Through Education, Kechie's Project Gives Hope and Empowers Nigerian Girls

Mogul
January  2016


Last Friday night, Kechie’s Project held a fundraiser at the Nigerian Mission to the United Nations in New York City.

The evening raised money for Kechie’s Project, Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit, which was founded by Nkechie Ogbodo. The group is dedicated to educating Nigerian girls, and currently supports over 50 girls in Nigeria by providing mentorship, school supplies, and personal hygiene products.

Saturday's event was hosted by Ojinika Obiekwe, an Emmy-nominated PIX 11 News Entertainment Reporter, and notable attendees included Farrah Krenek from Orange is the New Black; Nnenna Agba, America’s Next Top Model alum and UN Women partner; and reigning Miss Nigeria USA, Olutosin Araromi.

For many girls living in the poor communities in Lagos, the largest Nigerian city, education is never even an option. Often, boys are given priority when it comes to education.

Having grown up in Nigeria herself, Ogbodo knows the most underserved areas around Lagos, and personally travels twice a year to see the girls and the schools where Kechie’s Project is partnering.    

“I’m not looking for the brightest girls; I believe that there is potential in every girl. All they want is support,” she said.

Ogbodo been at the forefront of efforts to rescue the missing girls of Chibok. Last April, Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapped 200 girls from their high school in northeastern Nigeria, prompting international outrage. Most of the girls have not yet been recovered.

“Those girls are not yet found. The only way to win against Boko Haram is to empower girls.  By educating more girls, we are winning,” said Ogbodo.

Ogbodo hopes to grow her program to include more girls in 2016. Kechie’s Project hopes to launch a product line to support their efforts, and is actively seeking partnerships. The rise of social impact companies are providing innovative solutions to barriers girls in Nigeria and other countries face to receiving their education, and the nonprofit looks forward to future collaboration.



KECHIE’S PROJECT: NGO PROVIDING EDUCATION TO UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES


Insider Magazine
January 4, 2016

The event featured hors d’oeuvres by Celebrity Chef Diane DiMeo, host Emmy- nominated PIX 11 News’ Reporter, Ojinika Obiekwe and notable speakers such as the Founder of Kechie’s Project, Inc., Nkechi Ogbodo;America’s Next Top Model Alum, UN Women member, and face of Kechie’s Project, Inc. Nnenna Agba; current Miss Nigeria USA, Olutosin Araromi and celebrity attendees such as Orange Is The New Black actress, Farrah Krenek; Bravo’s The Singles Project and Celebrity Dermatologist, Dr. Tabasum Mir; and America’s Next Top Model Alum, Cory Wade to name a few. 


The remarkable story behind Nkechi’s journey is compelling. It really brings into perspective the freedoms we take for granted and the social impact anyone can make sacrificing a gourmet cup of coffee for communities in need.

Following the event I interviewed Nkechi Ogbodo at the New York Public Library.

Jocelyn: What inspired you to create Kechie’s Project, Inc.?

Nkechi:  While I was going to school, I was working for Saks Fifth Avenue for a long time. I was a top producing brand specialist. My Bachelor’s degree was in Political Science from Lehman College, my Master’s was in International Relations from the City College of the City University of New York. I am forever grateful for what I have accomplished and I wanted to give back. I wanted to go back to Nigeria and make an impact and a difference through the resources I have in this country. I knew that women and girls in Nigeria do not have the opportunity of getting an education. I knew that by providing them with an education it would change their mindset—Give them the confidence for them to believe in themselves and reach their potential. It would show them the limitless opportunities they have taking the time to educate themselves and build their future. They will make better life choices for themselves and their families. Education has given me the ability to make decisions for myself and not what “cultural society” has dictated for others to do.

[In Nigeria, men are innately superior to women in their society. Culturally, bearing a male validates a woman and her family. In certain parts of Nigeria, women are culturally bounden to early teenage marriages, household confinement and have a very restricted social presence. In more urban or modern societies of Nigeria, women do have a presence in all sectors of professions, but limited opportunities due to the country’s priority in educating men over women. The gender inequality in Nigeria leaves many families impoverished.]

Jocelyn: I know you have family in Nigeria. What have some of the women in your family experienced in Nigeria?

Nkechi: There are many socioeconomic issues that affect Nigerians and the most vulnerable population, women. I care because this cause hits close to home within my family. In 2010 my aunt was staying at a house her son built in the countryside. My nephew is a businessman who lives in the city of Port Harcourt. My aunt is a very devoted Catholic and the captors took advantage of this knowledge. They came to the door dressed as priests. She opened the door and was abducted. They took her in a car and drove her to the city. Luckily, they were approaching a police checkpoint. There the police took notice that she looked uncomfortable and that she was bound. They were able to capture one of the kidnappers. It did not end there for my family.

In 2011, they kidnapped my mom. In Nigeria, they believe if you have a family member overseas you are wealthy. They took her as soon as she came out of the shower. They didn’t even give her the opportunity to take cover, left their phone number written on the wall and expected us to pay a ransom of #14 million Naira (Today, $70,334 USD).

We kept going back and forth with phone calls. We explained that we had no money. Our father suffered a diabetic stroke and had been in the hospital for 6 months. Our mother was his caretaker and they took that away from us. Finally, we did not hear from them. We were worried about our mom and our dad. They brought the price down. It was taking a long time. It had been 8 weeks.

We came up with some money and they gave us a location to drop the money. It was not that easy. Between the police and the kidnappers we were spending more money to find her.

Eight weeks later, they dropped my mom off at a local market at 3:00 am. Around 5:00 am she heard a family praying. She told them her story. They took her home. She came home with sediments in her hair. She was sleeping in an uncompleted building and was barely fed. We took her to the hospital to make sure she was sound physically and mentally. She was fine, but she was traumatized and emotionally distressed. She is still dealing with that trauma. A month after her return my father passed away. It was almost as if he was waiting for her to come home.

Jocelyn: These experiences are heartbreaking. It must have been difficult to have family become victims of such horrible crimes. This happened six months after starting Kechie’s Project, Inc. How did you feel when you returned to Nigeria for Kechie’s Project after that experience? How were you able to recover?

Nkechi: I was afraid of going back. I was afraid of staying there because I was afraid of being kidnapped. After that experience, I said enough. I questioned this, why now? Six months into starting this organization to make a difference, my mom gets kidnapped. Am I doing something right or am I doing something wrong? Am I exposing my family to things like this? I thought, no. That gave me a reason to fight harder. If they could take my mom they can take anyone. I wasn’t going to let them win. I decided I am going to use this organization to give a voice to my mom. Not only for my mom, but a voice for all women and girls.   

