The Widows and Orphans Empowerment Organization (WEWE), a non-governmental organization, has successfully launched a women-led and women-focused network, bringing together NGOs, CSOs, and BMOs through a collaborative effort with the USAID -SCALE program, in partnership with Palladium International. The primary goal of this joint platform is to amplify the voices of these organizations, advocating for women’s and vulnerable group rights, particularly in addressing gender-based violence, educational and health challenges, child marriages, vulnerable women as well as trafficking.

Among the 198 member organizations forming the network, (Solace Place Foundation International (SOPAFON) stands out as one of the selected first 30 women-led focus support groups and beneficiaries. Recently, all 30 organizations came together in Abuja for a Capacity-Building, Resource Sustainability

and Strengthening Planning Workshop. This workshop was specifically designed to provide guidance and resources to women-led organizations, enabling them to enhance their capacities and continue their impactful work in the community.

Dr. Mrs. Josephine Ogazi, the Executive Director of WEWE, expressed immense joy and admiration for the enthusiasm and dedication displayed by the participants during the three-day workshop on “Organizational Sustainability and Resource Mobilization.” She was moved by the gratitude expressed by the women-led organizations for the support they received, stating that in her 20 years of experience, she had never witnessed such energy and cooperation among participants. The knowledge sharing and learning within these support networks have proven to be remarkable.

The workshop focused on equipping the first members of the network with the necessary tools and knowledge to ensure their sustainability and growth. The interactive and personalized approach of the facilitators pleasantly surprised many participants, including Julia Onyinyechi Anyanechi , the Program Manager of SOPAFON, who was mandated to represent Amb. Mrs Mercy Gani Ajuka JP – the ED/CEO of Solace Place Foundation International (SOPAFON). She expressed gratitude to USAID, Palladium, WEWE, and the American Government for the funding and support.

This training workshop served as a powerful platform for women-led organizations to empower themselves with the necessary tools and knowledge to drive significant change. The united efforts of USAID, Palladium, and WEWE reflect a strong commitment to empowering women and advancing gender equality in Nigeria.

Through this workshop, SOPAFON and the other women-led organizations were able to acquire invaluable skills and insights, enabling them to play a more significant role in advocating for gender equality and women’s empowerment in the region. The training not only strengthened their capacities but also fostered collaboration among the participating groups, creating a network of like-minded individuals working towards a common goal.

The dedication and support from USAID, Palladium, and WEWE have been instrumental in bolstering these efforts. SOPAFON acknowledges their commitment to fostering positive change and gender inclusivity, and their unwavering support has been pivotal in driving progress.

As one of the first selected 30 Women Led Focus Support Groups, SOPAFON remains steadfast in its mission to create a more equitable society, where women’s voices are heard, and their contributions are recognized. The organization is eager to apply the knowledge gained from the workshop and continue making a meaningful impact in the lives of women and their communities.

Moving forward, SOPAFON have used this opportunity to strengthen it’s capacity and will continue collaborate and leverage her newfound expertise to address gender-related challenges and drive transformative change. Through this Training, SOPAFON recognize that empowering women is not only a matter of social justice but also a crucial step towards sustainable development and a more prosperous future for all.

In conclusion, the workshop organized by WEWE – Workshop Exceptional, supported by USAID, Palladium, and other collaborating CSOs and NGOs, has been a transformative experience for SOPAFON and the other women-led organizations. Their collective efforts reinforce the commitment to advancing gender equality, and they are determined to create lasting positive change in Nigeria and beyond