My childhood is what influenced my decision to educate people about sexual and reproductive health issues and gender based violence prevention.
Growing up, my parent died when I was just 7, having to move from one relative to the other. I was molested by my uncle. He will make me play with their genitals until he gets satisfied. This went on for months and nobody suspected , thankfully. I moved away from their house and I got adopted my mum’s immediate sister who happens to take care of me like her own.
At the age of 13, we lived in a tenement building know as (face me I face you ) Two of my neighbors got pregnant for a guy who was also our neighbor. I watched this two girls dropped out of school and became mothers as a child. It was really traumatic for me.
After this Incident I started getting flashes of my own abuse and suddenly I started attracting people who attempted rape from close people, it didn’t happen but the fear stayed with me.
This fueled my passion and I felt it people were aware and orientated, that abusers are trusted people. So that parent can also educate their children to make informed sexual and relationship decisions without violence or abuse.
Inspiration behind Piece of my heart foundation
I knew I had an assignment but I really didn’t know what it was, I pray to God about it. Soon, I started getting flashes of what happened to me as a Child and how God wanted me to turn my pain to purpose. I felt led to start piece of my heart foundation though I wasn’t sure what NGO was and how it was run at that time. I just wanted to make a difference in my community and I started the organization.
The Journey so far
The journey has been awesome and challenging at the same time. The journey has helped me to discover alot about myself, it has helped me to learn skills I never thought I could learn or know. The journey has brought me profitable relationships and realistic exposures. So many times i feel like giving up on the journey because of the so many rejections I get. I have grown a thick skin and rejection got nothing on me, maybe a little thing….
I have made alot of mistake running the organization but I learn from my mistakes. I’m grateful to God I started.
Being a creative designer, and using it to amplify my passion for advocacy
As a creative designer, my skill has helped my work alot, It had helped amplify my work, because most times I use the funds I get from my work to run the organization.
Sometimes I use my skill to preserve relationships. I volunteer to do designs for many people to help them amplify their works too. I’m a strongly believe that supporting other people is a great way to keep relationships.
Nigerians and their understanding of sexual and reproductive health
I think a large percentage of Nigerians are not well informed on issues affecting women and the girl child because most people tend to silence women in advocacy.
Every day women and girls are still faced with lack of access to sexual and reproductive health services, domestic violence, unequal pay for equal work,lack of quality education and so many other issue.
If I had an audience with the President to discuss work
Mr. President sir, In about two years of being at the frontline, working closely with Stakeholders in rural to communities to advocate for women and girl reaching close to over 10,000 person online and offline. I believe that not enough work is being done to protect the right of women and girls in our society. I’ll like the Government to consider partnering with CSOs and NGOs to reach the grassroots. I’ll like the president to amplify our voices by giving women equal representation in Government, empowering women and girls to avoid violence, implement laws that criminalize GBV. We have this laws. Why aren’t they being implemented. We will like the president to fund organizations working on prevention intervention and restructure our crisis management system, the system is too cumbersome.
Mr. President sir, comprehensive sex education should be part of the curriculum starting from primary school in other to help our children make informed decisions.
Challenges of my work
Challenges of my work, one of the personal challenge is trying to balance my career ( product design) with my NGo work, thank God for amazing team members. Many people don’t want to fund prevention intervention and our own believe is that prevention is better than rehabilitation. We are also faced with the challenge of a space for training. One of our aim is to raise alot of advocates. Who can represent us in their communities
3 women who inspire you to be better and why
- Mrs Ibukun Awosika, I love the fact that she is a woman breaking boundaries. She inspires me with her love for God and humanity.
- Anthonia Ojenagbon, she is a survivor of sexual abuse and she is giving other people a chance to be heard. She inspires me so much because of her resilience and her fight for SGBV.
- Esther Ijewere, a woman with an heart of Gold, she inspires me with her selflessness, humility and doggedness.
Key nuggets on child safety & sexual reproductive health
Child safety is everybody’s responsibility especially the parent. As parents, you can not always be everywhere with your children but when you give them comprehensive sex education, you can be sure that they will make informed choices.
Sex education shouldn’t start when your child starts menstruating, it has to start right from the time your child starts speaking both the boys and the girls.
Many people mistake sex education for teaching about sex. Sexual and reproductive health education isn’t just how not to get pregnant. It’s about body safety, self esteem, puberty, gender roles, contraceptives use etc..
Education about sex, is not a one-off conversation. It has to be consistent and age appropriate. Use Google to learn what it age appropriate for your child and filter it with your family value.
Being a Woman of Rubies
I’m a woman of rubies because I am a woman favored and chosen to turn my pain into power. I never allowed my background to put my back on the ground. I’m proud of the woman I have become 😁.