That’s why when I heard 276 schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko in Chibok, Nigeria, I reached out to some activists in Harlem, NYC, like Street Corner Resources, Harlem4 and rallied with them. We organized the rally. We demanded from Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan to do something to find those girls. It became personal. My mom was also a victim of kidnapping and we stood up with those girls in solidarity. Instead of crying and seeing my mom as a victim, I prayed to have the courage to stand up for those girls and many other women facing any kind of injustice. Enough is enough. I have to do more for the girls and women of Nigeria and for all girls.  

Kechie’s Project girls at Technical Secondary School, Obinagu Uwani, Akpugo, Enugu State. Kechie’s Project Team handed out school supplies donated to them by New York Coalition of 100 Black Women and Women’s Academy of Excellence, Bronx, New York. Photo Courtesy of Kechie’s Project Photo Gallery.

Jocelyn: What are your plans this year for Kechie’s Project, Inc.?

Nkechi: Our plan for this coming year is to open an after-school program for girls with a focus on technology so they can go there in the evenings to learn and become computer literate. By the time they go to college they can use their skills to prosper. We are also looking to launch a product line through partnerships to support our efforts. We want to partner with other companies that are making a social impact through their innovative products, like THINX and AFRIpads.

We want to draw awareness about the initiatives Kechie’s Project, Inc. is working on by inviting you to www.kechiesproject.org

Join the organization, become a board member, an advisory member, make a donation, or volunteer. If you have any expertise to share with the organization, Kechie’s Project, Inc. would like to hear from you. They are looking for people who are passionate and care about the lives of these girls in developing countries.
​​

​​​KECHIES PROJECT ORGANIZED FORUM LAST OCTOBER, IN LAGOS, NIGERIA

Nigeria Guardian Newspaper


















​​L-R:  Father of Vice President Osinbajo's wife, Elder Tayo Soyede; founder, Reading Hamlet, Christina Ude; South African High Commissioner, Abuja, Lulu Louis Mnguni; Founder, Kechie's Project, Nkechi Ogbodo and Representative of UNESCO Center for global Education and Reading Hamlets, Mrs. Rosemary Muomah, during a forum for Girl-Child day, tagged ''Nigerian Girl-Child in the area of Sustainable Development Goal'' held in Lagos...at the weekend. 




Chibok girls of Nigeria: Whose girls are they?

New York Amsterdam News
February 12, 2015
Nkechi Ogbodo

“There is no national consensus in Nigeria on how to deal with the Boko Haram insurgency. What outsiders often fail to grasp is that this grim situation is merely the symptom of a deeper malaise: a breakdown of the informal consensus on power sharing between the Muslim north and the Christian south that had guided Nigerian politics for decades.”—Princeton Lyman, former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria.

I agree with the ambassador’s assessment.

Friends, it seems like only yesterday that Kechie’s Project organized a rally, forum, vigil, concert and media reception in solidarity with our Chibok girls. We stood in solidarity in front of the Nigerian Consulate May 10, 2014, with the support of Harlem4 Center for Change and Street Corner Resources and demanded the return of the Chibok girls. We stood in solidarity with the Chibok girls, along with progressive Nigerians, friends of Nigeria, Christians, Jews, Catholics, secularists and Muslims and demanded the return of the Chibok girls by Boko Haram at a time when demanding action in front of our consulate was still not politically correct. We called on President Goodluck Jonathan to do all within his power to secure the release of the girls. We did that as Nigerians and friends of Nigeria looking for the new Nigerian Renaissance as Nigerians who want a better Nigeria.

On a personal note, I was doing it because I know what it means to have a loved one kidnapped. I was doing it because standing up for Chibok was a way to give a voice to my mother, who was a victim of ransom kidnapping in Nigeria, enduring eight weeks in captivity. I was standing and raising my voice because each time I see my mother, I see an old woman who was violated and who is still in pain both emotionally and physically. So when I stood up for Chibok, I was standing up for the parents and families of all who were kidnapped. We were standing up for all Nigerian girls, regardless of what part of Nigeria they are from. We were doing it for all Nigerian girls. We stood up for Chibok and spent resources, because since 2010, Kechie’s Project has been about empowerment of girls through education.

What I thought to be the new Nigerian Renaissance, unfortunately, was hijacked by a select few who continue to dwarf the progress of Nigeria. All of a sudden, the Bring Back Our Girls campaign became a movement that was commandeered and used by the opposition as a tool for political gains. The world watched as the momentum we all built to state the case for our girls got replaced by ethnic and religious rancor. Elections and real issues facing Nigerians became filtered with hatred, even among the so-called educated elites. Our girls got pushed to the sidelines, and the demonization of political opponents became the order of the day. The world turned away because Nigerians are their own worst enemies.

My trip to Nigeria last December was not only to visit our girls and spend time with my family, but also to assess things on the ground to better understand the Chibok situation. While in Nigeria, I wanted to visit Jos, one of the epicenters of conflicts in Nigeria and the city I was born in. I was advised against traveling by road from Enugu to Jos for security reasons. What one sees on the ground depends on whose side one is on. If you are supporting Muhammadu Buhari’s opposition, Jonathan is the worst thing that ever happened to Nigeria, but if you are for Jonathan, the Chibok situation is a conspiracy against his government. What one sees on the ground also depends on what part of the country you are in and whether you are Muslim or Christian.

Nigeria is a nation that remains deeply divided on every issue. We lack the maturity and civility to stand up with one voice to demand what we want from our leaders. Every Nigerian is clamoring for change, but change does not constitute recycling of old ideas. We want the world to stand with us, fight our battles for us while we blame everything on Jonathan. We want the world to help when we have not shown the world that we are a united voice.

Yes, Chibok happened on Jonathan’s watch, but the truth is, we must rally around our president while he is president, regardless of our differences to help him defeat Boko Haram and bring our girls home. The Chibok girls are still in captivity because we refuse to rise above our ethnic and religious differences for a common cause that is Nigeria. We have betrayed our girls by allowing our personal and sectional interests to come before our collective strength as one nation.

For me, as a Nigerian from the southeastern part of Nigeria whose ethnic group of 2 million people, half of them being children, were massacred and starved to death during the Nigerian Civil War, I say Nigeria can no longer afford to have a leader who will not carry the rest of the country along. Buhari is not the change we need. He has not demonstrated that he is that change we need. Nigerians need a progressive and unbiased visionary who will instill trust so that all Nigerians will see themselves as Nigerians with one common voice.

