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Filled Vessels An Inspirational BGIA Magazine

Annual Global BGIA Event Igniting Your Passion

Maiden Edition 2013

BUILD Your Network Business Enterprise Network

Service to Humanity

African Women and Technology

A Close Look The life of Abike Dabiri-Erewa

The Next Generation Education for our Children

Women as LEADERS Power, Participation, Progress Up Your Passion

Celebrate. Empower . Encourage. Inspire. Ignite

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Founder and Editorial Director Abby Osoba Editor-in-Chief Feyikemi Kukoyi Editor-at-Large Damilola Liyele Deputy Editor Idara Udo

Editorial Board Education Contributor - Adewale Oluwatobi Health Contributor - Idara S. Udo Leadership Contributor - Deji Meije Technology Contributor - Marianne Jamme

A big THANK YOU to all who helped to make the maiden edition of BGIA’s Filled Vessels Magazine a success.

Page 3 Filled Vessels Magazine August 2013

Contents 4 Welcome Message

9 Women as Leaders

By Founder & Editorial Director

10 A close look at Abike

13 Technology and


African Women

14 Introducing BEN

19 “Igniting your Passion� Environment

20 The Prepared

21 Our Service to



Filled Vessels Magazine is an inspirational BGIA magazine. We connect with women from all walks of life and ethnicity. What makes us unique is that all our efforts are concentrated on empowering, encouraging, celebrating African girls and women of all ages.

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Welcome Message Welcome to our exciting, new magazine! I am pleased to introduce you to Filled Vessels, an inspirational BGIA magazine dedicated to celebrating, empowering, encouraging, inspiring and igniting girls and women in Africa and across the world in their personal, health, spiritual, and overall wellbeing professionally. To bring information you can use to boost your self esteem, identify positive role models in the various communities, make an impact in someone's life or in your community, start a new revolution, help you achieve your purpose and dream, and success in your business and career. Filled Vessels is filled with tips and stories to motivate and encourage you to create whole-life success in your personal lives, homes, organizations and communities. You will learn from the best of the best—and from it, you can be your best. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, Filled Vessels is the magazine for you. And if you juggle a busy work life or a busy home life, or both, you have come to the right place. Our magazine is a quick read packed with information to help you have a great lifestyle, manage everyday chaos, and create the life you want while being fulfilled at the same time. YOU have to be filled with something, What are YOU filled with? Filled Vessels is the result of my desire to help people reach new heights. As a young girl growing up, I had long wished for a magazine that could inspire women, and the goal was brought into reality in mid 2013. Our tagline: celebrate, empower, encourage, inspire and ignite girls and women in Africa and all across the globe, embodies what we hope you will learn from the magazine: live well, love what you do and inspire others. Filled Vessels will be considered the centerpiece to personal development and inspiration in the years to come . Filled Vessels capitalizes on these principles, but is geared specifically for young girls and women who want more out of life. The names of women who have achieved great things and inspired others in Africa grace the first issue, you will learn the secrets to their successes so you can stand on the shoulders of these giants and do better than they have done. Each woman’s story in Filled Vessels is an uplifting tool to show others how we can all achieve such greatness. As girls and women, we have an innate ability to be the champions of change. We support and motivate our family, friends, spouses and children every day. Let Filled Vessels support and motivate you as you work to reach your personal and professional goals. I will like to personally welcome you again, ENJOY!

Abby Osoba Founder & Editorial Director

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From the Editor-In-Chief Dear Reader:

Welcome to our first ever Filled Vessels Magazine. The Filled Vessels Magazine has been in the works since the existence of BGIA as our CEO; Abby Osoba shared this vision with me when I joined BGIA. This magazine will be a vehicle for the delivery of timely and thoughtful information and opinion on the many issues that involve our non-profit organization. I would like to thank those who serve on the Filled Vessels Magazine’s staff and its Editorial Board for providing the support and feedback necessary to find, develop, and publish material of such consistent high quality. I hope that we can build on such a strong record and continue to expand the reach of the Filled Vessels Magazine for the benefit of the entire community, and ultimately for the benefit of the girls and women in Africa. This edition of the Filled Vessels Magazine inaugurates a somewhat modified format. Most important however, are what our collection of contributors have to communicate. I hope you find this issue of interest, and as we continue to explore new ways to make the Filled Vessels Magazine useful to you, please share your ideas and thoughts with us. I can be reached at, and I look forward to hearing from you.


