to rehabilitation and reintegration into the society. Human trafficking victims have experienced ignorance or misunderstanding in their attempts to seek help, as they have had traumatic post-recue experiences during legal proceedings. Some of them have faced victimization or subjected to stigmatization or have received inadequate support. Learning from victims’ experiences and turning their suggestions into concrete actions will lead to a more victim-centered and effective approach in combating human trafficking.

Dewdrop Foundation established a relationship in 2006 with the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) to provide protection for abused victims of human trafficking and domestic servitude. Vocational trainings was provided for the victims as a means to empower and create a source of livelihood for them to reintegrate back into society.

IMPACT OF DEWDROP FOUNDATION’S CAREGIVING TRAINING ON THE WELL-BEING AND HEALTH OF THE ELDERLY IN THE VOICE PROJECT COMMUNITIES

Dewdrop Foundation in partnership with Centre for Gender Economics Initiative (CGE-Africa) co-implemented an 18 months project; CURTAILING ELDER ABUSE IN ELEVEN COMMUNITIES IN ENUGU STATE between 2019 – 2020. The project was funded by Oxfam’s Voice to reduce the incidences of physical, verbal or psychological violence against elderly, as well as bridge the knowledge gaps in the Care of the elderly among relatives, community members and caregivers of the elderly. The overall impact of the project was to improve the health and the well-being of the elderly and strengthen their voices by;

  1. Dialogue and engagement;
  2. Improvement in the health and social welfare of the elderly
  3. Promotion of the acceptance of the elderly within the community;
  4. Empowerment through capacity development and skills acquisition on Eldercare.

 

The project identified the need to equip the primary Caregivers of the elderly with the relevant skills and knowledge needed to effectively care for the aged. This need was identified through a baseline survey conducted in 11 eleven communities in Enugu State Nigeria 2019, on the “Neglect and Abuse of Elderly Persons in Enugu State” (see link to the baseline study report  https://bit.ly/3xbokTd). The research outcome showed a devastating health and wellbeing status of the elderly in sampled communities. Some of the identified causes of the poor health and well-being of the elderly included; neglect by the community, poor awareness about the needs of the elderly, intergenerational disconnect between the elderly and the younger generation, and the absence of social inclusion & protection framework for the care of the elderly.

To reverse these trends, the project focused on building community capacity and knowledge through sensitizations, advocacies, awareness exercises and vocational education for members of the community, the community leaders and other relevant stakeholders on eldercare. The project also underscored the importance of protecting the elderly from negative vices such as neglect and abuse.

Dewdrop Foundation collaborated with the Centre for Gender Economics and Dewdrop Institute, which is the training arm of DDF in order to train the primary Caregivers of the elderly. The trainees, who were mostly family relatives were equipped with relevant skills in bathing, health and hygiene, safety tips, dressing, feeding and mobility. They learnt the proper ways to care for the elderly. Prior to the inception of the DDF/CGE Africa project in the communities, elderly persons were tagged as witches and wizards, whose ordeal was perceived as the repercussion for the wrong done during their youthful days. As a result of this misconception in these communities, most older persons were treated with disdain and suffer neglect, and in worst cases abuse.

Similarly, the age-related challenges; ranging from deteriorating sensory system, urinary system and so on, further aggravated the pains of our older beneficiaries. This project therefore aimed at correcting the wrong socio-cultural perception, that had become unwittingly imbibed in the communities. To create a mindset change, DDF carried out series of awareness and sensitizations on the rights and privileges of the elderly as well as educating the communities on how best to cater for this vulnerable population.

The beneficiaries of the project were from the eleven (11) project communities which are; Akpuoga – Nike, Akwuke, Akwuke – Uwani, Amechi – Idodo, Ishienu – Nkerefi, Isigwe – Ugbawka, Ndiagu – Owo, Ogbeke/Ukuruta, Ogonogoeji Ndiuno Akpugo, Ojiagu Agbani and Umuode communities in Enugu State. The workshop beneficiaries were taught the diverse health challenges which older persons suffer ranging from Dementia, Alzheimer’s, incontinence and the likes and the ways to care for them with each peculiar challenge.  The rights of older persons and Caregivers alike were taught as enunciated in the United Nations (UN) Unilateral Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR). The Vocational training beneficiaries learnt the importance of upholding these rights in administering care to the elderly persons. The Caregivers also learnt about the various forms of elder abuse and the best ways to support victims to deal with signs as well as where to seek redress. The workshop reached over 40 Caregivers from the 11 project communities in Enugu State. The elderly persons in the communities now testify to an improvement in their health and wellbeing as a result of the better care they receive from their Caregivers who have been trained.