Yes, there are many reasons not to vote for Jonathan, but Buhari is not the answer for my freedom of speech and for my respect as a woman. Buhari is not the answer for the empowerment of women, both politically and socially. He is definitely not the answer for all our girls and our daughters, including those in the northern part of Nigeria who are being married off as children, or for all my fellow Nigerians.

PDP and APC are both the same. APC is an old wine in a new bottle. Both parties have offered ordinary Nigerians nothing but misery. Our focus should be on how to work together as one nation, with one voice toward finding a visionary leader who will embrace our rich diversity and enhance the quality of life for all Nigerians.

Nkechi Ogbodo is president and founder of Kechie’s Project. For more information, contact info@kechiesproject.org or visitwww.kechiesproject.org.




Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi Are Awarded Nobel Peace Prize


The New York Times
ALAN COWELL

​Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi Are Awarded Nobel Peace PrizeAt age 17, Ms. Yousafzai is the youngest recipient of the $1.1 million prize since it was created in 1901. Mr. Satyarthi is 60.

​The awards, announced in Oslo by Thorbjorn Jagland, the committee’s chairman, were in acknowledgment of their work in helping to promote universal schooling and in protecting children worldwide from abuse and exploitation, particularly young laborers in India on whose behalf Mr. Satyarthi has campaigned for decades.

​Pointedly, Mr. Jagland said, “The Nobel Committee regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism.

​”“Children must go to school and not be financially exploited,” Mr. Jagland said. "It is a prerequisite for peaceful global development that the rights of children and young people be respected. In conflict-ridden areas in particular, the violation of children leads to the continuation of violence from generation to generation.

​”“Showing great personal courage, Kailash Satyarthi, maintaining Gandhi’s tradition, has headed various forms of protests and demonstrations, all peaceful, focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain,” Mr. Jagland said. “He has also contributed to the development of important international conventions on children’s rights.

​”Despite his works, Mr. Satyarthi is not nearly so widely known as Ms. Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012 for her campaigning on behalf of girls’ education in the Swat Valley of Pakistan. She was 15 at the time. Since then she has become a global emblem of her struggle, celebrated on television and publishing a memoir.

​She “has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education and has shown by example that children and young people, too, can contribute to improving their own situations,” Mr. Jagland said. “This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle, she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education.

​”The prize came after a year in which war has spread into Europe with fighting in eastern Ukraine and across frontiers in the Middle East after the Sunni militant Islamic State pushed from Syria into Iraq in June.

​For the previous two years, the prize had been awarded to international bodies: the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in 2013 and the European Union in 2012.

​The winner was chosen from 278 candidates, 47 of them of organizations, the highest overall number of candidates since the prize was first awarded in 1901. The previous record was 259 in 2013, according to the Oslo-based committee, which traditionally makes its final choice at the last minute and seeks unanimity.

​In the speculation that invariably precedes the announcement of the award, Ms. Yousafzai had been a favorite for two successive years. This year, some forecasters spoke of Pope Francis, and others said it was likely the committee would withhold the prize, as it last did during the Vietnam War in 1972 because the global horizon seemed so scarred by conflict.

​The nomination of Ms. Yousafzai, however, seemed in part to be intended as an inspirational message, offering a counterpoint to conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere.

​Even as the prize was announced in the chanderliered splendor of the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo, much global attention was focused on the bloody struggle for survival of the Kurdish town of Kobani on the Turkish-Syrian border against fighters from the Islamic State.





PANEL DISCUSSION​ ON THE STATE OF GIRLS IN NIGERIA​  ​

​June 9, 2014​ New York, NY​ 

​Kechie’s Project is the New York-based non-profit dedicated to the education of Nigerian girls and in the forefront of the effort to rescue the missing girls of Chibok. 

​Kechie’s Project​held a major PANEL DISCUSSION ON THE STATE OF GIRLS IN NIGERIA on MONDAY JUNE 9TH at 1:00 PM at 777 UN Plaza – Church Center on the 2nd floor. 

​This forum ​addressed why Nigerian girls are in crisis and under attack from not only the likes of Boko Haram but from other cultural, religious and social issues that keep them perpetually subjugated
:• Forced underage marriage
• Victims of sexuality and domestic abuse
• More likely to be a victim of human trafficking
• Higher infection rate of AIDS/HIV and other STD’s
​• Less or no access to education ​

​Featured panelists were ​Stacey Scarpone, Executive Director, Women’s Fund of Long Island as our guest speaker, Nana Brew-hammond, Rahama Kassim of Civil Society of Nigeria, Nana Afsou-Randal of Voices of African Mothers, Dahiru Tahir Biu of the Nigerian American Leadership Council,​and ​Bobby Diggy of Island​Voice. 

​​Kechie's Project founder Nkechi Ogbodo stated, 

​"​At our panel discussion events, we are about collective process to get things done, one young girl at a time both in Africa and internationally. It was such a good thing to get together to be inspired as we did today. We are not asking for favors from the Nigerian Government, but we only try to tell the truth about the  Chibok  girls and beyond. Truth is not politics as we have all seen. Politics is just a means to an end  but not always the desired end. 

​We need to change the mindset in Africa and  know we can celebrate  our traditions, culture and its beauty but admit its faults  and address and discard those that no longer work. 

​Amidst the uplifting speeches  today, the subject of politics came up as it often does. We are not a political organization but a nonprofit. As a nonprofit, we ask  those of you on this journey  for change and justice, that we are not about politics . We are about movements, changes and working together. We promise to fight on until the Chibok girls are found.​"​

​In response to the kidnapping of the girls of Chibok, Nigeria, Kechie’s Project Inc., in collaboration with Harlem4 and Street Corner Resources, organized the May 10, 2014 five-mile march from Harlem to the Nigerian Consulate to rally for their return. Our rally had a broad coalition of activist groups, churches, government officials, Christians, Muslims, Jews and many other supporters who stood with us chanting, singing and praying for the missing 276 girls of the Government Secondary School. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and family along with Rev. Al Sharpton and many other notables attended and spoke at the rally to support our cause. 

​Kechie’s Project will continue to fight for the kidnapped girls and raise the issue of the disparities of girl children in Africa. As a New York based non-profit organization we are dedicated to empowering underprivileged and under-represented girls in Nigeria to reach beyond their poverty, gender and cultural limitations. Since 2010 we have been providing educational scholarships to girls in Nigeria, while delivering mentorship opportunities to our girls in Harlem, NY, to whom we are equally committed. 

​Boko Haram’s attempt to disenfranchise and subjugate the girls of Nigeria has strengthened our determination to do more for our girls by expanding our educational scholarships program in Nigeria.  In addition, Kechie’s Project will begin to aggressively address issues such as domestic violence, teen pregnancy, rape, early marriage, self-esteem and how our girls are socialized to quietly endure these conditions as acceptable. 

