In commemoration of the 2021 International Women’sDay (IWD), the United States Government Exchanges Alumni Association (USGEAA) launched the Women Achievers’ Award on March 18th, 2021. The objective of the programme is to highlight and promote the laudable projects being executed by leading USGEAA female icons.
Over the years, the US government has supported the personal and career development of numerous Nigerians, including women who are leading high-impact work and careers across the country. This year’s International Women’s Day provides a veritable opportunity to celebrate such distinguished ladies and their gigantic strides in society.
The president of the USGEAA, Dr. Jude Ememe, noted that these distinguished women represent the ideals and vision of USGEAA for social transformation. Cumulatively, their selfless endeavours have indeed bolstered the delivery of essential services and development projects, across the country, particularly in underserved communities.
The 13 awardees were carefully selected from the alumni associations of the Carrington Youth Fellowship, Mandela Washington Fellowship, Fulbright Fellowship, International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP), Hubert Humphrey Fellowship, and Study of the US Institutes (Susi).
Raquel Daniel, a Carrington Youth Fellowship Alumni(CYFAN) member was recognized along with three other remarkable alumni members who have over the years contributed to the development of their communities; Anu Adelakun, Francisca Chiedu, and Rhoda Robinson.
Through her nonprofit, Beyond the Classroom Foundation(BTCF), Raquel works in marginalized communities in Nigeria focusing on education for children and sexual & reproductive health for adolescent girls. In September 2019, BTCF enrolled 106 internally displaced children back to school in Abuja and renovated a Primary school in Lagos in February 2020.
In response to the pandemic, BTCF supported over 300 families with food supplies during the COVID-19 lockdown and over 2,000 girls with free sanitary pads as part of the Pads in a Pandemic Project in 2020.
Raquel wrote “There Is a New Virus in Town” a coronavirus awareness book that has been distributed to over 5,000 children in Nigeria and also translated in the Hausa language. She is the author of “Flow; a girls guide to menstruation”, and “Squeaky Clean; personal hygiene tips every girl needs to know”
Other recipients of the award include: Hussaina AminuAboki, Andrew-Essien Ndifreke, Onyeador Doris-Jema Akuchinyere, Dange Hasfat Sahabi, Dr. Maymunar Kadri, Comfort Agboka, Dr. Taofikat Abosede Adesalu, Prof. Chioma Kanu Agomo and Professor Yinka Abosede.
Olusola Owonikoko, the President of CYFAN noted that the recognition of a few power women of the association is a testament to the huge resources, influence and impact that the fast rising people of CYFAN are having on their communities by promoting the ideals of good governance, civil liberties, economic empowerment, inclusive education and accessible healthcare.
Raquel Daniel, thanked the leadership of the USGEAA for the award noting that public recognition and commendation of their work will spur others to become more actively involved in spear-heading impactful ventures and transformational enterprises.
“A lot of women are contributing significantly towards the development of several communities across the country and the sustainable development goals, it is good to see them recognized for their efforts to nation building”she added.