The professional Caregiving training impacted on the lives, services and by implication the earnings & career status of the primary Caregivers. Meanwhile, on the flip side, the elderly benefitted from project through improved services received from the trained caregiver which translated to improved quality of lives of the elderly people.

 

DDF created a data base for feedback, testimonies, and videos retrieved from the beneficiaries. Questionnaires were also administered as part of DDF’s project monitoring and evaluation strategy. As a way of tracking project impact and sustaining project gains (impacts), DDF continues to support the established Seenagers platform (a name coined from senior teenagers aged 60 and above) through the facilitation of the monthly Seenagers’ meeting by trained community mobilizers/Caregivers using CGE/DDF knowledge material “Seenagers meeting Toolkit”. Topical age-related issues, health based and social concerns of the elderly are addressed in this monthly meeting across the 11 communities through the established Seenagers’ platforms.

An overview of the Front cover DDF/CGE’s Seenagers Meeting Toolkit

The three-module Seenager Meeting toolkit include; Sections under Life Cycle and Relationships, Promoting Healthy habits and systems, the ideal Community and State, with highly impactful topics ranging from; safety, freedom from abuse, attitudes towards retirement, health and social care for the elderly, lifestyle and hygiene, disability issue among the aged, transport and mobility, civic participation, social inclusion etc.  This document is an innovative guide for trained caregivers and community mobilizers in Enugu State for caring for the elderly and for anchoring the monthly Seenagers’ meeting.

 

Other education-based materials produced under the project include;

 

  • Enugu State Elderly Persons Welfare and Social Protection Bill: This document aimed at securing right responses and commitment to the wellbeing of the elderly in Enugu State through the presentation of ideas and privileges that will provide for the welfare and social Protection of elderly persons resident in Enugu State.

 An overview of the Front cover DDF/CGE’s Social Protection Bill Submitted to the Enugu State House of assembly, 2019

  • The Community Inclusion Guide for the Elderly: This document emphasized the inclusion strategies that can be adopted by the different community stakeholders and their roles towards the well-being of the elderly


An overview of the Front cover DDF/CGE’s Community Inclusion Guide for the Elderly

 

  • Neglect and abuse of Elderly Persons in Enugu State: The baseline study of 11 communities was undertaken in 11 community samples of Enugu State to;

 

  1. Review community and family attitudes towards elders care and well-being,
  2. Identify the typology of abuse experienced by elders, and
  3. Find out factors that are both supportive as well as obstructive to elder care within home-based care in project communities and recommend measures to address the problems.

Some of DDF’s trained Caregivers taking elderly people on an evening walk.

 

Caregivers rendering mobility assistance to an elderly woman

 

One of DDF’s trained Caregiver carrying out outdoor recreational activity with an elderly.

 

A cross section of the caregivers writing a snap test during the Caregiving training

 

Picture of some trainees during the caregiving training

 

One of Dewdrop Institute’s facilitators during the training section

Rev Sr Judith Nwodo, observing lesson delivery during the Caregiving training

 

One of the beneficiaries of DDF’s Caregiving training (Miracle Alice Okorie) with a Seenager

James Nwaobodo (a beneficiary of DDF’s vocational training in Caregiving) with his grandmother

International Women’s Day 

People all over the world will be thinking and looking forward to this day when we celebrate all women, and that is the International Women’s Day. What is International Women’s Day and what does it represent towards all women? It is the day we celebrate the great feats that women have attained on the Social, Economic, Cultural, and Political spheres within society. On this special day we acclaim and celebrate the achievements and strides that women have taken to arrive at the social level that has been attained till date despite multiple challenges and glass ceilings in their way.

The first National Women’s day celebration took place in the United States on 28th February 1909. The United Nations theme for the 8th March 2021 is “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world”. In addition, the overall theme for International Women’s day is #chose to challenge as biases and misconceptions are being addressed.

If we take a look at the women and ladies that have done well in Nigeria for example, we are able to take a look at a few ladies that include; Folorunsho Alakija, the Vice Chair of Famfa Oil, her first company was a fashion company called Supreme Stitches, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, who served as the former Finance and Foreign Minister of Nigeria, Former Managing Director World Bank, Former chair of Gavi Vaccine Alliance, African Union.