​Kechie’s Project will continue to stand up and speak up against any form of injustice that affects girls in Nigeria and Africa. Now we are more determined without fear to utilize the support of the global community and affiliate organization to help our girls. We know that when girls are educated and empowered they become scientist, educators, CEO’s, doctors, lawyers and phenomenal mothers that raise the standards for the next generation of girls in Africa, who positively impact their family, their country and the global community. All girls have a right to education and we will continue to work tirelessly to empower and cherish all girls. 

​Evil forces such as Boko Haram use fear to thwart the education of girls.  Our answer is that we will try to educate them all. 

Nkechi Ogbodo
President
​Kechie’s Project, Inc.
(Kechie’s Project is a 501 3(c) non profit)






KECHIE’S PROJECT​ TO HOLD PANEL DISCUSSION AT UN PLAZA ON THE STATE OF GIRLS IN NIGERIA 


New York, NY –​ June 6​, 2014 – Kechie’s Project is the New York-based non-profit dedicated to the education of Nigerian girls and in the forefront of the effort to rescue the missing girls of Chibok. 


Kechie’s Project will hold a major PANEL DISCUSSION ON THE STATE OF GIRLS IN NIGERIA on MONDAY JUNE 9TH at 1:00 PM at 777 UN Plaza – Church Center on the 2nd floor. 


This forum will address why Nigerian girls are in crisis and under attack from not only the likes of Boko Haram but from other cultural, religious and social issues that keep them perpetually subjugated:


• Forced underage marriage

• Victims of sexuality and domestic abuse

• More likely to be a victim of human trafficking

• Higher infection rate of AIDS/HIV and other STD’s

• Less or no access to education 


Featured panelists are:

• Rahama Kassim: Advisory Council Member NGO: Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre ( CISLAC) Nigeria. Active Member, Bring Back Our Girls Movement, Abuja, Nigeria

• Lindsey Morriss: Girl Rising Team

• Nana Brew-hammond, Author of “PowderNecklace”, was included in Africa 39 ((Anthology Bloomsbury 2014)

• Dahiru Biu: Director, Youth Programs, Nigeria American Leadership Council.•        Nana Fosu-Randall –UN Diplomat

• Founder/President of Voices of African Mothers 


Press is invited. 


In response to the kidnapping of the girls of Chibok, Nigeria, Kechie’s Project Inc., in collaboration with Harlem4 and Street Corner Resources, organized the May 10, 2014 five-mile march from Harlem to the Nigerian Consulate to rally for their return. Our rally had a broad coalition of activist groups, churches, government officials, Christians, Muslims, Jews and many other supporters who stood with us chanting, singing and praying for the missing 276 girls of the Government Secondary School. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and family along with Rev. Al Sharpton and many other notables attended and spoke at the rally to support our cause. 


Kechie’s Project will continue to fight for the kidnapped girls and raise the issue of the disparities of girl children in Africa. As a New York based non-profit organization we are dedicated to empowering underprivileged and under-represented girls in Nigeria to reach beyond their poverty, gender and cultural limitations. Since 2010 we have been providing educational scholarships to girls in Nigeria, while delivering mentorship opportunities to our girls in Harlem, NY, to whom we are equally committed. 


Boko Haram’s attempt to disenfranchise and subjugate the girls of Nigeria has strengthened our determination to do more for our girls by expanding our educational scholarships program in Nigeria.  In addition, Kechie’s Project will begin to aggressively address issues such as domestic violence, teen pregnancy, rape, early marriage, self-esteem and how our girls are socialized to quietly endure these conditions as acceptable. 


Kechie’s Project will continue to stand up and speak up against any form of injustice that affects girls in Nigeria and Africa. Now we are more determined without fear to utilize the support of the global community and affiliate organization to help our girls. We know that when girls are educated and empowered they become scientist, educators, CEO’s, doctors, lawyers and phenomenal mothers that raise the standards for the next generation of girls in Africa, who positively impact their family, their country and the global community. All girls have a right to education and we will continue to work tirelessly to empower and cherish all girls. 


Evil forces such as Boko Haram use fear to thwart the education of girls.  Our answer is that we will try to educate them all. 


Nkechi Ogbodo

President

Kechie’s Project, Inc.

(Kechie’s Project is a 501 3(c) non profit)




Nigeria Consulate Site of New Protest


Voices of New York, www.voicesofny.org


Monday 12 May 2014 -

 

Nkechi Ogbodo runs a New York nonprofit organization that pays the tuition of high school girls in Nigeria and mentors girls in Harlem. When she learned that close to 300 schoolgirls were kidnapped in her home country, she felt that she had to do something.


Ogbodo organized a rally at the Nigerian consulate on May 10, where more than 100 people including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Rev. Al Sharpton attended. Melissa Noel spoke with Ogbodo in this video.


http://vimeo.com/95044249




School girls kidnapped by Islamists in Nigeria

Associated Press in Maiduguri, Nigeriatheguardian.com


Tuesday 15 April 2014 13.58 EDT 

​All schools in Borno state, Nigeria have been closed because of attacks by militants.

​Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian
​Suspected Islamist extremists have abducted about 100 female pupils from a school in north-east Nigeria, but some later escaped from the back of an open truck, officials say.

​The girls were abducted after midnight from a school in Chibok, on the edge of the Sambisa Forest, an insurgent hideout, said the Borno state police commissioner Tanko Lawan.

​Gunmen killed a soldier and police officer guarding the school, then took off with at least 100 students, a state security service official said.

​A local government official said he did not know how many of the girls had escaped but that many had walked through the bushes and back to Chibok. The girls were piled into the back of an open truck and, as it was travelling, some grabbed at low-hanging branches to swing off while others jumped off the slow-moving vehicle, he said. The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to give information to reporters.

​All schools in Borno state were closed three weeks ago because of an increasing number of attacks by militants who have killed hundreds of students in the past year. But the young women – aged between 16 and 18 – were recalled to take their final exams, the local government official said.

​Islamist extremists have been abducting girls to use as cooks and sex slaves.

​Insurgents from the Boko Haram terrorist network are blamed for attacks that have killed more than 1,500 people this year alone. The group – whose name means "western education is forbidden" – has targeted schools, mosques, churches, villages and agricultural centres in increasingly indiscriminate attacks. They have also made daring raids on military barracks and bases.

The extremists are also accused of Monday morning's explosion at a busy bus station in Nigeria's capital that killed at least 75 people and wounded 141. 



