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.


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