Within Africa, we have Bonang Matheba who is from South Africa and is globally known for being an award-winning radio host, TV presenter and MC. A Global Citizen ambassador and style icon, Michelle Obama was the first lady of America married to the 44th President of America Barack Obama. Michelle Obama is a role model to women and advocate for healthy families, higher education, and international adolescent girl’s education, and Christine Lagarde who was the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

With all these successes and achievements that have been attained by women all over the world, the International women’s day will continue to symbolise and follow a couple of values that mark the day as a very important one. At Dewdrop Foundation, our team strongly supports activities that ensure that “Dignity for women are to be respected, duly valued and appreciated. We continue to promote gender partnership that enables women and men to collaborate and bring about the needed change and growth in humanity. We sincerely appreciate and commended women in all spheres of life for their achievements all over the world, as well as their non-stop efforts and contributions towards making our society better for all.

 

 

Community Project Closeout Celebration

Mrs. Agatha Nnaji (ED Dewdrop Foundation) with executives of Seenagers Association of Akwuke community, Community Mobilizers and DDF team.

Introduction

Having successfully concluded the one – year project on transformative leadership in Umuode Community (Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State), which saw the ground breaking achievement of amending the community’s constitution to include women, DDF is currently upscaling a key outcome of the project in 10 communities in Enugu State. This project is focused on “Curbing elderly persons’ abuse in local communities in Enugu State”. It is also being funded by the Oxfam – Voice as an “Innovate and Learn” grant, from July 2019 – December 2020

The Seenagers in a cultural dance roleplay.


Dewdrop Foundation is currently co-implementing the 18 months project; CURTAILING ELDERLY ABUSE IN TEN COMMUNITIES IN ENUGU STATE, with Centre for Gender Economics Initiative (CGE-Africa) from July 2019 – December 2020. The project which is being funded by Oxfam’s Voice initiative, seeks to reduce the incidence of physical, verbal or psychological violence against elderly persons by strengthening the voices of the elderly through:
a. dialogue and engagement;
b. improving the health and social welfare of the elderly;
c. promoting the acceptance of the elderly within the community;
d. empowerment through capacity development and skills acquisition on Eldercare.

Mrs. Agatha Nnaji with Seenagers of Akwuke community.


The objectives of the exercise is to celebrate the end and outcomes of the Voice sponsored project of Curtailing Elder Abuse in Enugu State and to officially hand over the Seenagers Association of the community to the community leaders/stakeholders for sustainability.

Proceedings:
The event began with an opening prayer said by Fidelis Igweshi, the community mobilizer. A formal introduction of the Dewdrop Foundation/CGE Africa team was made. Ginika Isu of Dewdrop Foundation in a brief remark, thanked the Seenagers on behalf of the ED Dewdrop Foundation and CGE Africa for making out time to celebrate the end of the project. She stated that elderly people in our communities are the custodians of culture and norms and the society thrives well only when there is a harmony between all age categories where they are able to work together effectively to bring about growth and development. She went further to reiterate the aim of the project which is to strengthen the elderly by giving them a ‘Voice’ and granting them access to social support through the creation of the Seenagers Association.
Ginika Isu intimated the Seenagers on the draft Policy brief on Welfare and Social Protection of the elderly which was presented to the State House of Assembly and the Executive Governor during our walkathon which was held October 2019. She further informed them of our recently concluded meeting with the State legislators where a model of the Elderly Persons Welfare and Social Protection Bill was presented as well. She stated that the State legislators who were impressed with the project pledged their support and promised to use their good office to see that the bill is discussed in the State House of Assembly and subsequently passed into law in the State.
Mr. Felix Agbo, the chairman of the Seenagers Association of Akwuke community, expressed his gratitude to the Foundation for the project which has been of great impact to the elderly people especially the medical sensitization. He pleaded with the Foundation to try and organise another medical sensitization as the major challenge of elderly people is health related.
Mr. John Ogbodo, a Seenager, thanked the Foundation for remembering elderly people through the Voice sponsored project, he stated that through the project elderly people have been accorded more honour in the community.
Mrs. Agatha Nnaji, ED Dewdrop Foundation, enquired from the Seenagers to highlight some of the project activities which they would want the community stakeholders to sustain. To this the Seenagers highlighted the medical sensitization and health talks at the Seenagers monthly meetings.
Mrs. Nnaji stated that the Foundation would work with the community stakeholders to revive the community health centre, equip it and have medical experts attend to the health issues of the elderly people in the community. She encouraged them to continue attending their monthly meetings as the Seenagers Association would not end.
The Seenagers were all full of praises for the ED DDF/CGE Africa for remembering elderly people and prayed for blessings on them.
Outcomes:
• The positive impacts of the project was talked about.
• The progress of the Elderly Persons Welfare and Social Protection was highlighted.
• The Seenagers highlighted the positive impacts of the project to them.