HELP PREVENT FORCED CHILD MARRIAGE IN IRAQ


We are sharing this urgent news from; walkfree.org 

Dear Friends, 

​We've just learned that any minute now, the Iraqi Council of Representatives will vote to legalise Forced Child Marriage.

 The specifics of the legislation (part of the Jaafari Personal Status Law) are terrifying:


1. There will no longer be a minimum age to legally marry (it’s currently 18) but the law provides policies for divorcing a 9-year-old girl;

2. A girl’s father would legally be able to accept a marriage proposal on her behalf; and

3.  The girl would be legally prohibited from resisting her husband’s advances and leaving the home without his permission.


It’s a recipe for a life in domestic and sexual slavery. 


The law was sent to the Council of Representatives yesterday, and the vote could happen any time now. To prevent Iraq’s girls from becoming vulnerable to forced child marriage it is crucial that we act now


Tell Iraq’s Council of Representatives not to legalise Forced Child Marriage


Currently, Iraq has one of the most progressive policies on women’s rights in the Middle East -- setting the legal marriage age at 18 and prohibiting forced marriage.


Brave Iraqi women have been fighting against removing the minimum age for marriage, for their sake and for the sake of their daughters. Last month on International Women’s Day, countless women attended demonstrations in Baghdad protesting the Jaafari Personal Status Law. They called it the “Day of Mourning”. 


Iraqi Sunni and Shia religious leaders have criticised the Jaafari Personal Status law as discriminatory and a violation of religious texts,4 and Safia al-Suhail, a female Member of Parliament, has called it a “disaster” showing that Iraq is “going backwards”.


We may not have much time to stop Iraq from legalising Forced Child Marriage and a lifetime of domestic and sexual slavery for girls and women. Will you help? 


Urge the Council of Representatives to say “no” to legalising Forced Child Marriage.


 Stand with the women and girls of Iraq -- please forward this email to as many as your friends as possible, and ask them to contact the Iraqi Council of Representatives today. 


In solidarity,


Debra, Sarah, Andrew, Kate, Kamini & the Walk Free Team


Great News!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014  

Written by Lemmy Ughegbe, Abuja

Category: National 

​RULING as discriminatory and in conflict with the constitution of the Igbo law and custom that prohibits female children from inheriting their late father's estate, the Supreme Court of Nigeria yesterday nullified the practice.

​In its judgment on the appeal filed in 2004 by Mrs. Lois Chituru Ukeje (wife of the late Lazarus Ogbonna Ukeje) and their son, Enyinnaya Lazarus Ukeje, against Mrs. Cladys Ada Ukeje (the deceased's daughter), the apex court held that the practice conflicts with Section 42(1)(a) and (2) of the Nigerian Constitution. 

​Cladys had sued the deceased's wife and son at the Lagos High Court, claiming to be one of the deceased's children and seeking to be included among those to administer their deceased father's estate. The trial court found that she was a daughter to the deceased, who died intestate in Lagos in1981, and was qualified to benefit from his estate.

​ Also, the Court of Appeal, Lagos, to which Mrs. Lois Ukeje and Enyinnaya Ukeje appealed, upheld the decision, prompting their appeal to the Supreme Court. In its judgment last Friday, however, the Supreme Court held that the Appeal Court was right to have voided the aspect of Igbo native law and custom that denies female children inheritance. 

​Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, who read the lead judgment, held that "no matter the circumstances of the birth of a female child, such a child is entitled to an inheritance from her later father's estate. 

​"Consequently, the Igbo Customary Law, which disentitles a female child from partaking in the sharing of her deceased father's estate is in breach of Section 42(1) and (2) of the Constitution, a fundamental rights provision guaranteed to every Nigerian. 

"The said discriminatory customary law is void as it conflicts with Section 42(1) and (2) of the constitution; in the light of all that I have been saying, the appeal is dismissed. In the spirit of reconciliation, parties are to bear their own costs."

​Justices Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, Kumai Bayang Aka'ahs and John Inyang Okoro, who were part of the panel that heard the appeal, agreed with the lead judgment.


Kechie's Project Annual Nigeria Presentation at PS101Q, Forest Hills, NY

PRLog (Press Release) - Nov. 25, 2013 - FOREST HILLS, N.Y. -- November 19th, 2013 Forest Hills, New York.


As part of Kechie's Project commitment to cross cultural awareness, founder Ms. Nkechi Ogbodo visited P.S.101Q in Forest Hills, New York where she gave Kechie's Project's annual presentation about Nigeria for the third grade classes as part of their Social Studies class under the instruction of their teacher Mr. Moss. The presentation touched upon aspects of Nigeria's history, economics, and culture exploring the similarities and contrasts with their own American culture. The students had an intense and vibrant question and answer session with Ms. Ogbodo to expand upon and explore their understanding of the material they have been studying in class.

This is the third year that Kechie's Project has visited the school to promote educational awareness of conditions in Nigeria. The classes also have set up PenPal corrospondence with Nigerian students that Ms. Ogbodo facilitates during her Nigeria visits.

Nkechi Ogbodo:

"I am always delighted to visit PS101Q as the children there are so engaging and excited to learn about my country of origin, Nigeria. The cultural diversity in the school is amazing and the children always astound me wih their questions and enthusiasm , even at that young age. As a New Yorker, I truly value the opportunity to share their energy and excitement as part of Kechie's Project's committment to education!"

Jeff Moss, Social Studies Teacher at PS101Q:

"Once again Nkechi has come to our school and treated the 3rd graders to a special presentation during our unit on Nigeria. Her expertise and insight was of great benefit to our students. They were thrilled to have someone from the country they are studying take the time out of her schedule and enhance the experience of each and every student who was in attendance."


Kechie’s Project is a unique nonprofit organization specifically focused on empowering underprivileged girls and providing them with educational resources. This takes place in both Nigeria and in the United States as well. Donations to Kechie’s Project provide direct financial support and resources to two schools in Nigeria and the organization also provides cultural awareness programs in New York City Schools most recently PS101Q Elementary School in Forest Hills, NY. Kechie’s Project is dedicated to direct involvement with minimal administrative costs. This focused approach benefits selected children enabling their growth and providing them with future opportunity. The result is a positive effect on their community and our world community.

For further information on Kechie’s Project, event sponsorship, public appearances, or donations, please contact us at info@kechiesproject.org, or log onto www.kechiesproject.org.

Contact
Frank Swinand
***@kechiesproject.org




KECHIE'S PROJECT SORIEE 


​​Rebelle for a Cause: Thursday, August 22nd 2013


Kechie's Project Soiree successfully hosted a group of attendees who enjoyed appetizers and complimentary wine as they celebrated in raising funds for the young women in Nigeria and Harlem that Kechie's Project supports.

