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Leading From Within - Integral Leadership for Sustainable Development

Start Date: Dec 03, 2008
Completion Date: Nov 30, 2011
Country: Nigeria
  • Drishti - Centre for Integral Action
Key Contact(s):

Lisa Gibson

Women’s Cooperatives

Women in most communities in Cross River State are homemakers. Though they may farm the land and engage in petty trading, this is done with the consent of their husbands. Educated women who engage in paid employment most often have to submit their earnings to their husbands or provide most of their salaries for the upkeep of the family. The situation does not enable them to have savings and plan for their own future.

Due to the prevalence of unattended health problems among men, ranging from HIV/AIDS, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, acute malaria, tuberculosis along wtih inter-tribal wars, there is an alarming increase in the number of widows. As this is the case in all the local government areas that make up Cross River State, Ikom Local Government Area is not an exception. Nevertheless the inhuman nature of widowhood practices in this LGA has informed our group’s decision to situate a project there.

The breakthrough initiative group will help establish three women's co-operatives to train the women in chosen skills of interest to them so that they can become empowered economically. The main project activities shall include advocacy visits and sensitization meetings; meetings with stakeholders in the community; selection of project beneficiaries; formation of the 3 co-operative societies; trainings; provision of start-up kits (seed grants) for the co-operative societies; and monitoring and evaluation. The overall purpose/goal of the project is to empower 20 less privileged widows in Ikom Local Government Area to be self-reliant, assertive and contribute to decision making process in their communities through working in groups.

The main and direct project beneficiaries will be 20 less privileged widows selected in Okuni community. The breakthrough initiative group believes that it is possible to provide these widows with alternative source of livelihood to take them out of poverty, want and misery and thus enhance their self-worth and empower them economically. With effective intervention measures like formation of co-operative societies, capacity building, provision of seed grants and mentoring/coaching, the group believes that it is possible for the widows to assume a normal and better life with their families. This in turn will positively affect the entire community.