Dewdrop Foundation joins the Global Strategy and Action Plan for ageing and Health

One of Dewdrop Foundation’s focus area is eldercare advocacy, which is very much in line with the priorities of the WHO Global strategy and action plan on ageing and health.

Dewdrop Foundation  works to takes concrete actions that are needed to achieve the objectives such as;

To Ensure the human resources necessary for integrated care

Promote research that addresses the needs of older people
Dewdrop collects data on the needs of the elderly through it’s Eldercare Hotline 0700DEWCARE. Elder abuse prevention is possible when there is credible information from victims who are facing any kind of abuse or neglect.


 Lay the foundations for a long-term-care system in every country 

To ensure Older people and care givers get the care and support they need to live with dignity and enjoy their basic human rights. Dewdrop Foundation has safe spaces for the elderly  in rural communities. “Seenager’s Associations” have become a useful tool for supporting the mental and social wellbeing  of the elderly.

 

Undertake a global campaign to combat ageism

The Global Strategy of the WHO also encourages CSOs to undertake a global campaign to combat ageism Dewdrop Foundation promotes #StopElderAbuse campaign through social media posts and art competitions.  The 2020 Art and Essay competition saw entries from over 70 young people from over 10 States in Nigeria.

 

 

For More on WHO Priorities 

https://www.who.int/ageing/10-priorities/en/

Aging in Times of Pandemic

 


Key Points
● The COVID 19 Pandemic has adversely affected access to basic needs
● This October 1st 2020, marks the 30th Anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons.
● In 2020, for the first time in history, people aged 60 years or over will outnumber children under 5 years
● Dewdrop Foundation is committed to the vision of the UN “Decade of Ageing.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is causing untold fear and suffering for older people across the world. Beyond its immediate health impact, the pandemic is putting older people at greater risk of poverty, discrimination and isolation. It is likely to have a particularly devastating impact on older people in developing countries” – UN Secretary-General António Guterres

In Nigeria, primary healthcare providers in hospitals are challenged with teeming clinic attendance and usually unable to provide adequate healthcare, education and support services to older persons.
The elderly are typically parents or grandparents, living in multiple generational family households, due to limited institutionalized care. Most often, in-home care is provided for the elderly by family members, and sometimes a non-family Caregiver is hired to support the client’s family. Spouses, family members and friends carry out many important responsibilities such as personal care, transportation, management of finances and housekeeping.



This October 1st 2020, marks the 30th Anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons. This year has also been recognized as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife”. The International Day of Older Persons 2020 will highlight the role of the health care workforce in contributing to the health of older persons, with special recognition of the nursing profession, and a primary focus on the role of women in eldercare. Women are usually taken for granted as Caregivers therefore they are relatively undervalued and, in most cases inadequately compensated, if any.

Dewdrop Foundation (DDF) is a non-profit organization that is working with over 800 elderly persons in 11 project communities in Enugu State. An outcome of our study in this project is the lack of, and critical need for trained and knowledgeable Caregivers in order to promote quality homecare for the elderly population in Nigeria. The difference between a good home Caregiver and a great one often comes down to training. Well-trained Caregivers are better able to handle all the different situations that might arise on the job. They should be proactive and able to anticipate the needs of the older person/client, especially in preventing accidents such as falls and other injuries, thus avoid associated hospitalization costs. They also provide much needed company for their clients in the “lonely old-age”, manage medications and take vital signs, recognize red-flags and act quickly if the patient is having a medical emergency. A good caregiver should also effectively communicate with the family of their client, and the rest of the healthcare team in order to ensure no critical information is missed. Clients and their families can feel secure in the knowledge that a well-trained caregiver is competent and trustworthy.

This October as we celebrate the International Day for Older Persons, we also celebrate our trained Caregivers in rural communities who are committed to caring for the elderly, despite the challenges of living far from quality medical and other social amenities.