​The hosting venue was the Mission of Nigeria for the U.N. and was the perfect backdrop for inspirational words from founder Nkechi Ogbodo, former America's Next Top Model and face of Kechie's Project Nnenna Agba and keynote speaker Samantha Wright as well as rousing performances from artist Rafiya and legendary female R&B group Allure. Young girls, Hawa Sanogoand Tia Latimore from Harlem high school 'Bread and Roses' also attended to give their testimony on how Kechie's Project has been influential in their lives thus far.

Funds raised at the event will be used for school tuition and school supplies for selected girls in Nigeria as well as funding for monthly cultural/mentorship luncheons at the Bread and Roses High School in Harlem, NY.

​Photo credit to Solwazi Afi Olusola.

​To continue to support Kechie's Project or learn how to get involved please visit www.kechiesproject.org




KECHIE’S PROJECT HOSTS “SOIREE FOR A CAUSE!” A BENEFIT AND FUNDRAISING SOIREE TO RAISE FUNDS FOR YOUNG GIRLS IN NIGERIA AND HARLEM, NY ON THURSDAY, AUGUST 22ND AT THE PERMANENT MISSION OF NIGERIA TO THE U.N.


NYC – KECHIE’S PROJECT; a non-profit organization, with a 501c3 status, will hold a benefit and fundraising soiree on Thursday, August 22nd, at The Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN located at 828 Second Avenue, in New York City, from 6:30pm to 10:30 pm. Funds raised will be used solely for the purpose of KECHIE’S PROJECT initiatives and will continue to provide girls with scholarships to attend high schools and eventually universities, as well as support programs in mentorship, and entrepreneurship training -- particularly in the fashion and textiles industries -- in both Africa and the United States. 


Guests and supporters of this red carpet event include media personalities, philantropists, socialites, global innovators and the official face of KECHIE’S PROJECT professional model and former “America’s Next Top Model” finalist, Nnenna Agba. Guests will dine on a catered hor do’evrues menu and complimentary drinks provided by our sponsors. The event will begin sharply at 6:30pm with ticketed entry and an ability to provide further donation throughout the evening. Media is asked to arrive between 5:45pm-6:15pm for check-in prior to start of soiree.


Our new and continual supporters have made this event possible through donations and support: Ioma Cosmetics Paris US, Orion Trading, Designer Kristi Vosbeck, Target, Buka Restaurant, Designer Felix Annaman, Brooks Brothers, Doris NY and Rebelle With A Cause. As well as various goods and services from premier vendors from the U.S. and Africa, Fleurimond Catering.


For further information about the soiree or for event sponsorship, ticket purchase, donations of items and or services to be auctioned and donations for this cause, please contact Nneamaka Anyanwu or info@kechiesproject.org nneamaka.anyanwu@kechiesproject.org


For Media confirmation please contact Dariana Colon-Bibb at dariana@rebelleagency.com


ABOUT KECHIE’S PROJECT:


KECHIE’S PROECT is a unique nonprofit organization specifically focused on empowering underprivileged girls and providing them with educational resources. Donations to KECHIE’S PROJECT provide direct financial support and resources to two schools in Nigeria, Community Technical Secondary School and Adekunle Anglican Primary School. The organization also provides cultural awareness programs in New York City at Bread and Roses High School in Harlem and has given two class presentations on the culture of Nigeria to 3rd Graders of PS1010Q in Forest Hills, Queens. KECHIE’S PROJECT is dedicated to direct involvement and progress monitoring. This focused approach benefits selected children enabling their growth and providing them with future opportunities. The result is a positive effect on their community  locally and globally.


For more information visit www.kechiesproject.org for videos, photos and summary of projects.




KECHIE'S PROJECT AND BREAD & ROSES HIGH SCHOOL FASHION SHOWCASE IN HARLEM, NY


Kechie's Project Fashion Showcase at Bread and Roses High School in Harlem, NY featured a designer runway show with clothing provided by Brooks Brothers, Kristi Vosbeck and Aso Damisi. Guest speakers included Dr. Aletha Maybank and Mercedes Gonzales.

PRLog (Press Release) - Jun. 18, 2013 - NEW YORK -- May 30th, 2013 Harlem, NY.Kechie's Project, in partnership with Bread and Roses High School principal Dr. Rodney Lofton and the SAPIS Counselor Ms. Emma Thomas, provide monthly cultural workshops and guest speakers from inside and beyond the local community to visit the multicultural group culmination this year in a successful and entertaining three part Fashion Runway Gala with clothing provided by Brooks Brothers, Kristi Vosbeck Designs, and designer Aso Damisi. Guest Speakers included NYC Assistant Health Commissioner Dr. Aletha Maybank, and Fashion Consultant Mercedes Gonzales. Singers Greg Banks and Rafiya performed their solo compositions and the event was hosted by Eren T. Gibson. School performances included recitals of written compositions by the Bread and Roses School Members.


Kechie’s Project is a unique nonprofit organization specifically focused on empowering underprivileged girls and providing them with educational resources. This takes place in both Nigeria and in the United States as well. Donations to Kechie’s Project provide direct financial support and resources to two schools in Nigeria and the organization also provides cultural awareness programs in New York City Schools. Kechie’s Project is dedicated to direct involvement with minimal administrative costs. This focused approach benefits selected children enabling their growth and providing them with future opportunity. The result is a positive effect on their community and our world community.


Kechie’s project is a (501c3) nonprofit organization and donations are tax deductible and can be made by visiting our website at www.kechiesproject.org.




Kechie's Project and Face2Face Africa Partnership featuring F2FA Magazine Launch December 13th, 2012 


Kechie's Project and Face2Face Africa will launch their partnership on Thursday, December 13th at Kechie's Project's "Cocktails for Education" Holiday Event at the Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations celebrating F2FA Magazine's Premier Issue.

PRLog (Press Release) - Dec 10, 2012 - New York, New York -- Kechie's Project and Face2Face Africa will launch their partnership on Thursday, December 13th at Kechie's Project's "Cocktails for Education" Holiday Event at  the Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations celebrating F2FA Magazine's premier issue.


At the event the Face2face Africa groundbreaking magazine F2FA will be available for the first time for public purchase priced at only $10. Twenty percent of magazine sales proceeds will be donated to Kechie's Project to continue its mission of education and empowerment for underprivileged girls and global cultural awareness. 


Attendees and supporters of this event include top New York City-based entertainer Greg Banks the artist, Fashion retailers, media personalities, professional model and former “America’s Next Top Model” finalist, Nnenna Agba.


