Traditional Leader Relates his Experiences on dRPC Capacity Building Training on SSD, Implementation of the International Safe Schools and Health Interventions in Sokoto State.

Institution in the Northwest region of Nigeria, cultural issues triggers lots of rejection of modern health care services, education and women inclusion. As one of its champions for the reproductive and maternal health and advocacy project, I was opportune to attend a number of trainings, workshops and seminars both locally, nationally and internationally sponsored by development Research and projects Center (dRPC).

These trainings have boosted my knowledge and capacity to become real advocate and change agent based on the experience I acquired. This among other things made His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto to appoint me as his Sole representative on the Northern Traditional Leaders Committee on Primary Healthcare services delivery, which helps in the fight against polio in the northern Nigeria. The success recorded further made it possible for the Sultan to expand the activities of that committee to cover all health-related matters in the North.

In recent times, Northern Nigeria is faced with challenges of Insecurity. With the abduction of Chibok girls in 2014 by the deadly Boko Haram insurgence, communities, parents, teachers are living in fear that their children may fall as victims of abduction by either Boko Haram in the North East or Fulani Bandits in the North West and in recent times North Central.

dRPC has been very instrumental in implementing the Safe School Project- CSOs Safe School Movement in Nigeria. As a consistent beneficiary, an International workshop was carried out in Niamey, Niger Republic to look in to ways and means of implementing Safe school project among the Sahelian areas of the countries of West African sub region. These are the areas ravaged by consistent militant attacks of the Bandits, Boko Haram and ISWAP. A training was convened in Abuja by dRPC with funding from Ford foundation and in collaboration with UNICEF and Education in Emergencies Working Group Nigeria (EiEWGN) on CSOs Step-Down Training on School Safety, Security and Resilience Systems Building. After this training an advocacy visit was paid to the National Assembly, a step-down training on Safe School Declarations and recommendations was conducted in Sokoto in by the CSOs in attendance of the Abuja training with the provision of a small grant award by the dRPC on addressing issues of School Emergency Preparedness and an awareness campaign tour was carried out in Sokoto state to wake the communities up to be conscious of likely attacks from the bandits. They were reminded not to wait until it happens but were informed of the signs of it’s likely hood and the measures they take to avert attacks.

I was also opportune to stepdown the capacity building experience acquired to Traditional and religious leaders within the Northern Nigeria and the nation at large.

My level of successes in health-related matter as a result of experience acquired through dRPC has led to my appointment to serve as the National Health advocates, Chairman Board of Trustees Association for the advancement of family planning (AAFP) which is a National body. In fact, due to the various engagement on issues related to Healthcare, women’s right advocacy and gender equality promotion, I was delegated to represent the Sultan on various programmes mostly on Education, Health, Women Affairs and Donor/Global Partners.

These and many other issues have prompted for the setting up of a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) named Community Awareness and Development Initiative (CADI) with the aims of creating awareness to the community on most of the cardinal health and educational projects of dRPC and other Global Partners.