Our Dewdrop Foundation team gives a shout out of appreciation to one of our 95 Oxfam-Voice sponsored training beneficiaries, Mr. James Ozoemena Nwaobodo, from Nkerefi community in Enugu State. James is proudly and diligently volunteering his professional caregiving skills for the elderly population in his community.

James was selected as one of the 4 youths who are also primary Caregivers of our project beneficiaries, the “Seenagers” in their community. The “Seenagers” are older persons aged 60 years and above, who are fondly called Senior Teenagers.
James and his colleagues arrived late on the first day of class due to transportation challenges from their remote village in Enugu State. James was dressed roughly and this gave the facilitators a lot of concern about his preparedness and ability. However, his passion for elderly people and eagerness to learn despite his limited education was delightful to the Facilitators, and was infectious on other members of his cohort at the Training Center. Our DDF team members were therefore happy to organize a special class for him and a few others who needed help with basic English communication skills. This enabled him to participate in the training and complete the blended training (in English and the local language, Igbo). He loves taking care of elderly people and they have shown their appreciation by showering him with prayers and blessings. James is one of our key advocates on our #StopElderAbuse campaign.

Dewdrop Foundation’s work with elderly and vulnerable populations will align with the Decade of Healthy Ageing (2020-2030) which is proposed as a global collaboration led by WHO and will bring together governments, international organizations, professionals, academia, the media, the private sector and civil society to improve the lives of older people, their families and our communities.


By Maryanne Kooda
Dewdrop Foundation

2nd Prize Winner of #StopElderAbuse Campaign 2020

Intro by DDF:

Charles Nwodo  qualified for the 2nd prize in the senior category. Below is his winning entry of the Voice sponsored Art Competition, he was selected for impressing the judges with his interest in the subject matter of #StopElderAbuse. He met the criteria of interviewing a Seenager and succinctly capturing the ‘nuggets of wisdom’ that he learnt during the process.  His accompanying artwork also serve as an indication of his willingness to follow competition rules as well as his artistic talent. 

Please read and share to promote the message #StopElderAbuse

2nd Place Winner of 2020, Art Competition

Charles Nwodo

ESSAY ON NUGGETS OF WISDOM

INTRODUCTION

“Turning and turning in the widening gear the falcon can no longer hear the falconer, the center can no longer hold,mere  anarchy is loosed upon the world,  things fall apart -W. B Yeast. 

From the quote above, it is obvious that things have fallen apart in the very sense that the prestige of the society and life in general is no longer respected and revered. By this we mean that respect and value for elders which lead to all sorts of different inhumanity to human in the name of abuse especially towards the elders are taken for granted.Without noticing or realizing the fact that there are lots of nuggets of wisdom that can be achieved from these seenagers. 

With this in mind, we discover that we get some variatable nuggets of wisdom from seenagers which can be highlighted in the life of my seenager in view with the following itemized Nuggets gotten from her because “What an elder sees sitting down, even when a child climbs an iroko tree cannot see it(an Igbo proverb to which promotes the nuggets of wisdom of the Elders). 

So in this write up, I will enumerate and explain equally some of the Nuggets of Wisdom I adopted as a teenager from this my revered seenager,Late Madam Theresa Akubilo Nwodo -Onovo, who was seventy eight(78) years and happens to be my grand mother.  But before I commence it’s good to know what Nuggets of Wisdom is all about and who are actually seenagers. 

-Nuggets Of Wisdom -Nuggets of Wisdom (from adopted seenager) are words of advice culled or gotten from good judgment of life’s stories of this elderly person. 

-Seenager -Seenager can be seen as an elderly person that is from 60 years and above. In other words can be called senior teenager. 

 

Some Nuggets Of Wisdom From My Seenager Includes ÷

-Prayerfulness-She made me to understand the need for prayers. As Christians we believe that prayers is the means by which we communicate with our God. She expressed our total dependency in God together with our readiness to work physically. She equally lived a life as a devout Christian. 

-Hardworking -I was able to learn from her how to be hardworking, knowing that there is no food for a Lazy man. She was hardworking, still producing palm oil even at her very old age till the point of her ill -health. 

-Sustainability-She worked to sustain herself even when she was alone in the village, the little she had was enough for her. And to me, it was a good thing, and I  was able to learn the spirit of contentment. 

