Home » Activist Hauwa Ojeifo is the winner of the 2020 Changemaker award

Activist Hauwa Ojeifo is the winner of the 2020 Changemaker award

by newsking24

She instructed CNN that rising up, there have been days she couldn’t get off the bed to hold out mundane actions like brushing her tooth.

At the time, she didn’t notice she was experiencing signs of bipolar dysfunction, a psychological well being situation the place an individual’s temper swings from excessive and overactive to low and uninteresting.

“There were a lot of things leading to that moment where I thought about dying. I had an abusive relationship — well, I can’t call it a relationship now because I was like 14 or 15 at the time. But he used to punch me, beat me and gaslight me,” Ojeifo defined.

She added that she was sexually abused in 2014 and didn’t know find out how to specific being raped by a trusted associate to the folks round her.

Her experiences, she stated, piled up until she ultimately snapped and began nursing suicidal notions.

“Trying to explain what was going on in my head was difficult. I looked fine physically, but it started to affect me mentally. I could go a day without being able to construct sentences, and I was a research analyst at the time which meant I had to write daily reports but I couldn’t,” she stated.

After expressing her suicidal ideas to a buddy, she was inspired to see a psychiatrist at a psychiatric hospital in Lagos, one in all Nigeria’s largest cities.

She was recognized with Bipolar and put up traumatic stress dysfunction with gentle psychosis. “I poured out my heart, got some tests done and eventually got a diagnosis.”

Creating consciousness

Two months after Ojeifo’s analysis, she stated she determined to show her troublesome experiences round. She began to create consciousness on the far-reaching impacts of psychological well being in Nigeria.

In April 2016, she created She Writes Woman, a non-profit group targeted on offering psychological well being assist for individuals who might have it within the west African nation.

There is minimal psychological well being consciousness and there should not sufficient psychological well being professionals in Nigeria.

In a rustic of greater than 200 million folks, there are solely 250 working towards psychiatrists, in accordance with the Association of Psychiatrists of Nigeria.

Ojeifo instructed CNN that She Writes Woman began as a weblog however she realized she may do extra with it, “At first, I was just using it as an outlet to share my experiences and that of other women,” she defined.

Eventually, it morphed right into a assist group for folks with psychological well being situations.

The 28-year-old received educated as a psychological well being coach in order that she may begin a helpline to speak to folks experiencing overwhelming psychological well being signs.

“From sharing stories on the blog and social media, She Writes Woman blew up into a helpline which was run by me for a while, and then to a support group for people in vulnerable conditions,” she stated.

24-hour psychological well being helpline

She Writes Woman offers a 24-hour psychological well being helpline for anybody inside Nigeria.

The helpline serves as a primary level of contact for folks in misery or those that simply wish to speak about their psychological well being and signs.

“People call the helpline to get what we call a first-aid treatment. On the call you don’t get immediate professional counseling, what happens is you get a first response communication where someone listens to you and what you have to say,” Ojeifo defined.

She added that after the primary responders, callers will be referred to psychological well being professionals for remedy or a analysis if wanted, “depending on what the issue is we que people in to either a therapist or a psychiatrist.”

Data on psychological well being in Nigeria is tough to seek out, however in accordance with a 2016 report within the Annals of Nigerian Medicine journal, an estimated 20-30% of the nation’s inhabitants is affected by psychological issues.
And in 2017, a World Health Organization report discovered that Nigerians have the very best incidences of melancholy in Africa, with greater than 7 million folks within the nation affected by melancholy.
Despite the numbers, there’s an absence of efficient psychological well being laws setting requirements for psychiatric therapy or encouraging psychological well being consciousness within the nation.

In February, following deliberations by legislators to cross a proposed psychological well being invoice, Ojeifo turned the primary individual to testify earlier than the Nigerian parliament on the rights of individuals with psychological well being situations within the nation.

The invoice has but to be carried out.

To shut the psychological well being hole in Nigeria, Ojeifo’s group additionally gives a assist group for girls and ladies referred to as Safe Place in six Nigerian states.

“Safe Space provides a community of shared experiences for women and girls. It provides a space for women to connect and share their experiences on whatever topic, to be there for one another and understand that they are not alone in their journeys,” she defined, estimating that there have been over 50 conferences of the assist group because the inception of the group.

In the start, Ojeifo, a former funding banker, self-funded the group.

But now, with donations and grants from organizations corresponding to One Young World, Airtel Nigeria and Disability Rights Advocacy Fund, it is ready to broaden and perform extra actions in Nigeria’s psychological well being area.

In 2018, the activist obtained a Queen’s Young Leaders Award in in recognition of her work with the 24-hour psychological well being helpline and Safe Space assist group.

Changemaker Award Winner

On Tuesday, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation named Ojeifo as its Changemaker Award winner for 2020 for her work with She Writes Woman.

The Changemaker Award is likely one of the Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards pushed yearly by the inspiration. It celebrates people who’ve impressed change from a place of management or utilizing their private expertise.

In an announcement launched Tuesday, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation stated it acknowledged the activist for her work in selling Gender Equality, the fifth world aim for sustainable improvement prescribed by the United Nations.
These Africans are among the world's 100 most influential people, according to Time magazine

Ojeifo stated that she was in “disbelief” when she first obtained the e-mail alerting her that she was a recipient of the award.

“It was so unexpected and it came as a surprise because I was not expecting it. It’s like an added validation to the work She Writes Woman does,” she stated.

“During one of the meetings with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation I asked them how I was selected because I was just so blown away. I was told that it was because I had used my personal experience to build hope for people and to drive change,” she added.

Through the 2020 Changemaker Award, Ojeifo is hoping to assemble a community that may assist amplify the work She Writes Woman does much more.

“The Changemaker award means I am part of this network that is dedicated to amplifying my cause and giving me visibility,” she stated.

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