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Posts Tagged ‘Children’

Wellbeing Foundation Africa President Celebrates Women’s Achievements and Inspires Others at WIE Symposium London on International Women’s Day

Monday, March 12th, 2012

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In commemoration of the success and triumphs of women around the world on International Women’s Day, the Founder and President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), Her Excellency Mrs. Toyin Saraki, articulated her vision for maternal newborn and child health (MNCH), and shared the Foundation’s goal of empowering the lives of 5.3 million women and children in Africa by 2015 at the Women: Inspiration and Enterprise (WIE) Symposium which took place at The Hospital Club in London on the 8th of March 2012.

With an atmosphere filled with solidarity, inspiration and achievement, the WIE Symposium, under the general theme ‘Owning Your Success,’ brought together a diverse array of motivated women who shared their stories and exemplified their dedication to collectively achieving social change. Speaking on the ‘Unstoppable Woman’ panel at the day-long conference, Her Excellency Mrs. Toyin Saraki, who also participated in last year’s WIE Symposium in New York, expressed her commitment to transforming the lives of women in Nigeria, Africa, and around the world through the Wellbeing Foundation Africa.

Describing an unstoppable woman as “a woman who, despite all the challenges, is utterly committed to achieving her vision to transform lives wherever she is,” Mrs. Saraki’s unstoppable moment which led to the creation of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa in 2003 stemmed from tragedy.“When I lost one of my twin children during child birth, I soon realised that no matter who you are, what you have, you are at the mercy of the health system,” Her Excellency candidly stated. This heart-breaking incident then prompted the realization that the intrinsic flaws in the Nigerian healthcare system could only be addressed through practical action from all sectors—the public sector, the organised private sector, and civil society.

“My vision is to ensure that every woman and every child in Africa has their own personal individual health record and my intention is not to stop until that is so, for when you empower a woman you empower a nation; an empowered woman is a health-seeking woman, for herself, her children, her family and her community” Mrs. Toyin Saraki declared. To this end, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa is committed to saving the lives of 5.3 million women and children across Africa through the distribution of the WBFA IMNCH Personal Health Records© which empower women with a documented record of their medical conditions, every stage in their pregnancy, and the life of their child for the first 5 years; thus giving them prompt access to the right care from properly informed health professionals. “With the Personal Health Record©, we have put a tangible Millennium Development Goal attainment tool in the hands of women, children and health service providers,”Mrs. Saraki stated.

The annual WIE symposium brings together prominent leaders from the worlds of politics, business, fashion, philanthropy, media, entertainment and the arts, in a full day of lively panels, workshops, master-classes and an inspirational awards ceremony. Also speaking at the London event was Brigid McConville, Global Director of the White Ribbon Alliance—an international coalition of individuals and organizationsadvocating for the availability of life-saving healthcare that will prevent needless deaths that occur during childbirth daily. As a member of the ‘Dreams for My Daughter’ panel, the WRA Director alongside other advocates put maternal and infant mortality into perspective. “If the mother dies in a family, the whole social network falls apart…Women have been silent for too long,” said actress Diana Quick.

The White Ribbon Alliance’s ‘Dreams for My Daughter’ campaign, which was simultaneously celebrated on the 8th of March in an exhibition by renowned photographer Joanna Vestey at the Women of the World festival at the UK’s famous Southbank Centre, aims to give all daughters hope for a brighter future and shatter the vicious cycle of low education, poverty and child marriage in developing countries. Sharing her own dream for her daughter, McConville conveyed that she dreams her daughter will see deaths during childbirth and pregnancy as a thing of the past.

Having been elected chair of the White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria Board of Directors on the 23rd of February 2012, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa Founder- President Her Excellency Mrs.ToyinSaraki, the leading African Advocate for women’s health and empowerment through the Every Woman Every Child Effort of the United Nations Secretary General, also shares the dream of eradicating maternal and infant mortality. Having raised the national alarm on maternal mortality in Nigeria in 2004, she has worked tirelessly ever since to find practical multi-sector solutions and is actively creating strategic partnerships to ensure the attainment of UN Millennium Development Goals 3, 4, and 5 in commitment to MNCH. Forging beneficial multi-sector collaborative platforms under Mrs.Saraki’s leadership, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, a key African Philanthropic Organisation,continues to advocate for Africa-focused and Africa-driven life-saving universal access to quality public healthcare for pregnant women and children across the African continent.

Signed: Lore Dada
Communications, The Wellbeing Foundation Africa

Wellbeing Foundation Africa Founder Congratulates Thisday Award Recipients

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

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H.E Mrs ToyinSaraki, Founder-President of The Wellbeing Foundation Africa and Advisory Board Member of Cherie Blair’s Africa Justice Foundation (AJF), has congratulated the 55 Women of Distinction honoured at the 17th Annual Thisday Awards Event held in Lagos on February 13th 2012.

Speaking from New York where the notable humanitarian and advocate had attended the formal ceremony to receive the highly valued Fashion 4 Development Commitment to the United Nations Every Woman Every Child Effort from Goodwill Ambassador and Vogue Italia Editor-in-Chief Franca Sozzani, Mrs Saraki said that the recognition of the awardees exemplifies the fact that women are successfully leading increasingly influential roles in all facets of society, including business, politics, entrepreneurship, public policy and social development.