-Love-Love is the key to perseverance. She was so loving and caring. I learnt from her to always love and always pray for my enemies. She always said that “true happiness does not consist in just receiving love. Rather it is a balance of the receiving and the giving of love. 

-Forgiveness -She lived a life of forgiveness. It is one of the good things I learnt, to always forgive my offenders. This I noticed and praised her, that when she was about to give up, she called everybody available both Children and grand Children and apologized, if she had wronged any of us and equally pleads with us to forgive her if in any way she has wronged us, it was for me a good lesson. 

-Humility -The bible made it clear that “whoever humbles himself shall be exalted and who exalts himself shall be humbled “. I learnt from her to always be humble because it is only when you are humble that good things will come to you,  but that does not mean you be a corward.  She lived a humble life through close devotion to our blessed Virgin Mary as a Catholic. Even in her ageing, she always joins other women in sweeping the market place at specified days,  and equally joins the legionaries in their christian task of the home to home visit and the care of the sick and aged in the community. With this now, I learnt the virtue of selflessness and communitarian spirit. 

-Obedience -She always  quote the biblical passage to us from the book of 1 Sam 15 vs 22.The bible teaches us that “Obedience is better than sacrifice “. So in view of that, as Christians and responsible individuals we have to be obedient to instructions from our superiors. 

-Truthfulness /Sincererity -A sincere person is a trustworthy person, she often advices and admonishes me to always say the truth at each time, “because he who says the truth, clears his conscience “. She always frowns at insincerity. I remembered the time she scolded my elder brother so furiously about lies and trying to play pranks with the notion that it does more  harm than good. 

-Cheerfulness-She taught me to be cheerful and happy even in the midst of tribulations. That’s why in times of trials you see her always smiling even at difficult times of her sickness. 

-Good Character and morality -Good character and morality is something every responsible human being should have, and she was a woman of honor and  good character which is shown in her tittle in the church as “Ezinne”that is “the good mother in 2012.

However, there  are other nuggets of Wisdom I can remember Which came as a result of my close interaction with her as her grand child.  And some of them are on the following issues÷

I can remember my sister asking her in one of our discussions with her when we visited her, she asked, “Mama why are marriages  noticed this days to be failing and the cause?.” And she gave us a wonderful advice which is;

*Family and Marriage -Marriage partners should be tolerant, kind and respectful towards each other. They should be sympathetic to each other, listen to the other’s problem and concerns and try to take an interest in their partner. She also said “genital contact is not the most important aspect of marriage. It is only one aspect of what should be a deep, well developed caring relationship. 

*On family -She said, the loving and lively family nest is the basin of future mental and moral health within society. 

 

On War and Peace :

Then I asked equally about the situation of Nigeria and our going to war again to regain our freedom, she sighed and told me, “my son instead of to advocate for a war, better we go into dialogue remembering with great deal of dispair what they went through during the Nigerian -Biafran war of 1967 which killed an estimate of 3.5 million people including his brother and her little niece who died as a cause of disease and illness during the war. 

APPRAISAL

With all this, I discovered that abuse of an elder is not only a taboo to the present generation who through one way or another inflict pain to the elderly person but equally bring curse on themselves because “Ageing is a blessing “and if we cannot secure this blessing now, how can we move on in this present and future generation?. This is because the book of Proverb 17 vs 6 tells us that “The Crown of the aged is their children’s children, the children’s glory in their parents “. Also the words of Wisdom from people like Picasso who said “we don’t get older, we get riper “. We see that the Nuggets of Wisdom are not only important and beneficial to us the teenagers it is a gift from God to humanity. 

CONCLUSION

Therefore, I will conclude by remembering the words of Samuel Tarloy Coleridge, who said “I have often thought what a Melancholy world this would be without Children ;and what an inhuman world without the aged”.  

I vehemently honour all the Seenagers of the world in different levels of old age, as well as tenderly apologize in my little capacity through this medium to all those seenagers who have been abused either, physically, psychologically, sexually, financially, spiritually and otherwise. Then I equally wish in a most profound way to salute and honour the United Nation (UN) who deemed it neccessary and worthwhile to map out these days in every year (June 15th and October 1st)  for the elders all over the world. In thesame vein,  I joyfully dough my cap for all the promoters of stop Elder Abuse, especially Dewdrop foundation who through them this awareness is brought to limelight. 

