Ama Onyerinma advocates for gender equality and non violence through Live Abundantly Empowerment Initiative

Call her an unwavering advocate for a better life for women and children and you won't be wrong. Knowing that the future of a nation is hinged largely

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Call her an unwavering advocate for a better life for women and children and you won’t be wrong. Knowing that the future of a nation is hinged largely on improvements and transformation through educating women and children, thereby raising the awareness level of violence against women and children, which has been on the rise, is to say the least, what prompted Dr Ama Onyerinma, to set up the Live Abundantly Empowerment Initiative.

With a mission to encourage people to live better lives; mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and financially, generally and to address and eradicate injustices towards women and children specifically, so they no longer get marginalised by poverty, physiological differences and molestations, Dr Onyerinma is no doubt, resolute in her drive to make the much needed difference.
With so many initiatives and charitable causes involving women and children, what sets The Live Abundantly Empowerment Initiative is the obvious need to provide  social consciousness and advocacy. According to the consummate educationist, author and life coach,
“Anyone can have a platform but it’s what you do with it that matters. I am not here to just talk or make empty promises. I am also not here to give money or scholarships but to create actionable plans that can be replicated.”

Founded in 2016, the initiative’s goal is segmented into three folds; to create a platform for social consciousness and discourse while striving to uphold the civil liberties of women and children regardless of their economic standing, to make education accessible for children marginalised by poverty and physiological differences and to provide education for women seeking both formal and informal education.

To this end, a symposium which will mark the first in a series of other activities to drive the success of the initiative, will kick off on the 10th of March 2017 with the theme; ‘Safety and Respect for Women and Children’
 “The essence of the symposium is to share information because information is power. The more information one has, the better informed one is and the better one can make choices”, she says.
“We will start in the South West. It will be a prototype with the hope that the message will be replicated in other areas.  We will be targeting secondary schools in this area. Women will also be part of the symposium.”

Aimed at creating awareness and educating participants on prevalent issues of violence against women and children as well as the detrimental effects on families and communities, it will also focus on the behaviors that lead to abuse and the need to address and correct them.
“We are focused on bringing in secondary school children. Education on violence needs to start at that level because that is when they form relationships with the opposite gender and become more aware socially of what is occurring around them.
“It is therefore very critical for them, the male students particularly, to understand that they have to respect women regardless of who they are including how not send some ugly messages out on social media to women that are very demeaning. Hopefully as they get older, the message sinks in deeper and such behaviors don’t germinate, ” she reiterates.

Besides advocating for policies that makes it criminal for anyone to be violated, women and children will be empowered to have a voice  to speak out against perpetrators of theses molestations who are usually men
“We hope that by educating them, the female children can speak up in their families and know that it isn’t appropriate to mistreat children who can’t speak for themselves. This has permeated into the fibre of the society and it isn’t right. We need to be vocal about it”, she adds

Lending his voice, Peter Armand Boyo, a multi-faced multi-media personality and a trustee of the initiative emphasizes that the symposium is all about teaching them a way of life; giving them the tools, teaching them what they need to know, how to speak out when they have been molested and who to go to.
“It is important to empower the girl child on what to do or say when they have been molested or even preventing it from happening. She needs to know that there is a support group where she can go to for help rather than resign herself to fate.
“I believe that as many as are willing to join us in championing this cause, we can collectively change the general attitude towards women and children of both sexes.”

Besides empowering women with a voice, they will also be  empowered through formal and informal education. Informal by teaching them a vocation, a skill that enables them earn money and have a livelihood.
“When women are empowered and have an education, it changes the lives of their children”, says Dr Ama.
“There will also be formal teachings as we have since come to realize that some women desire to acquire some form of basic education.”
The symposium is expected to be an annual affair focusing on different groups of people in the society, with other life changing  events that will hold in-between.

Also the Live Abundantly Empowerment Initiative plans to make children abandoned by their families due to physiological differences their prime focus.
“The Nigerian society expects everyone to be perfect but in reality, none of us is perfect, we all have something we are dealing with so why throw away children because they look or speak different. So we shall do our best with special need children, that is, children with Polio, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome etc, by making sure that they have the education and resources they need. They all are entitled to being proper citizens of the world regardless of their physical defects or social status, ” she concludes.

Other members of the board of trustees helping Dr Ama drive this laudable initiative are Mrs Tolulope Sadipe, the Special Adviser to Oyo State Governor on Projects, Mrs Nneka Isaac-Moses, a television personality and producer and Prince Gbenga Oguntayo, an active player in the oil and gas industry.  

 
Prince Gbenga Oguntayo


Peter Amand Boyo