The National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), the Netherlands chapter organized a very extraordinary seminar on Friday 5th December in Amsterdam, which aimed at the education and empowerment of Nigerian women in the Netherlands. Titled “Women Empowerment,“ the seminar, which was organized by the NCWS, in conjunction with the city council of Amsterdam South East, was attended by women from different classes of life. It was one of the many initiatives of the NCWS in the Netherlands, channelled towards empowerment of Nigerian (and non ““ Nigerian) women in the Netherlands.
According to the coordinator of the NCWS in the Netherlands, Vivian Oluchi Iro, the starting of the organisation in the Netherlands was far from being smooth. From lack of initial finance to ““ ironically indeed – the lukewarm attitude of the same women, the organization was set to empower, NCWS encountered a lot of challenging obstacles. But Ms. Iro, a lawyer by profession, however, never allowed these abysmal frustrations to act as an impediment to making the organization a force to reckon with in the area of (African) women empowerment in the country. The result of her priceless efforts is evident not only in the number of women who attended the recently held empowerment seminar in Amsterdam, but the level of enthusiasm amongst the participants equally speaks a volume.
” The workshop has been incredibly a huge success. I look forward to more of such.“ Madeline Hendriks, an attendant told Kata Kata Magazine enthusiastically.
The seminar was anchored by Anita Hogan, who made the occasion incredibly lively through a combination of her wits and theatrical acumen. Before the beginning of the workshop, Ms. Doris Boten From the City Hall, Amsterdam South East explained in her speech what her office does and how they work in a collaboration with the NCWS. She encouraged other women to approach her office for help having in mind that most of the activities ““help in personal administration, bike ride, letter writing and other aspects of empowerment – her office offers are free of charge.
During the NCWS workshop on personal administration, which was headed by Ms. Marilyn Blancaflor, with more than 30 years experience in the banking section, the participants were taught amongst other things, how to manage their documents and personal files aimed at personal empowerment. By being able to organize their works themselves, these women are indirectly taking control of their personal lives (and future) rather than being dependent on or an appendix to others ““ especially men.
But the participants did not only go home empowered by the workshop. The inspirational cum motivational speech by Pastor Ibrahim Abarshi added more meaning to the seminar and made the participants evaluate the seminar as a huge success. Apart from the Nigerian women participants living in the Netherlands, the presence of other women like Mrs Kate Kanu from the UK, Madeline Hendriks, a USA lawyer living in the Netherlands and Rosemary Owusu from Ghana as well, truly confirms Mrs Iro`s stand:
“We don’t have a limit to what we can do. It would not be a taboo for a Dutch woman to be empowered by a Nigerian woman. But our main focus is on Nigerian women empowerment.“
Nor was the seminar a taboo for men like the chairman of Nigerians In Diaspora Organisation (NIDOE) Netherlands chapter, Engr. Cornelius Obot and Igwebuike Enweonye, Snr. Cluster Biostatistician of Novartis, who did not only appreciate the importance of the seminar, but equally took time to grace the occasion.
With the huge success recorded by the workshop and the pyramidal level of enthusiasm amongst the participants, it is not difficult for one to understand why Vivian Iro is looking forward to follow up workshops, which might likely be on the human trafficking. Definitely, you would have yourself to blame if you miss the up-coming workshops.
For more information (including interviews and photos) about NCWS Seminar in Amsterdam, please check out our next edition of Kata Kata www.katakata.org