The Real Woman Foundation
In a world dominated by patriarchal practices that severely limit the space accorded women in the scheme of things, The Real Woman Foundation seeks to provide support for the social empowerment of women. A faith-based not-for-profit organization, The Real Woman foundation recognizes the fact that women are not the inconsequential bodies that society perceives them to be. Quite the contrary, women play a unique role that places the well being of the family, the children, and even the economy squarely in their hands, to the extent that human development could be severely hampered without them. Along with children, women constitute the core of the concerns of the RWF.
The Real Woman Foundation (RWF) was motivated by its founder, Mrs Nike Adeyemi’s experience in 1997 around the Oregun environs where she resides. On a regular basis, Nike would observe young ladies parading the neighbourhood hawking their bodies to whoever cared to patronize them. Appalled by this disgusting business, and inspired by the spirit of God, as she saw it, she began to think of a way by which she could intervene to rescue these unfortunate women from the perilous trade they were engaged in. Convinced that this kind of trade was a reflection of the dysfunctional state of the family coupled with poverty and inordinate materialism, Nike felt that the best approach would be first to rehabilitate the girls. To provide them a sense of family, a hostel would be required where they would be provided for, taught a trade, and offered an environment to socialize with one another. This was the vision that provided the foundational framework for The Real Woman Foundation.
Vision, Mission, and Modus Operandi
Economically disadvantaged women and children constitute the majority of the demographic group designated as the poor in Nigeria. RWF holds as its key mission the rehabilitation of this group. Rehabilitation for them mostly comes in the form of skill training and funding as a way out of their poverty.
RWF’s programmes and projects aim to improve the economic status of women and children in society. Any improvement in the capacity of women and children to create value in exchange for money, in the foundation’s estimation, translates to poverty alleviation.
As a faith-based foundation, it adopts as part of its tools for rehabilitation the Christian message of hope, love, and sacrifice embodied in the person of Jesus Christ. Using various media and multimedia channels, RWF disseminates the message of the targeted towards lifestyle reformation. Seminars are also a part of the strategies of rehabilitation. Through these practical-oriented seminars, RWF aims to encourage these women and children to break the bad habits that have consigned them to their present unenviable life.
Hostels, educational facilities, and orphanages are further operational instruments deployed by the RWF in its efforts to break the chain of poverty around women and children in society. The hostels provide a family atmosphere for abused girls. The orphanages are home for abandoned or orphaned children, and the educational facilities serve training purposes for both women and children.
All of these combined with conferences, crusades and counselling sessions provide the foundation both quantitative and qualitative instruments with which to attack the problems of women and children with a view to improving their lives. RWF’s work is driven by compassion and a strong concern for the well being of the human person. The women and children who through their effort are transformed are a poignant reminder to the society of the debts it owes to women and children alike.
Humanitarian Programmes and Activities
RWF embarks on numerous humanitarian campaigns and programmes in the promotion of its stated vision and objectives.
For Girls Only (FGO)
This is a programme designed to help school-age girls to make good decisions in life. It seeks to raise “girls of value and dignity in the society”. The objective is to forestall moral decadence among school children, particularly girls, and make decent personalities out of them. Through proper mentorship and guidance, the programmes encourage the youngsters to cultivate the virtues of self-esteem, exemplary citizenship, and enviable family orientation. With a mind thus well-adjusted, the children are more than likely to excel both academically as well as in other spheres of life.
The educational workshops for the programme have been held across all the six educational districts in Lagos State since its inception in February 2005. Topics usually discussed at the workshops include HIV/AIDS, sexual abuse, love, dating, sex, personal hygiene, and feminine etiquette.
Love Home Orphanage
The orphanage provides succor for abandoned and abused children. It was established in 2005 and looks to “sheltering children with love and hope.” Most times, children are the ones worst hit in dysfunctional families. There are homes where the father or mother (or sometimes both) care very little about the welfare of their children or wards. There are also cases of guardians who exploit children put in their care for economic and other nefarious ends, such as prostitution and robbery. The orphanage provides a home and place of refuge for such children. Feeding, clothing, shelter, and other needs necessary for the development of a child, including education are provided by the foundation at the orphanage. The home has operated the philosophy that every child is precious and could potentially become a success in life if offered the opportunity. Indeed, many children have passed through the orphanage to lead quite stable and successful lives today.
Life Skills Training
The Life Skills Training programme’s thrust is to train women on family values and vocations that can create income and improve their lives and families. The programme is sectioned into two areas: the Family School and Vocational Training. The family school section of the programme focuses on training women on values based on the teachings of the Holy Bible and the place of the family in nation building, community leadership, and good citizenship. The vocational training entails a 3-day entrepreneurship course teaching women to become better home managers and economically empowered individuals. Women learn necessary skills that could help them to become economically empowered and so also become themselves active contributors in the economic value chain.
The foundation does not receive any funding from the government but accepts humanitarian gestures and sponsorship from members of the public. The Real Woman Foundation is also funded by the founder, her family, friends, and associates of the Adeyemis and their ministry.
Nike Adeyemi is the founder of the Real Woman Foundation She is an author of books and a well-sought-after speaker at conferences and seminars both locally and internationally. She is a recipient of the PSR Woman Empowerment Award, the Woman of Merit Award, and the Award of Excellence, among other awards in recognition of her humanitarian contributions to society.
“About.” Real Woman Foundation. http://therealwoman.org/. Accessed 14 June 2019.
“Nike Adeyemi.” Sam Adeyemi (Personal Website). https://samadeyemi.net/nike-adeyemi/. Accessed 14 June 2019.