Guest Speakers include Eric J. Henderson, Curator of "Markets for Good" and fashion designer Farai Simoyi. Matt Hoyle, the Executive Chef at Nobu 57 of New York City will prepare the cuisine for the event and Music provided by DJake (Jake Bright), Director of Cocody Productions.


Arik Air, Nigeria and West Africa's premier airline is once again a proud sponsor of Kechie's Project and will be donating two round trip tickets to Africa for a raffle for guests in attendance.


"F2FA is a holistic, creative and contemporary pan-African magazine serving as a platform for constructive, reflective, and emboldening perspectives on all things pertaining to the African Diaspora.   Dubbed as "The Modern Day Vanity Fair of African Affairs, it is here to re-brand the image of Africa and unite all people of African descent worldwide.


"Founder Nkechi Ogbodo: "I am delighted to forge this partnership with F2FA as Kechie's Project has accomplished so much this year and Face to Face Africa will grant the organization more exposure in our common interests of promoting a positive image of Africa. We also share the belief in better global awareness and understanding. Kechie’s Project supporters will be some of the first few people around the world to see the historic magazine. F2FA will be donating a portion of the magazine sales proceeds at the event to Kechie’s project.


"Face2Face Africa (F2FA) is a media company launched in 2011 with the mission of Restoring Africa's Image within the global community. The company is based in New York City and has 3 different divisions: Online Magazine, Print Magazine and Events. http://face2faceafrica.com/


Arik Air is West Africa's largest airline operating a fleet of 23 state of the art aircraft including two Airbus A340-500. Arik is the first operator of wide bodied aircraft in Africa.



http://www.marketsforgood.org/category/blog/


http://www.faraisimoyi.com/index.html 



Kechie’s Project is a unique nonprofit organization specifically focused on empowering underprivileged girls and providing them with educational resources. This takes place in both Nigeria and in the United States as well. Donations to Kechie’s Project provide direct financial support and resources to two schools in Nigeria and the organization also provides cultural awareness programs in New York City Schools. Kechie’s Project is dedicated to direct involvement with minimal administrative costs. This focused approach benefits selected children enabling their growth and providing them with future opportunity. The result is a positive effect on their community and our world community.


For further information on Kechie’s Project, event sponsorship, public appearances, partnerships or donations, please contact Frank Swinand at frank.swinand@kechiesproject.org.www.kechiesproject.org


To purchase tickets for the event: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/3765697302




​​

Kechie's Project at Bread and Roses High School


Kechie's Project founder Nkechi Ogbodo and children's activist Nenna Agba continue their mentoring efforts in New York City at Bread and Roses High School as role models for young African women transitioning to life in America.



PRLog (Press Release) - Dec 04, 2012 - New York, New York -- As part of Kechie's Project's continuing efforts founder Nkechi Ogbodo and professional model and children's right spokesperson Nnenna Agba visited Bread and Roses High School in Harlem, New York where the non profit organization provides mentoring for young  African girls. Kechie's Project focuses on helping young women both in Nigeria and in the United States by providing educational support to promote a better community worldwide.


With the assistance of Ms. Emma Thomas, the SAPIS Counselor of Bread and Roses School, Kechie's Project is providing mentoring and cultural workshops visiting the school on a monthly basis. The sponsored group of students are immigrants from African countries and  Caribbean  countries as well. The students are involved in dialogue workshops to promote a better cultural understanding of the their world. Also Kechie's Project has provided additional learning materials, clothing and Holiday gift cards for students in the group.


Kechie' Project spokesperson Nenna Agba relates,

​"Today I spent my afternoon at Bread and Roses High School in Harlem with Kechie's Project. I had the opportunity to mingle with young girls who are dealing with the barriers and culture shock of transitioning from Africa to America to pursue an education. I saw so much of my young self in them. I reminisced about my first day on the school bus at 14 years old with my sister who was 15 at the time, along side my 12 year old cousin who had to deal with the embarrassment of being related to the 2 new "African" girls that looked liked skeletons and smiled and stared timidly at everyone. I was vividly reminded of how far I have come; I am thoroughly grateful!"

​About Kechie's Project:

​Kechie’s Project is a non-profit organization committed to empowering girls to become future leaders. We provide academic and social support to girls in underserved communities in America and Africa.

​Educating women is key to achieving prosperity in any society. To promote a better community here in United States and a better Africa, Kechie's Project is dedicated to providing educational opportunities to girls. Empower a girl with knowledge, she will help her family and her community.

​We aim to fund each student’s high school tuition and personal costs. Many students come from improvised backgrounds where personal needs such as food, water and school supplies keep them out of the classroom.  Kechie’s Project will cover school-related costs that a family cannot afford to ensure that each girl can attend school regularly.  Upon graduating from high school there will be an opportunity to receive a vocational college or university scholarship.

​Founder Ms. Ogbodo:

​As a Nigerian American, Nkechi Ogbodo is committed to empowering girls of color in Africa and America. She believes in providing girls in Africa access to education and exposing to girls in America to the rich cultural history of Africa.

​Nkechi earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Lehman College CUNY and a Master of Arts in International Relations from City College of the City University of New York (CUNY). Nkechi’s unique opportunity of leaving Nigeria to study in the United States, inspired her to give back to her “motherland”of Africa and her newly adopted country.

​Advisory Board Member Nnena Agba:

​Born in Houston and raised in Nigeria, this Black Beauty was the most beloved Finalist on the hit TV show “America’s Next Top Model”. Having captivated her viewing audience, she was voted “Cover Girl of the Week” numerous times by her fans as well as their favorite to win each week until she left the show. Her unique face and style transitions flawlessly from high fashion to commercial shoots and  Nnenna commands the attention of both national and international markets worldwide.

​She is also a spokesmodel for MiaDonna Diamond Hybrid, a company that promotes and provides alternatives to Blood Diamonds and conflict Diamonds. While gracing the runways of Paris, London, and New York, Nnenna has worked for designers such as Chloe, Dolce & Gabbana, Micheal Kors, and many others. Ms. Agba is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. 

​This former Chemist is doing her part to give back to the community and make a difference in the world. She is one of the celebrity spokespersons and the face of Kechie’s Project, a nonprofit organization that focuses on self-improvement, empowerment, and education of young women in Africa. As a former contestant on America’s Next Top Model, Nnenna is already a household name and has attracted and continues to attract fans from all walks of life. With an awesome charisma that engages those who encounter her she proudly serves as a positive role model for all young girls and women of African origin and her home country of Nigeria.

​For further information on Kechie’s Project, event sponsorship, public appearances,, or donations, please contact Frank Swinand at frank.swinand@kechiesproject.org, or log onto www.kechiesproject.org.




