Lead SALead SA

Achieving Gender Justice & Reconciliation - Wadi Ben-Hirki

Written by: diannem

On 22 November 2017, the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) in partnership with LEAD SA, will celebrate 10 young African activists (between the ages of 18 – 35), who are doing exceptional work in the Gender Justice Field.

Since the year 2000, the IJR hosts the prestigious Reconciliation awards ceremony where individuals or organisations are recognised for their contribution in advancing reconciliation across different spheres of society.

Building on from last year’s succesful introduction of the Rising Shaper award where three young poeple who made an outstanding contribution to achieving nation-building and reconciliation were recognised, this year 10 young actvists were chosen from 47 public nominations.

Wadi Ben-Hirki, **Northern Nigeria**

Wadi Ben-Hirki is from Adamawa State. She is a recent graduate of Covenant University, Nigeria where she was awarded Class of 2017 Philanthropist of the year and one of the top 10 most influential graduates.

Wadi is the Founder of Wadi Ben-Hirki Foundation (WBHF), a registered charity organization based in Nigeria. Their major projects are: Street2School where less-privileged children are provided with access to education, GirlsNotWives, an avenue where we campaign against the challenges faced by marginalized and disadvantaged young girls and women in my community and beyond. Some of the challenges are: female genital mutilation, rape, girl child marriage and trafficking among others. It's also a platform where they advocate for gender equity and girl-child education. Their third project is LITMOW (Love In The Midst Of War) which focuses on reaching out to the survivors of the Boko Haram insurgency in Northern Nigeria. The Foundation launched a business, Sapphire by WBHF, where branded merchandise are made and sold to help raise funds for the foundation so they will not only depend on people's donations or support. The foundation also empowers young girls and women by teaching them various skills to enable them work with us and also enable them become self-employed so they can raise money for themselves and their families.

Wadi recently started an empowerment initiative named "SHEROES by WBH" aimed at helping young girls discover themselves, their potentials, their purpose and helping those with low self-esteem overcome it through routine meetings, seminars, check-ups, exercises and afterwards, carry out individual follow-ups to ensure progress is being made. Wadi is currently a member of the Association of Women’s Rights in Development, Ruby Ladies and key member of WARS (War Against Rape and Sexual Abuse) Initiative.

Wadi is an enabler at the Young Stars Foundation Female and More self-esteem Boot camp 2017. Furthermore, she is also one of the Kaduna State Coordinators of the #NotTooYoungToRun Campaign and at the Youth Organizing School 2017; they launched #ThePowerOf18 Campaign where they advocate for youth and women inclusion and participation in politics and governance.

The recognition and in-depth profiling of the above listed activists will run from 13 November – 17 November 2017 on both IJR and Lead SA’s digital platforms.




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