“I am so encouraged to see that Nigerian women are engaging at the highest levels of distinction in business, politics and leadership in the 21st century. We have indeed come a long way. The honourees have persevered and excelled in their chosen fields of endeavour and are worthy of double honour, not only because of what they have achieved, but because as women in a world dominated by men, it often takes twice as much time and effort as their male counterparts to attain great heights.”

Mrs Saraki, the former First Lady of Kwara State, congratulated her fellow former colleagues, Their Excellencies Erelu Angela Adebayo of Ekiti State, Chief Mrs. EkiIgbinedion of Edo State and Distinguished Senator Zainab Kure of Niger State and also Kwara’s very own indigenous daughter Hajiya Bola Shagaya a foremost business woman, for their  respective contributions to humanity, particularly in the lives of women and children, while she warmly welcomed the keynote speakers, Cherie Blair QC of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and Africa Justice Foundation and Former American President Bill Clinton of the Clinton Global Initiative, in recognition of their sincere dedication towards development in Africa.

The WBF Africa President finally commended Thisday Newspaper and its Publisher, Prince Nduka Obaigbena for the organisation’s stellar role in inspiring effective media focus upon civil society issues, saying “Thisday continues to provide leadership in the media through innovation, creativity and uncommon intelligence, adding transformational texture to our national experience.”

H.E Mrs ToyinSaraki is in New York in her capacity as the leader of the Nigeria Multi-Sector Engagement in support on the United Nations Secretary General’s Every Woman Every Child Effort, which was launched in Nigeria by The Wellbeing Foundation Africa in July 2011.

Yomi Owope, Communications Director, The Wellbeing Foundation Africa. 13-02-2012

 

ANENIH, Others praise WellBeing Founder at dinner of UN Boss

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

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Founder of The Wellbeing Foundation and Chair of the National Health Campaign, Mrs Toyin Saraki was on Monday night severally praised for her contribution to the improvement of the situation of women and children in the country,
The recognition which came from various speakers was capped with the vote of thanks by the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Josephine Anenih who described Mrs Saraki has one of
the most passionate about the wellbeing of women and children especially as it concerned survival. She thanked Mrs Saraki for her constant reminder to the society on the need to ensure that women and children do not die unnecessarily.

Maternal, Newborn and Child Health is a Human Right!- Toyin Saraki

Friday, December 10th, 2010

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President of The WellBeing Foundation, Mrs Toyin Saraki has advocated for the need to begin to treat maternal, newborn and child health as basic human right.

In a statement to mark this year’s International Human Rights Day, Mrs Saraki – the National Champion, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health for the White Ribbon Alliance and Chair of the Federation of International Women Lawyers (FIDA) Child Rights Committee – pointed out that: “One of the provisions of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is that ‘Every human being has the right to health, including healthcare.’ Unfortunately, this right to healthcare and maternal and children health care in particular, is not taken care of in our society”

Mrs Saraki stated further that currently, Nigeria bears the largest proportion of the world’s burden for maternal and child mortality. She noted that unless stakeholders quickly agreed on the need to tackle adequate health care delivery as a basic human right for which a woman, her pregnancy and child are entitled, it might soon assume ‘crisis dimensions’.

“Current statistics show that every year Nigeria loses between 54,000 and 59,000 women due to pregnancy and pregnancy-related causes. It is even scarier when you hear that a Nigerian woman dies from pregnancy or some complications related to pregnancy every ten minutes. With the wealth of resources that Nigeria possesses, this is unjustifiable. Data on the number of deaths of newborns, infants and under-fives is equally frightening.” Mrs Saraki said.

She called on all stakeholders including the Federal Ministry of Health, the National Health Insurance Scheme, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, relevant NGOs and global development partners in the country to work towards an effective health service delivery system, based on verifiable statistics and linked to a credible, sustainable health insurance scheme, which would deliver health care to women and children at their point of need and wherever they live. This will go a long way to improve the survival of women and children in Nigeria.

Adeniran Adedokun

Special Assistant (Media and Strategy) to Her Excellency.

Wife of Kwara Governor Calls for Education of all Kwara Children

Friday, November 12th, 2010

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The First Lady of Kwara State, Mrs Toyin Saraki has urged parents in the state to embrace the education of their children as the only assurance for their socio-economic rights and development. In a statement to mark the 2009 edition of the International Women’s Day, Mrs Saraki noted that the education of all Kwara Children without discrimination on the bases of sex was important to the emancipation of not just families but the society at large.

She also pointed out that the mass education and enlightenment of men and women in the state was necessary for the attainment of this year’s theme of “women and men united to end violence against women and girls” insisting that revealing the ills of violence was important to eradicating the problem. She pledged the commitment of Alaafia Kwara, her non governmental organisation to the enrolment, retention and completion of the education of all Kwara children and that every effort would be made to achieve this. She informed that towards furthering this determination, Alaafia Kwara was setting up extra mural educational opportunities in all local government areas which will host resource access unit in the state and these opportunities would provide functional literacy and numeracy sessions which will improve the capacity of both children and women.

Adeniran Adedokun
Special Assistant (Media and Strategy to Her Excellency)