Our Secure Future highlights the 2022 local peacebuilding organization awardees as part of our Mobilizing Men as Partners for Women, Peace and Security project. Enlightening and Empowering People with Disabilities in Africa (EEPD AFRICA)
Sefakor Komabu-Pomeyie, Founder and Managing Director
Enlightening and Empowering People with Disabilities in Africa (EEPD Africa) assists and advocates for those with disabilities throughout Africa. Starting with addressing education equity issues in Ghana, it also focuses on other accessibility issues, such as access to quality health care and transportation.
As one of the distinguished partners for women, peace, and security award recipients, EEPD Africa used their funds to advocate for inclusive elections in Ghana. Specifically, facilitating workshops, conducting advocacy, running trainings, and managing campaigns involving people in villages to that they understand the power of their vote. Those who are vulnerable are “bribed” with rice, oil, and other means to vote for a certain person and those populations often don’t understand their rights when it comes to voting.
The unrestricted funding came at the perfect time, according to Komabu-Pomeyie, because they were able to advocate more quickly and efficiently in the communities where voting is not as accessible.
In the future, Komabu-Pomeyie hopes to build an inclusive education school in Ghana. This would be a one-stop-shop for access to international schools and anyone with disabilities from any country would be able to go to this school. Komabu-Pomeyie wants the public to understand that disability issues are a cross-border issue and treating disabilities is a lifelong journey. She wants to see real change, starting with seeing people as people, not see them for their disabilities.
Fikiri Nzoyisenga, Executive Director
The Semerera Youth Coalition Against Gender-Based Violence is working towards the elimination of violence against women and girls in Burundi. It aims to find a sustainable solution to this problem by empowering women through women empowerment programs, economic development programs, and programs about women being included in decision-making processes at the local level.
As one of the distinguished partners for women, peace, and security award recipients, Semerera Youth Coalition Against Gender-Based Violence used the funding to create a women's entrepreneurship program. In this program, women are able to network, learn and participate in capacity-building workshops, and receive small grants to help start or continue their work.
In the future, the Semerera Youth Coalition Against Gender-Based Violence plans on continuing to grow, particularly their women's entrepreneurship program. Recently, the US Embassy in Burundi came and saw the beneficiaries of this women's entrepreneurship program. Members of the Semerera Youth Coalition Against Gender-Based Violence wants to highlight that the women of Burundi feel like they have been forgotten and that there needs to be a continued call for women’s representation in decision-making bodies at the local level and greater access to financial resources.
Bahati Kanyamanza, Co-Founder 7 Board Member
The COBURWAS International Youth Organization to Transform Africa (CIYOTA) was founded in 2005 to help women and youth in refugee camps get quality education and and access to livelihood programs. As someone who lived in a refugee camp for 10 years, Kanyamanza saw many challenges that refugees faced, including sexual violence and trafficking. CIYOTA focuses on educating and helping individuals living in refugee camps catch up on education, support self-help programs, and assist families so they can support their kids.
As one of the distinguished partners for women, peace, and security award recipients, CIYOTA used its funding to support children who lost their parents to the ongoing violence in Democratic Republic of Congo. CIYOTA used its funding to create an adoption program where over 20 children were adopted. It also helped pay for the children’s school fees and books, and provided support for the adopting families.
During COVID, the people of DRC had very limited access to basic needs and lived in places where they could not physically grow food. However, CIYOTA was able to provide food for children and set up learning centers to help keep children engaged. While working with the Government of Uganda and UNHCR, they created regional learning centers for teachers to come in and teach.
In the future, CIYOTA plans on developing its local partnerships, specifically supporting refugee-founded and run NGOs. Additionally, it wants to tackle the post-effects of COVID-19. Kanyamanza saw an increase in girls dropping out of school and small businesses crashing. CIYOTA wants to rebuild these hard-hit communities and ensure their safety and prosperity.