General

Zamani Foundation in Nigeria – Peace, Development, Poverty Eradication and Good Governance through advocacy

By Denise Nanni and Milena Rampoldi, ProMosaik. In the
following our interview with with Philomena Zamani-Henry of the Zamani Foundation, operating in
Nigeria and covering Peace, Development, Poverty Eradication
and Good Governance through advocacy. Would like to thank Philomena for her
time and the photos she sent us.


What
are
the main social
and economic issues faced within Nigeria’s
civil
society?
The main social
and
economic issues Nigerian civil society faces
is funding and poor public perception.
Funding: The government is overstretched trying to provide infrastructure, policies and
other key indices for
the economic and social
wellbeing of
the
c
itizens of Nigeria and
is often in competition with civil society organizations
for foreign funding.
Poor Public Perception: Public perception
of civil society organizations is often poor because there is a general perception that civil society organizations are trying to change the
general way of
life of people.


  

What
are
the focus area of your organization and
how
would you define its approach?

Zamani Foundation’s
operations
cover Peace, Development, Poverty Eradication
and Good Governance through advocacy.
Peace: Zamani Foundation has
been on the forefront of providing relief and basic
services to victims of violence and displaced
persons. We are also involved in countering violence and
violent extremism through advocacy.
We
a
re currently working in
the North East of Nigeria
where millions of people have been displaced by activities of the terrorist group
known as Boko Haram.
Development: Zamani
Foundation has several
programs
targeting development.
Advocating for government policies that will bring about lasting development
and helping build the capacity of communities to sustainably develop
themselves.
Poverty
Eradication:
We have several skill acquisition
programs and funding programs to help
people in poorer communities
rise out of poverty and
improve the general
standard of living of the entire community.
These programs are turnkey solutions created to suit each
community and has
been proven
to have better results than
blanket solutions that do not take into account the ethnic and religious background of
the target demographic.
Good
Governance:
Good governance is
critical for the overall development
of any society. Zamani Foundation is very passionate about
helping to improve citizen
engagement
in political affairs
in the following ways:
®      Choosing their
leaders
®      Articulating their
needs
to their lawmakers and leaders
®      Keeping their lawmakers accountable

In
what ways do you promote women’s rights and empowerment?
And
how do you address the
issues of gender-related violence?

Zamani Foundation
has several
projects specifically tailored to women and girls.
Women and girls are one of the
most vulnerable
demographic
around the world and are often targets or unable
to access critical
basic human needs. Zamani
Foundation has the following projects for women:
®  Skills acquisition
trainings for women
®  A cooperative specifically for women
so they can access
funding for their small
businesses
®  Access
to legal identification
for women so they can gain
access to public and
private sector benefits such
as healthcare, banking, travel documents etc.
We recently just empowered 7500 women
in Kaduna Nigeria in
collaboration with UNWomen
and Mastercard.
®  Access
to healthcare for
women and girls so they can live healthier
and more productive lives
®  Women in Agriculture project
®  Women engagement in public service,
politics, civil society and
the private sector
through trainings, mentorship
and support groups
®  Women and
Youth training on ICT
®  Financial Inclusion training
How do you
promote poverty eradication?

Zamani Foundation has
the
following poverty eradication projects:
® 
Skills acquisition
training including ICT skills to aid in driving small
businesses
® 
Access to funding through
cooperatives, small
loans and grants
®  Mentorship programs and support groups to help small businesses and
sole entrepreneurs
to grow and thrive.
® 
The Zamani Foundation sports program to keep youth engaged and help promising
youth
sportsmen and women to get
into professional sports.
® 
Education projects for
children in rural
areas and poor communities as a foundation
for gainful employment or to acquire required
skills to start their own
business.
® 
Agriculture project.

Do you cooperate with
local authorities and institutions?
If
yes, how?

We cooperate with
local Authorities and
have a long standing relationship with them because of the nature of
our work. Our involvement
in advocacy and
our work with women empowerment usually requires
security and other regulatory requirements. We also
build and maintain relationships with key individuals
and
groups in public office and politics as
we embark on advocacy projects for
peace and development.



Some of our
activities
like trainings, advocacy,
election
observation etc. also
require the knowledge and permission of the authorities. We often do such
projects in partnership
with the authorities. The One Woman
One
ID Card project
we recently concluded
was in partnership with UN Women, MasterCard Foundation and
the office of the Presidency through the National Identity Management
Commission (NIMC) of Nigeria.
We also partner with the
Ministry of Women Affairs in several
of our projects. For
instance we organized a Womens Economic Summit and
partnered with
the Ministry of Women Affairs to do so.
Finally, we are very proud of the
relationship we have with
the security agencies
in Nigeria starting from the Nigerian Army with
whom we have carried
out several
Peace Keeping projects and Counter Violence/Violent Extremism Projects and the Nigerian
Police with whom we have carried out several projects in Peace building and peaceful
elections.