Home Youth empowerment More women in governance will boost devt –Wagbatsoma

More women in governance will boost devt –Wagbatsoma

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Fortune Wagbatsoma is the new District Governor of Lions Club International, District 404A1 Nigeria. In this interview with ANAYO EZUGWU, she talks about women’s participation in governance and youth empowerment, among others.

How do you rate the participation of women in leadership in Nigeria, and how do you think it can be improved?

The participation rate of women in leadership in Nigeria is quite low when considering the ratio of men to women in leadership. However, as low as it sounds, it has been very impressive as the privileged few have made a lot of significant contributions in their fields. A good example is that of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, whose mark in the footprints of time cannot be ignored. Within the Lions Club, the ratio of women to men in leadership is equally low, women who have had leadership opportunities have made very good leaders and have had memorable Lions years. Our women leaders have been mentors to many and launched impactful projects and services to improve the lives of the needy. In this Lions year, two out of four district governors are women and we are working hard to keep our individual districts on the radar for success. We also have a lot of emerging leaders, who are women and are very successful in their private businesses as well as in Lions clubs.

As the new District Governor of your Lions Clubs District 404A1 Nigeria, why is it easy for the District and its clubs to continue to carry out humanitarian activities in the district?

Lions Clubs International is the world’s premier humanitarian and service organization. Service to humanity is what we do and what we are known for. We have built a reputation and credibility over the years to earn the trust of other organizations and well-meaning individuals who continuously support us. We were also able to establish partnerships and collaborations with various groups, which made it easy for us to reach those in need in society and within our immediate communities. Lions Clubs International District 404A1 currently has 112 clubs that contact their communities almost weekly and this has also gone a long way in helping us carry out our service activities and bring a smile to the less privileged.

Humanitarian activities are very difficult in our societies today, how often do you involve the governments of your district to carry out these activities?

Most of our large projects are focused on scaling up government infrastructure and supporting its services, standing apart from government in improving the lives of citizens. Currently we have Eye Hospitals in Oshogbo and Abuja, Dialysis Centers in Akure and Lagos, Cancer Treatment Centers in Lagos, Diabetes Centers in Cross River, Motherless Babies Home in Lagos to name but a few. some of the Lions projects that were all in partnership. with the various governments of the states where they are located. As District Governor my theme this year is “Building Bonds of Kindness” which also emphasizes our plans to establish more partnerships with government, corporate organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), in order to to make our communities a better place.

What are the main goals of your project for this year’s Lions Year and how do you plan to achieve them?

Over the years during its service, the Lions Club has assisted Warri Central Hospital in Delta State in a variety of ways by providing it with eye supplies, eye screening services and medication; all of these services, however, still did not meet the needs of the community, so this year the District decided to go further with a complete upgrade and equipment of the Warri Central Hospital. We hope to achieve this before the end of the Lions Year with funds raised from well-meaning individuals and with the support of the International Lions Club Foundation. We are also planning to renovate three pediatric wards at different locations in the district.

The Lion Club International is involved in training and mentoring leaders, how will you encourage the district to train and mentor non-members as well?

The district kicked off with a series of training and mentoring programs planned for the Lions Year aimed at developing and equipping our members with the skills necessary for effective and impactful service. In addition, seminars and workshops on contemporary and enduring issues are organized by Lions clubs in the district for non-members of their communities. We also have numerous advocacy and outreach programs for non-members in the five Lions service areas: Vision, Diabetes, Childhood Cancer, Hunger and Environment. This in turn has produced positive results and made many of our communities a better place.

As the new CEO there is so much talk about empowering women and youth, what are your plans for empowering women in the district?

The Lions Club has special programs that involve women as well as youth. We have the Membership Program for Women and Families which emphasizes development and membership. For this Lions year, we plan to implement women empowerment programs to support rural women through various skills training programs and provision of local food processing machinery etc. August is dedicated to our youth empowerment program. It is a month reserved for young people by Lions Club International to focus on encouraging them to acquire skills, preparing them mentally, financially and otherwise in various areas of self-reliance. This year has been marked by many activities of clubs and regions in this regard. Apart from August, throughout the year, the clubs also engage our young people in various skills acquisition programs, career guidance and mentoring activities, sports activities, training and seminars aimed at to maintain the engagement of young people. It has long been realized that the engagement of young people regularly pushes away idleness and slows down social vices. Lions Clubs International also has the LEO program. This program is the youth arm of the organization that provides leadership and experience opportunities for young adults who eventually become Lions.

What are your plans for deepening member well-being in this New Lions Year?

One of our plans for this Lions Year is to improve the welfare of Lions. Over the years, Lions have served the needy with passion, time and resources. We have realized that it is also important for us to support each other, especially when one of us is going through a difficult time. To achieve this, we decided to set up a member provident scheme through a well-structured group insurance scheme.

What has been your experience and your challenges in serving the needy?

My experience over the years of serving the needy has been interesting and very rewarding. It has been an experience where you do not look forward to personal gain or reward. It is a passionate experience. I joined the Lions club over 15 years ago and have no reason to regret as it has given me a platform to reach more people at the same time. Nothing gives you more joy than being able to make people smile and I always remain grateful to God for giving me this opportunity to serve humanity. Serving humanity also comes with its challenges, especially around the financing of activities, because human needs are insatiable, and there is still much to be done to make the world a better place. Funding is a major challenge in this regard as the Lions Club relies heavily on support, partnerships and alliances. The district is working to build numerous partnerships with governments, NGOs and businesses to be able to meet the needs of the less privileged so that the district can meet its goals for the year in the areas of vision, cancer and cancer. child and food of Hunger.

What do you think you will do differently from other district governors before you emerge?

My District, 404A1 Nigeria has been blessed with leaders of an exemplary nature, focused and passionate about service, which has taken our district to greater heights and made us the premier district in Africa in terms of membership. and service. I intend to build on the legacy of our leaders and continue to lead by creating bonds of kindness, unity and love within our clubs, zones and regions. We will also partner with various stakeholders to do more for society and help promote good governance among the citizens of our nation.



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