Fatima Mohammed Habib is a young empath with a heart of gold, and passion for community service. She is the youngest humanitarian in Nigeria. At 14, she founded the Advocacy for Human Value Foundation (AFHVF); a Not-for-profit organization that aims at improving the lives of the most vulnerable by providing them with basic needs such as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), health care services, protection and education across Nigeria.
Fatima is a graduate of Political science from University of Maiduguri, and a YALI Regional Leadership Course (RLC) alumna. The organization is powered by over 1,300 volunteers around Nigeria and 30 staffs. With operations in Abuja, Borno, yobe, kaduna, Kano, Taraba, jigawa, and katsina states.
I was born on September 23rd, 1999. I am Kanuri by tribe and hail from Maiduguri, Borno State. I had my Primary and Secondary Schools at Adeola International School Abuja and later moved to Maitama Model Secondary School Abuja to complete my SSCE in 2015. I’d say that I have always wanted to help the less privileged. My parents were my first teachers and therefore had the biggest influence on my life. Things they say and do, their way of being and relating to me and others, laid the foundation for many of my beliefs, values, attitudes, and respect for people around me.
Inspiration behind Human Value Foundation (AFHVF)
My zeal and passion to help the less privileged most definitely pushed me into this path. Let me start with the man whose character, intellectual milieu, and philanthropic gesture to whosoever approaches him in the day, at night, or any other time is indescribable. He is Dr. Mohammed Kyari Dikwa mni. He has greatly inspired me beyond measure.
Additionally, Dr. Zainab Bagudu (the First Lady of Kebbi) whose Medicaid Cancer Foundation is similar to my Foundation’s objectives remains dear to my heart as a woman. I also had the opportunity of meeting Hajia Laraba Shuaibu (a barrister who works with my dad in the Corporate Affairs Commission) in 2014 with my siblings. She had cupboard-of awards displayed in her sitting room which I believe was a result of her versatility, network, and consistency towards her work and profession.
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My Passion For Issues Centered Around Child Sexual Exploitation, And Gender-Based Violence
We realized that one of the most prevalent issues that almost all women face is the issue of Gender-Based Violence. We have studied and come to the conclusion that why most women face this problem because of their dependence on others for their sustenance. The solution to most of the causes of Gender-based violence is the economic empowerment of women.
To this end, I recently started the advocacy on Sexual exploitation. We advocate making these victims become stronger, and more well-informed so that despite the daunting challenge they could be able to speak up and change the face of the world.
Sometimes the security challenges in the Northeast make it difficult to reach some communities. Even when one is determined to go, loved ones will caution against that. Other times, there is the issue of funding.
When we have a project to execute, we usually find it quite challenging to raise funds to meet our budget. We navigate the security challenges by trying to do as much as possible what we can in areas that are safe. For the funding, we try as much as possible to cut down our budget or improve efforts on fundraising
My Thoughts On The Development And Advocacy Sector And What Stakeholders Should Do Better
Stakeholders can do more with the regulations in the sector. Founders should be vetted before giving the necessary license or registration documents to start. This is to protect against people who set up non-profits to enrich themselves. Stakeholders should set more regulations to protect the humanitarian development space from being flooded by people who don’t have the appropriate aim.
Thematic Areas My Organization Cover
Currently, we work in the areas of health, education, and the environment. In the aspect of education, we’ve assisted many people. We have given scholarships and we recently built a school with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and Huawei Technologies Nigeria. We just completed the building of a charity school – primary to secondary levels.
How I Am Using My Organization To Create Room For Women In The Community
About thousand of people’s lives have been impacted and shaped by my foundation as we have been able to give children their right education by enrolling them in schools and funding their education. We have done a lot of fundraising on social media platforms and also a television in providing hospital expenses to people with special disabilities ( Vulnerable members of society).
Periodically, I visit the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Maiduguri and hold discussion sessions with some of our targets where we talk out the problems faced by them. This leads to the curing of trauma and depression amongst the vulnerable members in the various camps we visited. I recently started the advocacy on Sexual exploitation. We advocate making these victims become stronger, and more well-informed so that despite the daunting challenge they could be able to speak up and change the face of the world.
Women Who Inspire Me
1. Dr. Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu
2. Hajiya Laraba Shuaibu
Other Projects And Activities
For health, we are assisting people who can’t pay their hospital bills. So, we post it online mostly. In 2018, the then-minister of health saw some of our posts and made sure that one of the boys we were assisting was given the care he needed. As for the environment, you know the northeastern part of the country has been prone to conflicts, especially Maiduguri. We have been providing aid in IDP camps and communities affected by criminalities.
In the area of sanitation, we provide boreholes. For the females, we sensitize them to child sexual exploitation and provide them with sanitary pads to enhance their menstrual hygiene among others. That is water sanitation and hygiene.
My Work-Life Balance Routine
I understand that to whom much is given, a lot is expected. I have never taken the privilege I have for granted. I try to be as very organized as possible. Whatever I do, I plan adequately for it. Anything that comes up later that is not in my plan, initially, I try to see if some plans can make way for it. If they are all priorities, I postpone or discard them as appropriate.
Being a Woman Of Rubies
I am very ambitious. Supporting and encouraging people to pursue their own goals and dreams, I make my own as well. I have a vision for my future and chase after it with voracity.
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