Sep 17, 2017
Am ABIODUN ESSIET, my story of change has been a journey of inspiration, awareness, development and fulfillment. In life, people work to make ends meet or take care of their family which is important but I want to work to fulfill my passion and dreams as I satisfy my hunger for change in my society, this is who I am….
Everyone has a passion, zeal enthusiasm in them that they may not really understand, but when they experience something or realize an idea that connect with their passion or zeal , something clicks inside them which brings about the reality –“ this is what I want to do”- which is what Nigeria women trust has done for me (In a mentor-ship program), helping me to realize my dreams.
I started my community development service 9 years ago when I noticed the high prevalence of teenage pregnancy in my community during my undergraduate study as a nursing student and I decided to do something about it on my own. In 2016, I got a scholarship fund from Coady International Institute , Canada for a certificate course on Community Leadership Development By Women . It was a wonderful experience for me, It gave a name to what I had been doing for 9 years . I was taught the importance of women involvement in decision making, which was a major issue in Nigeria, presently we have less that 10% of women in decision making platform . So I made up my mind to do something about it when I get back home.
Getting back home, I got an opportunity to apply for a mentorship program for young women who are interested in leadership or politics by Nigerian women trust fund, and I was privileged to be part of the few young women chosen . I was attached to a mentor for my six month program , to groom me and assist me in structuring my life for success in line with my leadership development. It was a learning process, my mentor gave me the opportunity to do things I never had in mind to do , one of which was to join an organization involved in democracy and development to plan a program, as small as it may look, it gave me a hint to what I should do next on my journey to greatness.
Everything my mentor guided me to do was specific to some of my needs and gave me answers to some of the questions in my mind. Getting to know my mentor was a great privilege for any young lady like me to have a relationship with someone making a difference in the life of women in my country and in Africa. In summary, “ the mentor-ship program was like having someone give you the answers to the questions of life before you even sat for the exam of life”.
During the period of mentor-ship program, I started my pet project titled -35% inclusion movements, at the grassroots level to empower women with skills acquisition as I sensitize them to get involve in politics and development of their community. My movement goal is for Nigeria to achieve 35 % inclusion of women (without the exemption of marginalized women or vulnerable women) in decision making platform for 2019 general elections in line with Beijing platform for action 1995. I also created a social media network on Facebook for young women in Africa to train them in leadership development and politics; it is a closed group with 35 women from Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and DR Congo.
I can boldly say my dreams is about to be fulfilled and I know I have a purpose and a role to play in closing the gender gap in decision making platform in Nigeria, Africa and in the World.