Feyikemi Kukoyi Editor-in-Chief

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Letter from the Deputy Editor It is with great delight that I welcome you to the maiden edition of our magazine. The work of non-profit organizations is unique as well as important, most especially in regards to girls and women, as they constitute a large proportion of the socially and economically underprivileged. We hope that this magazine will provide a broader, higher platform on which we can share and highlight the passionate work that we do at BGIA. Through this means, readers like you can see how beneficial it is to support organizations like ours, and ultimately help the people who are desperately in need of it. Therefore, allow the stories to inspire your imaginations and motivate your minds. Step into our world as we guide you through it. Happy reading. Sincerely, Idara Udo Deputy Editor Email:

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Our Mission To empower, encourage and celebrate positive, healthy life -changing activities and development by helping girls and women foster their dreams of a better tomorrow without comprising their integrity and self-worth today. The mentoring of girls and women to help combat the effects of negative influences from the media and society. To build their self-esteem by changing their outlook on life, broadening their horizons, and helping them to empower themselves.

Our Vision The empowerment of girls and women will make them dare to fulfil their dreams, dare to be whomsoever they want to be, and they will not let anyone else define what they should or should not do. As a result, they will ignite and be great! We have the opportunities to enrich the lives of adolescent girls and older women through mentorship, arts, education, cultural exploration and public service.

Our Structure We are a network of women connected invisibly by a common thread of BGIA principles. We have a board of Trustees who are Platinum Life Members and are ultimately responsible for the strategic direction of the work of BGIA. We carry out annual activities and operations through the Board, Executive Council, Senior Management, Management Coordinators, and ad hoc volunteers. We have active members and volunteer members.

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Benefits of Membership Access to empowerment sessions with BGIA and BGIAPartnered Events across the world The opportunity to be mentored as well as to mentor girls and women in Africa and across the world All-access VIP passes and discounts to all BGIA Events. The chance to have your personal company advert featured on the BGIA website and at BGIA events. Discounts for products and services advertised by BGIA. Support and essential networking opportunities for members to meet others in their work or business.

BGIA Members Undertake to: Display integrity in business and personal dealings. Dedicate time, strength, mental and physical vitality and energy for effective involvement at BGIA charity and empowerment programs. Advance the influence of girls and women African communities. Celebrate and support individual and team successes. Maintain respect for everyone regardless of age, ethnicity or social standing.

Membership Guidelines BGIA is a loose network of purposeful women from diverse backgrounds and walks of life, each of us bound by the common thread of BGIA principles a desire to celebrate, empower, encourage, inspire and ignite girls and women, and a passion for maintaining those desires

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WOMEN AS LEADERS? POWER, PARTICIPATION AND PROGRESS IN THE 21ST CENTURY? – DELE MEIJI FATUNLA The continued dominance of men in African politics is not good for men, it’s not good for women and it’s not good for the continent. Thankfully, this is a situation that is changing. African women have made remarkable progress in emancipation and empowerment, in the last few years we have seen a few women take on the mantle of leadership in the political arena at the highest level. Women occupy the presidency in Malawi and Liberia. Mrs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is the Chairperson of the African Union Commission. In many countries, women are now the leaders of key ministries. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is the minister of Finance for Nigeria; Linah Moholo is the central governor of the Bank of Botswana. Yet, many challenges remain, especially, the use of rape of girls and women as a weapon of war, which has been a particularly damaging development in many recent conflicts on the continent. Despite the challenges, African governments have made gender parity a priority, and there have been significant results – Senegal, South Africa, Botswana, and Mozambique all rank highly for their level of women’s representation in Parliament. The only country in the world with more than 50% of women in its legislature is Rwanda. The debate on using quotas to achieve gender parity in politics remains a lively one, in Africa, the UK and elsewhere, yet there is no gainsaying the results. Mozambique, one of the countries where quota systems have been implemented is ranked 5 th in the world for female representation in Parliament. Carlos dos Santos, the Mozambican High Commissioner to the UK, speaking at our event on Women as Leaders in Africa, links Mozambique’s gender policies to the country’s struggle for liberation, and the equal role played by men and women in it. He said: “We consider women’s equality fundamental to development in Africa and elsewhere in the world … Our conviction dates back to the time of the liberation movement against colonialism, where women fought side by side with men to liberate the country … It was clear then and now that the development of our country requires the full participation of women, who constitute 52% of the population.” Lofty ambitions – but attaining them in most African countries remains a challenge, even with some of the most progressive legislation anywhere in the world in many of the continent’s constitutions.