GOD BLESS AND KEEP ALL OUR SEENAGERS….. AMEN 

 

                          Nwodo Charles  C. 

                          On My Eighteenth Birthday 26/May /2020

                          St. Vincent De Paul Seminary, 

                           Agbogugu, Agwu Local Government. 

        Thanks to you All….Stay Safe… God bless 

PREVENTION EFFORTS ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN NIGERIA GOOD PRACTICES

PREVENTION EFFORTS ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN NIGERIA
GOOD PRACTICES

At inception, NAPTIP faced the onerous tasks of first introducing itself to the Nigerian public, and then to explain why human trafficking was a crime, in view of the fact that most of the practices constituting the crime stemmed from traditional and accepted social norms such as fostering, travelling abroad for greener pastures, and the free choice of some women to earn a living from prostitution.

Public Enlightenment
In the first eight years of the Agency, it adopted a strategy of massive public enlightenment, and engagement with vulnerable groups in order to provide them with information on the antics of traffickers.
This was combined with strong advocacy to opinion and political leaders at community, local government, state and federal levels, to ensure cultural change and secure political support.

Law enforcement
In the area of law enforcement, the Agency embarked on confidence-building measures with existing Law Enforcement Agencies like the Nigeria Police, Nigeria Immigration Service and the Directorate of State Services, in order to enroll their support and cooperation in enabling the Agency realise its mandate.
In addition, NAPTIP undertook the training of officers of these Organisations on the rudiments of human trafficking, and facilitated the effectiveness of their Anti-Human Trafficking Units.

National Plan of Action (2009 – 2012)
In 2009, the Agency, along with its partners, developed a National Plan of Action structured on the four thematic areas of Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Partnership. The Plan, which was subsequently approved by the Federal Executive Council, set out to achieve the following:
• Mass (public) participation and ownership of the Plan of Action;
• A multi-dimensional and multi sectoral approach to its implementation;
• Inter-agency collaboration and participation with emphasis on public, private, partnership;
• An integrated gender sensitive component in all key implementation approaches especially in view of the growing feminization of the TIP/FL phenomenon;
• Capacity building awareness raising and direct assistant as key components of the multi-dimensional approach;
• Strengthening international and regional cooperation;
• The effective management of the TIP/FL and related data and information through the indigenization and domestication of the evaluation and monitoring (Quality Control) mechanisms and personnel of programme implementation, especially as they relate to national security and development;
• The marketing of good practices for replication and adoption nationwide, and in endemic states and communities.

Most of the objectives of the National Plan of Action were achieved in the life-span of the Plan, but coordination and collaboration among law enforcement agencies and service providers remained a major challenge.

NAPTIP Strategic Plan (2012 – 2017)
At the expiration of the National Plan of Action, the Agency developed a comprehensive strategic plan in line with the United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.
The Plan aims to tackle human trafficking in 5 broad areas:
• Strengthening law enforcement and prosecutorial response to issues of TIP, including effective assets tracing and forfeiture;
• Reinforcing public enlightenment, using various mediums, including movies, drama and documentaries to create greater awareness on the real impact of trafficking;
• Expanding platforms for victim protection and assistance and addressing factors which increase vulnerability;
• Strengthening partnerships at national, regional and international levels; and
• Improving organizational development to enhance effective and efficient work culture in order to fulfil our national mandate.

The Agency has worked assiduously to establish partnerships for enforcing mutual legal agreements against trafficking in persons, with countries in West and Central Africa, and signed bilateral cooperation agreements with various countries, including the United Kingdom, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Switzerland, Finland, Benin and Sweden.
Other efforts made by NAPTIP in the last two years include:
• Broadening of the Agency’s public enlightenment drive by developing and airing a television drama series on major networks in Nigeria, on the issue of Human Trafficking;
• Establishment of the “Victims of Trafficking Trust Fund” wherein monies realized from the sale of confiscated and forfeited assets of a convicted trafficker are paid for the benefit of survivors;
• Development of Standard Operational Manuals for key stakeholders;
• Development of an effective National Referral Mechanism (NRM) for better service delivery to victims;
• Evolution of a positive corporate culture for the Agency
• Continuous review of operational guidelines in line with experiences elicited from actual operations;
• Evidence-based research to aid in planning and programming;
• Advocacy and Public Enlightenment Initiatives (community mobilization, awareness raising and intervention projects;
• Re-enactment of the Agency’s enabling Act to enhance law enforcement and to remove ambiguities in judicial proceedings.