KECHIE'S PROJECT VISITS P.S.101Q IN FOREST HILL, NY

Kechie's Project Founder Ms. Nkechi Ogbodo visited the 3rd grade Social Studies classes of Mr. Moss at P.S.101Q in Forest Hills, Queens NY to speak about Nigeria and answer to questions from the students and promote cultural awareness.



PRLog (Press Release) - Dec. 06, 2012 - As part of Kechie's Project commitment to cross cultural awareness, founder Ms. Nkechi Ogbodo visited P.S.101Q in Forest Hills, New York where she gave a presentation about Nigeria for the third grade classes as part of their Social Studies under the instruction of social studies teacher Mr. Moss. This presentation touched upon aspects of Nigeria's history, economics, and culture exploring the similarities and contrasts with their own American culture. The students were able to have an intense and vibrant question and answer session with Ms. Ogbodo to expand upon and explore their understanding of the material they have been exploring in class.


"Once again Ms. Ogbodo came to visit our 3rd graders to enhance our unit on Nigeria. She explained Kechie's Project and shared valuable insight into the country we have been studying. The students were so inspired by her presentation that they are in the process of writing letters to be sent to students in Nigeria. Our school would once again like to thank Ms. Ogbodo, as well as parent Mr. Swinand for another meaningful experience for our students." Mr. Moss, social studies teacher at P.S.101


Nkechi Ogbodo, "We hope to develop a relationship with the children here in New York with the Nigerian girls that are being sponsored by Kechie's Project. I plan on presenting these letters to the girls when I travel to Nigeria in January 2013 and bringing back return letters for the children at P.S.101Q. Children can be empowered to see that they can make a difference in lives of others across the world by merely picking up a pencil and sharing their thoughts, interests, and questions in letters. I am so inspired and delighted that the third grade children understood their lesson material and had such an intense interest in Nigeria and its people.


"Kechie’s Project is a unique nonprofit organization specifically focused on empowering underprivileged girls and providing them with educational resources. This takes place in both Nigeria and in the United States as well. Donations to Kechie’s Project provide direct financial support and resources to three schools in Nigeria and the organization also provides cultural awareness programs in New York City Schools most recently PS101Q Elementary School in Forest Hills, NY. Kechie’s Project is dedicated to direct involvement with minimal administrative costs. This focused approach benefits selected children enabling their growth and providing them with future opportunity. The result is a positive effect on their community and our world community.


For further information on Kechie’s Project, event sponsorship, public appearances, or donations, please contact Frank Swinand at frank.swinand@kechiesproject.org, or log onto www.kechiesproject.org





KECHIE'S PROJECT IN NIGERIA 2012

Kechie's Project is continuing it's mission to provide underprivileged young Nigerian women the gift of improved education with financial assistance and material resources.


Kechie's Project Founder Nkechi Ogbodo and contributing supporters continue the ongoing mission to provide educational and mentoring opportunities for underprivileged young women in Nigeria and in New York City communities.


Kechie's Project has provided the current annual funds for school tuition, after school programs, and uniforms with the assistance of the Vice Principal Mr. Stephen Edeh, coordinator of our program at the Community Technical Secondary School "Obinagu Uwani". Chief Celsus Nwodo, Chairman of the School's Parent Teacher's Association was full of praise for Kechie's Project commending the impact and difference the organization is making in the lives of the students in Obinagu-Uwani Akpugo, Enugu State.


In Makoko, Lagos, Kechie's Project is funding after school programs, clothing, school supplies, and other basic needs for selected candidates in this most impoverished area. Ogo Maduewesie, Founder of Vitiligo NGO in Nigeria voluntarily coordinates Kechie's Project programs in Lagos.


In New York City, fulfilling our commitment to our local community in Harlem, Ms. Nkechi Ogbodo hosted a "Welcome Back to School” luncheon with representative girls from Bread and Roses High School. The girls were thrilled to have Kechie's Project visit their school and were provided lunch of African food. We plan to organize a cultural music week for their school featuring a variety of music from different cultures. We also plan to provide requested Scientific calculators for their classroom use. 


For further information on Kechie’s Project, event sponsorship, public appearances,, or donations, please contact Frank Swinand at frank.swinand@kechiesproject.org, or log onto www.kechiesproject.org





Kechie's Project Launches The Sustainable Education Program and Gives 1000 Workbooks to Children in Nigeria


NEW YORK, April 11, 2011 — Kechie’s Project (KP), an organization that empowers girls in Africa with education and social support, officially announced its Sustainable Education Program and launched its first campaign, The Nigerian Initiative by donating workbooks to 1000 children in Nigeria.


The Sustainable Education Program is a comprehensive approach to improve the quality of education in underserved areas so that girls can have the facilities and means to learn. This program will work in concert with the Young Scholars Program, which covers the tuition of promising high school and university students. To start the program with a country-specific focused, The Nigerian Initiative was developed and its first priority is to equip children with the academic tools to learn. The 1000 workbooks were distributed to students of the schools selected to participate in the initiative, Community Secondary School and Adekunle Anglican Primary School along with its after school tutoring program partner, Makoko Youth Movement for Health.


Community Secondary School in Obinagu-Uwani, Akpugo in Enugu State was once a high school for girls, but it recently became co-ed due to low attendance. Providing workbooks to the students, along with soon modernizing the classrooms, is aimed to attract girls to regularly attend school in the area.  The workbooks will ease the financial hardships of some families who find it difficult to pay for books and schools supply fees. Some girls, especially from single parent families, are generally kept out of school because secondary education unlike primary education is not provided by the government. In a country where most people live on less than $2 a day, tuition is expensive for even the most modest high schools such as Community Secondary School.


Adekunle Anglican Primary School and Makoko Youth Movement for Health, are located in the Makoko neighborhood of Yaba, a suburb of Lagos. Makoko is plagued by poverty and sanitary problems. The residents live in homes on wooden stilts above water. The majority of students at the school and after school program are orphans. Few children have parents or benefactors who can provide them with school supplies.


Kechie’s Project is eager to continue the momentum of working with the schools. More books, desks and chairs are clearly needed in the classrooms, and meeting these needs are part of the program's agenda.


Upon the success of The Nigerian Initiative, The Sustainable Education Program will have a proven model to boost the academic quality of schools across Africa.


About Kechie’s Project:


Kechie’s Project empowers girls in Africa with education and social support. Our goal is to cultivate the next generation of women to become future leaders within their communities and beyond for a better Africa. Founded in 2010, Kechie’s Project is an international non-profit organization headquartered in New York. The Earth Right’s Institute is the fiscal sponsor of Kechie’s Project while we are in the process of obtaining our 501(c)3 status.

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