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The Honorable Abike Dabiri-Erewa: A close look Politician/Member of the Nigeria Federal House of Representatives – Ikorodu, Constituuency in Lagos Abike Dabiri-Erewa has always been a familiar face. Right from her days at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), where she made her mark as a broadcaster, she has always been a jolly good fellow. From the tube to politics, she has emerged as an Amazon; a parliamentary activist of sorts, especially when public interest is in grave danger. Not a few female lawmakers admit that her performance in the House of Representatives influenced their decision to become legislators. What then is Abike’s oeuvre? She reveals this herself, beginning with her birth. Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa is the daughter of Alhaji and Alhaja Ashafa Erogbogbo. Her father Alhaji Ashafa is one of the children of late Alhaji. Sule Erogbogbo of Adegorunsen Compound, Ajina square, Ita – Agbodo, Ikorodu. Both her parents distinguished themselves in their careers and taught Abike, the significance of hard work, to believe in the power of education and instilled in her a love for the Country. Hon. Abike DabiriErewa started her educational career at Maryland Convent private school, Ikeja. She attended St. Teresa’s College, Ibadan for her secondary education where she distinguished herself. Thereafter, she obtained her first degree in English Language from the prestigious University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU) in Ile – Ife.

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In pursuit of her quest for knowledge, she obtained a Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) in Mass Communication and also a Masters Degree in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos, Akoka. She is also an alumnus of the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA. This devoted Muslim is happily married to Segun Erewa and they are blessed with children. Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa fondly called “Mother of Theresa of the tube” prides herself in her outstanding career as a broadcaster. She spent 15 years of distinguished and meritorious service at the Nigerian Television Authority. While in NTA she gained a strong understanding of the industry because of her dedication, inquisitive and professionalism. She anchored the weekly NTA News line program to the delight of millions of Nigerians irrespective of tribe or religion. She warmed her way into the hearts of many with her gallantry efforts of using television as an effective tool to draw attention to millions of Nigerians. Her commitment and passionate dedication to duty while working on several hearttouching “Newsline” stories stood her out and endeared her to many. Indeed, she has made a success out of her life having been a lawmaker of note in the House of Representatives. For instance, she pursued the passage of the Freedom of Information Bill with the fury and tenacity of a lioness. Is she glamorous? Yes! But the mother of two would always tell you there is more to her than glamour. “I have always maintained that there is more to a woman than what she wears. A woman can also be a part of whatever goes on in her society— she can be a leader, an administrator or a successful professional. On women, of course, she believes that Nigerian women can do well in any position of authority. “We have very qualified and highly competent women. Women you can trust and women who can deliver.”

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Empowered Woman The Empowered Woman, she moves through the world with a sense of confidence and Grace. Her once reckless Spirit now tempered by Wisdom. Quietly, yet firmly, she speaks her Truth without doubt or hesitation and the life she leads is of her own creation. She now understands what it means to live and let live. How much to ask for herself and how much to give. She has a strong, yet generous heart.. and the inner beauty she emanates truly sets her apart. Like the mythical Phoenix, she has risen from the ashes and soared to a new plane of existence, unfettered by the things that once that posed such resistance. Her senses now heightened, she sees everything so clearly. She hears the wind rustling through the trees; beckoning her to live the dreams she holds so dearly. She feels the softness of her hands and muses at the strength that they possess. Her needs and desires she has learned to express. She has tasted the bitter and savored the sweet fruits of life, overcome adversity and pushed past heartache and strife. And the one thing she never understood, she now knows to be true, it all begins and ends with You. ♼ ~ Sonny Carroll

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How Technology Can Transform the Lives of African Women


recently left the Global Forum on Innovation & Technology Entrepreneurship in South Africa, inspired, empowered and hopeful, but extremely impatient to see radical changes to help women in Africa develop a world-class talent in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and businesses. Throughout the event I saw women who were passionate entrepreneurs. They were all seeking new ways of growing their businesses. The women discussed challenges and barriers to success, and how to take their business to the next level. They wanted to grow their network and create global partnerships. Women hold the key to Africa's development, from agriculture to technology and entrepreneurship. But they still face massive hurdles in many areas of development and they are still financially disadvantaged and lack confidence in starting up businesses in Africa. Mid-career dropout is frequent; cultural and social boundaries also are hurdles women need to overcome every day. Gender inequality is also a major issue for women looking to get loans from banks; often, they are not taken seriously. In most African countries women account for a sizable part of the workforce, but still, there are not many places where women entrepreneurs can go for mentoring and support for their businesses.