The modest achievements of NAPTIP over the last 10 years reinforce the importance of a strong coordination mechanism in the form of specific institutional and legal frameworks in the efforts to stem Trafficking in Persons. An Institutional National Rapporteur focuses national efforts, enhances accountability and responsibility, creates a core of professionals with capacity to effectively fight Trafficking in Persons, and to adapt to the evolving antics of traffickers. A specific Agency and legislation also enhances international cooperation on Trafficking in Persons, as it provides a unified and timely national response.

 

Dewdrop Foundation Observes UN day for Rural Women

International Day of Rural Women
15 October

According to the United Nations, Women and girls are disadvantaged in this pandemic, a problem aggravated in rural areas. Rural women, with a crucial role in agriculture, food security and nutrition, already face struggles in their daily lives. Now, since COVID-19 and their unique health needs in remote areas, they are less likely to have access to quality health services, essential medicines, and vaccines. Restrictive social norms and gender stereotypes can also limit rural women’s ability to access health services. Furthermore, a lot of rural women suffer from isolation, as well as the spread of misinformation, and a lack of access to critical technologies to improve their work and personal life.

Dewdrop Foundation building rural women’s resilience in the wake of COVID-19

The theme for this International Day of Rural Women is “Building rural women’s resilience in the wake of COVID-19,” to create awareness of these women’s struggles, their needs, and their critical and key role in our society.

Dewdrop Foundation in partnership with Center for Gender Economics (CGE) Africa organised a leadership workshop for the executives of the Seenagers Association from the 11 Oxfam-Voice sponsored project communities in South East Nigeria. The aim of the workshop is to equip the executives with the relevant leadership skills necessary for carrying on the smooth running of the Seenagers Association affairs at the close out of our project as part of the sustainability plans for the Association.

The executives of the Seenagers (“Senior Teenagers”) Association were trained on leadership, inclusive governance, nutrition, eldercare and healthcare.
In attendance at the workshop were executives from Ojiagu Agbani, Ishienu – Nkerefi, Akpuoga – Nike, Ndiagu – Owo, Amechi – Idodo, Umuode and Akwuke Communities.
The Dewdrop Foundation team trained the Seenagers executives on leadership & inclusive governance, nutrition & environmental cleanliness, eldercare and healthcare. On Leadership they were taught the necessary skills a good leader should possess which includes being just, integrity, the ability to delegate, empathy, self-awareness, ability to effectively communicate and so on. They were also enlightened on the different styles of effective Leadership. This will equip them to effectively run the affairs of the Association with little inputs from the community leaders and stakeholders.

On Nutrition and Environmental Cleanliness for the elderly, the importance of healthy nutrition in older adults were explained to the Seenagers and the different kinds of food that provide the elderly with more nutrients and less calories such as food rich in protein, calcium, carbohydrate, fruits and vegetables. The interventions on difficulty in healthy eating and healthy food choices was briefly discussed. On environmental cleanliness, the Seenagers were trained on the importance of ensuring that their environment is always kept neat especially their safe space where they hold the monthly meetings. They were advised to assign a few youths to see to the constant cleaning of their safe space for the monthly meetings and also their homes.

On basic healthcare, they were taught the importance of daily exercise as a component of healthy lifestyle, the proper routine medications that would help boost the immune system and make them stronger and healthier. Common health challenges of the elderly and basic interventions of same and emergency management were also taught.
On Eldercare, they were trained about the basic needs of the elderly which includes, mobility & transfer, feeding, grooming, toileting, medication, social life, safety and security.

Sr. Judith Nwodo of Dewdrop Foundation gave a summary of all that was taught while engaging the Seenagers in a question and answer session. She further explained to the Seenagers in areas where they had confusions. She emphasized more on leadership stating that the executives at the end of our Voice sponsored project would carry the on with the Association with inputs from the community leaders as they would own the association as theirs. A standard meeting agenda and meeting toolkit was distributed to the executives from each community.

“It has been so much of a delight learning so much at this workshop, indeed we are grateful to the Foundation for ensuring elderly people are not forgotten. Today we have been impacted with the relevant knowledge to carry on the affairs of our Seenagers Association and we pledge not to let it down.” said Mr. Moses Ani the chairman of Ojiagu Agbani Seenagers Association.

 

Read More: https://www.un.org/en/observances/rural-women-day

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