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Maya Muñoz-Tobón

VOF Application: Writing Assignments Prompts

Journal #1: My Journey

I am a Nigerian residing in Lagos State, one of the biggest cities in Nigeria although I am from the eastern part of the country, Anambra state. I am the second child and the first daughter in a family of eight children. I grew up in rural and semi-urban communities. After my tertiary education, l went to Lagos State (an urban community) in search for job. My job takes me to different places although I reside in Lagos. Thus, in the course of work, I had lived in rural areas for short periods. Hence, I know what life is like in rural, semi-urban and urban communities.

The main challenge we are facing now is poverty which has affected every facets of our life. According to the Federal Bureau of Statistics, about 70 percent of Nigerian population is poor. Women are worst affected by this problem due to lack of economic, social, and political empowerment.

To ensure that the lots of women and young people are improved in my community, I started an NGO that is dedicated to the empowerment of women and young people, my target audience and the two most vulnerable groups in our community. The major problem women are facing in my community is inequality. The resultant effects of this are increasing unemployment, reproductive health problems, maternal mortality rate, gender-based violence, poor economic and political empowerment.

To address this problem, I carry out both school and community programmes targeting my audience. I have been involved in advocacy, awareness creation, research, and intervention programmes –training and education aimed at changing the circumstances of women and young people in my community in the aforementioned areas. I will continue to work in these areas and to promote gender mainstreaming in all facet of our life. Specifically, I would:

  • Educate women and young people on human rights, reproductive health/rights, gender equality and ICT. To effectively do this, I would form a Platform – Gender Vanguard in schools and communities. Under this platform, my targets would learn and share ideas, and information.
  • Empower my targets economically by training them on entrepreneurial development and vocational skills for self- reliance job creation and job creation.
  • Educating the community especially men on maternal health & gender based violence and the need to support actions to reduce the problems.

To enable me attain these goals, I would need adequate funds, and materials. I would also need to equip myself with ICT skills and monitoring and evaluation skills.