MariĂŠme Jam

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Introducing BEN The Business Enterprise Network I. What is BEN?

II. Why do we need BEN?

The Business Enterprise Network (BEN) is a network of Business and Professional Women that was established to develop the business skills and growth potential of women in new or existing homebased, and micro small business.

Women-owned businesses comprise one of the fastest growing segments in today's economy. While women are active, they face particular problems and challenges in developing their businesses. In addition to those problems faced by all small-scale entrepreneurs, it is commonly asserted that women frequently face gender bias in the socio-economic environment in which they operate. They face additional or at least different social, cultural, educational and technological challenges than men when it comes to establishing and developing their own enterprises, and accessing economic resources. Even with the rise of the African female entrepreneur, many are still small scale traders, it is only a few that have risen to a large scale practice, with many businesses seeing little or no growth over a number of years due to the challenges these women still face. The Business Enterprise Network is a pacesetter in helping women-owned business enterprises grow and develop. BEN is strongly committed to increasing opportunities for womenowned businesses and providing support along the way.

Its Mission is to internationally develop the professional, business and leadership potential of women on all levels through advocacy, mentoring, networking, skill-building and economic empowerment programs and projects around Africa and the world. To achieve this goal, BEN seeks to create a culture that develops, supports, and encourages women’s abilities, focuses on the attraction, retention, development, and engagement of women and celebrates the diverse cultures they represent. Furthermore, to bring together women, who are looking to network and share their expertise with other diverse businesswomen.

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Areas of Focus Professional Development: Developing networking opportunities, speaker programs, and engagement opportunities targeted to helping women broaden their skills and knowledge to optimize career and personal growth.

BGIA Membership: Delivering a virtual community space that offers a place to interact, learn and collaborate.

Leadership Development: Providing support through sharing of best practices for developing women leaders at all stages of an individual’s career and helping women members gain advocacy from decision makers, assisting with the development of new materials as needed.

Engagement: Working to ensure BGIA’s environment fosters opportunities for BEN members to flourish.

How can I get Involved?

sources to develop your business skills. BEN events and activities are Attend BEN programs open to anyone from ages 18 and BEN will sponsor a number of excit- above, and membership is voluning programs throughout 2014, of- tary. Regardless of your ethnicity, fering thousands of members the there is a spot for you in BEN. chance to get involved. BEN events and training programs will be by Benefits of BEN invitation only because of targeted specific groups based on business Opportunity to proactively demexpertise or interest. Invitations will onstrate your support of the be sent directly to those members BEN initiative. matching the program’s target audiAbility to interact with other ence. Video replays will be availmembers of the Community able to all BEN members via the through chat channels and BGIA website. discussion forums. Notification of upcoming BENBecome a Member! sponsored events. You can become a member of BEN Engagement in business disby completing a form on the BGIA cussions on leading diverse website. members and understanding Join the community and connect the experiences and culture of with women from other ethnicities women. across the world. Receive early Opportunities to network with notice about BEN programs and professional women from differspeakers. Ask questions and enent walks of life. gage in online discussions about empowerment, career issues, and Ability to develop mentorship business. Access video clips from relationships. speaking events and other re-

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B-Spirations BGIA Inspirations BGIA has really inspired me in a lot of ways, the major one being the fact that, it has steered me towards fulfilling my desires to give back to the society. Prior to joining BGIA earlier this year I have been able to help in the little ways that I could with the nannies we employed and people around me but it wasn't enough for me. I still thirsted to do more, which to a very large extent has been filled since joining BGIA. In Nigeria for instance, we have succeeded in mentoring young girls during our monthly S.I.S.I. (She Ignites She Inspires) program, to mold and to shape them into better women in the society. Another initiative of BGIA is the Care Boxes aimed at feeding the less privileged families in our society. During our first outreach, we were able to feed 50 families at the Itedo village in Lekki, Lagos state Nigeria. I am also very excited about our Elekuru school building project. I love everything BGIA stands for and represent and I'm pleased to be part of these success story. This is just the beginning though, we are nowhere close to where God is taking us.

Mobolade Adesanya

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Chantal Biya: The First Lady of Cameroon If you are yet to hear of the Banane, then you should read about it first on Afrikan Goddess ( Meet Chantal Biya, Cameroon’s First Lady, and her show-stopping hairstyles. She is popularly known for her flashy hair-dos and flamboyant wardrobes, but at Afrikan Goddess, we will be introducing you to the heart and soul behind Chantal Biya. Chantal Biya was born in Dimako, Cameroon in 1971. Her father, Georges Vigououx, was a French expatriate, and her mother, Rosette Ndongo Mengolo, was a Miss Doumé pageant winner. Her teenage years were spent in Yaounde, and she later married Cameroon’s President Paul Biya in 1994 after the death of his first wife. Flamboyantly adored and all, Chantal Biya is passionate about alleviating the suffering that rises from poverty and disease, specifically HIV/ AIDS. She founded African Synergy to provide education, health treatment centers, subsidized antiretroviral drugs and better care during blood transfusion to patients. Her effort is building unity in the fight against HIV/AIDS, a unity we all know is much needed in Africa. In 2009, she led a team of Africa’s First Ladies to the African First Ladies Health Summit held in Los Angeles. The event was co-sponsored by African Synergy. The focus of the summit was maternal health, girls’ education and HIV/AIDS related issues throughout Africa. Under Chantal Biya’s vision and leadership, African Synergy continues to cooperate the HIV/AIDS efforts of first ladies both in Africa and other continents with the work of scientists and HIV/AIDS agencies. The reputation of her hair and fashion styles sure precedes her, but her focus and passion to alleviate the suffering of the poor and destitute is much to talk about. In response to issues of rural and urban poverty in Cameroon, she launched The Chantal Biya Foundation to provide care for mothers and children, the elderly and for families. The foundation bridges the gap between the people and much needed social services.

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The Super African Woman that I Am I am what I am, woman, soul, spirited I am fearfully and wonderfully created I am what no man can do without I am meant to deliver with no doubt I am behind every successful man I am what was created out of a rib of a man I am what I instill today in the future tomorrow I am that feels the pain others will never feel I am that bleeds without getting hurt I am emotional and fragile I easily get hurt I am that heals by my words and understanding I am the producer of fine product I am who's character is reflected in my conduct I am the one with my hands open wide for the weak I am what every child seeks I am a mentor and role model for many I am not imaginary I am strong even when left alone I am never weak forever I am the super diva I am unstoppable I am capable of doing the impossible I am self-sufficient I am self indulgent I am young and sophisticated in my own way I am with the semblance of a new day I hold my head high when its supposed to hang low I am beautiful, I am joyful I am the perfect imperfect I am mistreated, misunderstood and mistaken I am underestimated and often shaken I can't be outrun or outmatched In being everything that I am I am what I am, soul and spirited African woman Abigail Sikwenda

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Breaking News: BGIA Annual Global Event Black Girls Ignite Africa “Igniting Your Passion”

October 15th-20th 2013: Dubai & Lagos IGNITING YOUR PASSION FUNDRAISING CONCERT REGULAR CONCERT TICKETS 2,000.00 (Naira) VIP CONCERT TICKETS #10,000 (Naira) VVIP/CORPORATE CONCERT TICKET (8 people) #250,000 (Naira) Advance tickets are available NOW! Contact us at to reserve your spot today!

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The Prepared Environment The Prepared Environment is a crucial part of a child's education in the classroom. When a child enters the Montessori house, he/she will enter an environment that is carefully prepared to cater to his/her needs. According to the book “Maria Montessori Her Life and Work by E.M. Standing”, Maria Montessori sometimes spoke of this prepared environment (for children aged two and a half to six /seven years) as the luogo chiuso (the ‘enclosed space’). "Plainly, the environment must be a living one, directed by a higher intelligence, arranged by an adult who is prepared for his mission. It is in this that our conception differs both from that of the world in which the adult does everything for the child and from that of a passive environment in which the adult abandons the child to himself…" A prepared environment must liberate the spirit: an environment in which children are simply physically free to run about and play is not enough. The prepared environment allows the child to develop without constant assistance and supervision from an adult. A beautiful environment: well equipped Montessori classroom, even the materials are part of the environment and should be attractive to the children. The child has to be part of the group to absorb the cultural traits, language and movement. The child also has a tendency to communicate, to move and for gregariousness. The prepared environment must meet the needs of the development of the child. The environment does not contain objects that the child may not need or that hinder his development, nor does it contain any broken or incomplete materials. Children function optimally in environments prepared both physically and psychologically. The design of the environment is based on the principles of simplicity, beauty and order. It is bright, warm and inviting, filled with the key aspects of culture including language, plants, art, music, and books. As part of the Practical Life activities, children learn to keep their environment clean and tidy. This helps fulfill the child's innate Sensitive Period for Order, the period for co-ordination of movement. This Montessori environment is called the "prepared environment" because it has been set up to enable the child to be successful and to gain many skills here.

Adedayo Oluwatobi

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Our Service to Humanity Zarephath Project With the support of Livingstar Missions, a mission that has been sponsoring the village by sending money and helping with children’s education, BGIA was able to feed over 400 villagers in Elekuru village and nine sub-villages during the Easter and Christmas celebrations, and purchased clothing for the orphans. BGIA is currently in partnership to build a school and resource center in Elekuru Village.

In efforts to progress with the Zarephath Project, BGIA will help purchase a piece of land that will be used to build the future school and business center for the people of Elekuru . There has been a site visitation by the Founder and CEO of BGIA Abby Osoba, the Head of Livingstar Missions - Ayo Kukoyi, an architect, and other active BGIA donors and supporters .

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BGIA CareBox Outreach - Lagos, Nigeria BGIA Nigeria (Lagos Team) embarked on an outreach to a village named Itedo in Lekki phase 1, Lagos on May 8 2013. The aim of this outreach was to bless/feed fifty underprivileged families by providing them with different food items. BGIA donated packages of rice, garri, noodles, tin tomatoes and palm oil.

Widows and Orphans Alive Community - Eldoret, Kenya BGIA provided for over 100 community members, paid hospital bills, house rents, and fed them during Christmas 2012

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Past Programs SHE IGNITES, SHE INSPIRES (S.I.S.I.) – Mentoring Program This is BGIA’s global monthly mentorship program. Our goal is that the girls and women who join S.I.S.I. will have increased self-esteem, become more confident and be motivated. We are currently mentoring in USA, Nigeria, Canada, UAE, Kenya, Ghana, and Tanzania, launched at all regional locations on March 23, 2013. This one-of-a-kind event gives girls and women from all walks of life the opportunity to network; share stories/interest and listens to inspirational words from motivational women.

S.I.S.I. at the S.H.E. Summit North America’s S.I.S.I collaborated with S.H.E. Summit (Women’s Week) New York “Leadership and Lifestyle event for women” in June 2013.

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Be the Change You Desire - MD, USA The 1st BGIA annual event - Be the Change You Desire - held on December 8, 2012, at Hilton hotel, Maryland, USA. Maryland witnessed the event that left many women with a desire to be the change in their own little way . This event catered to women being more effective in their surroundings; the desire to see the environment being changed for the better. In attendance were Sherrie Johnson of ABC 2 News Maryland, Chardelle Moore, and Adwoa Jones who were guest speakers along with BGIA CEO, Abby Osoba.

Transformed to Inspire - Toronto, Canada A workshop targeted at transforming the minds of people in the community. BGIA also visited a nursing home for senior citizens and spent some time pampering the elderly women with manicures.

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THE PROBLEM WITH MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS Health refers to the physical and emotional condition of a person, the ability of a person to function efficiently, to be free from illness, injury or pain. The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health in 1946 as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." Mental health is a state of emotional and psychological well-being. It refers to the ability of a person to function in a balanced cognitive state that is beneficial and satisfactory to him/her, as well as to society. According to WHO, mental health is "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community". WHO emphasizes that mental health "is not just the absence of mental disorder". Anyone can have mental health problems. WHO has estimated that one in four people in the world will be affected by mental disorders at some point in their lives. In much of the developed world, mental disorders account for the leading cause of disability in people aged 15 to 44. Cultural differences play an important role in defining mental health; influencing how individuals with mental health problems are regarded. In low- and middle-income countries, severe shortages of human and financial resources allow only a scant percentage access to adequate mental health services. Mental health problems can be efficiently managed using a variety of cost-effective interventions. If mental health is given considerable financial allocations, it would permit the meeting of specific needs, the results of which would be manifold, and inevitably include emotionally balanced individuals who can contribute to their communities. Idara S.Udo

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Thank You If you are interested in having BGIA Magazine at your location, email FIND US ONLINE Join the mailing list for out monthly newsletter and updates about upcoming programs, projects and events. WRITE US BGIA welcomes letters from its readers. To contact the Editorial Team: Send us an email at Letters should include writer’s full name, address and day time phone number. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.


Web: Email: 1.289.937.0796 (Canada)/ 1.443.622.5299 (US)/ 234.706.202.1776 (Nigeria)

Filled Vessels Magazine by BGIA  

BLACK GIRLS IGNITE AFRICA Inc. is dedicated to the empowerment, encouragement, celebration and healthy development of young and older Africa...

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