Start That Thing Now…Step Out – My Personal Story

Starting A Non-Governmental/Non-Profit Organization:
It’s been a long time coming. About 6years ago family, friends, and colleagues began to encourage me about starting and registering an NGO. My initial reaction was, “hey…No way”! But they won’t let me be because as far as they were concerned I was already engaged in a lot of advocacy work at the community level and in the media. And sincerely I wondered too about what kept me going. The cases and issues I led my team to handle still leaves me amazed when I look at the list of projects and lives the Lord enabled us to reach and touched. We spent our money and time and through advocacy efforts got support to –

  • Pay hospital bills of a teenage mum who was a child traffick victim and had just delivered her baby.
  • Got donation from groups like the University of Ibadan cooperative group to provide 50 delivery packs for vulnerable mothers, generator for a primary health centre and also got mattresses from Bode Foam Industry for two primary health centres.
  • Facilitated a seminar for school girls in public schools in Oyo state. Through the support of ARDA 20 of the girls got school support. Other organizations who supported this event were BLUE TAG, Crown Delight Communication etc.
  • We were able to take a homeless teenager and her baby off the street.
  • Two at-risk pregnant mothers were supported and through my team’s effort, they were delivered of their babies safely as we linked them to resources and followed through. I will not forget the organization Self Reliance Economic and Advancement Program(SEAP) who donated hugely to ensure that one of the women who was an accident victim was taken care of at the hospital. These and many other projects were accomplished by the team led by me.
  • Aside what I have led my team to achieve I continue to advocate for social change on issues through storytelling, writing & production of radio drama soap; awareness campaigns on reproductive health, speaking on leadership e.t.c. And I am right here blogging on Femininematerz.

I am grateful to my bosses in the organization I work for, The Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria Ibadan who supported my passionate team and I and encouraged us to pursue these projects as community engagement extension of the Abiye (maternal & child health) Radio education program. 

In spite of these success stories, still, I wasn’t convinced and would not budge about starting an NGO. In my opinion, I did not want to start one simply because I was privileged to have been involved in what looked like activities of an NGO. I was just leading my team to do what we could about affecting lives positively in our community. In fact, these activities inspired me to take a Master’s degree in Social Work.

Last year the burden in my heart to do more increase and I got a notebook and started to write down the areas I would like to work on in contributing to social change. I began to read up and ask questions from those working in the NGO space. The funny thing was that I found myself working with a number of NGOs like African Radio Drama Association, IMESO, NURHI, DEVCOMS, Onelife Initiative , UNICEF etc on different issues of social change, still it was a path I was terrified of following. Some of these projects were by association and some directly. And so the whole of last year I kept doing projects and also was finding out more about the NGO space.

2018 came with me being clear that I really needed to kick-start this idea and dream in my heart in order to be able to do more. Amazing things happened when I stepped out in faith. People supported me in no small ways and today Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative is registered and we are already recording progress in projects we have set out to do for the year. My team consist of people I call burden bearers and vision carriers. They keep pushing me and are making personal sacrifices to see to the achievement of goals we set out to achieve (Oluwaseun Omoakinola, Tosan Akinwole, Stella Oyebanji, Adeyemi Adetunji & Agnes) 

I believe in mentorship and so I am been mentored by Onelife Initiative and I am grateful for Sola Fagorusi who has a large heart and is showing me the ropes of how to work in the NGO space.

Our accomplishment so far since inception of Beehyve Initiative:

• We have been able to facilitate and give a free training for media personnel in Oyo state on “Creating contents for Social change”.
• We provide and share opportunities for self-development and training with media personnel.
• One of our objectives is to link and provide school support for indigent boys and girls. This we kick-started by procuring an application form to enroll a visually impaired boy in Pacelli School for the blind. This is on-going as we have begun to raise funds to enable us to meet the requirement for his enrolment.

Other Projects:

• Our next task/project is the Mentoring Across Gender project. We will be reaching out and have training for undergraduates, NYSC corp members, and secondary school students. The aim of this is to empower the youth with information and skills required to pursue their dreams, and careers to become great leaders in our society. We also have wrapped in this a project to mentors boys and young men specifically in order to raise men who respect women and speak out against all forms of gender-based violence.
• My passion lies in promoting women and girl ’s wellbeing and
so definitely we have projects designed to promote the health and rights of women.

They say dream big and here I am pursuing a very big dream to my mind. I will take it one day at a time and hopefully down the line, many changed lives will attest to the worthiness of Beehyve Initiative efforts.
I will keep you posted.

Adebisi Adetunji (C) Founder Beehyve Empowerment and Development Initiative. Media content provider, Trainer & consultant, Behavioral Change Radio Drama, Communication4Development.
Catch me on Twitter @DebisiBusybee
Facebook & email – bisimodupe1975@gmail.com

Radio Program Series You will Totally Enjoy Listening To: Entertaining, informative & Engaging!

I was part of the team that designed the intriguing and engaging stories by African Radio Drama Association(ARDA) and Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI). Stories were designed for three states and I tell you we had so much fun putting it all together. Now the program is set to begin a new quarter this February.

Find the details in this press release below:

“Get It Together” Radio Programs Return:
Weekly Program to Air in Kaduna, Lagos and Oyo States

Abuja — We are back with a brand new season of the “Get It Together” Radio programs Se’rigbo in Lagos, Ireti Eda in Oyo, and Komai Nisan Jifa in Kaduna starting the week of February 12th, 2018.

The radio programs are part of the Get it Together Campaign of the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative 2 (NURHI 2) which encourages all Nigerians to KNOW the facts about family planning, TALK to their partner, and GO for family planning services.

In the episodes of these popular radio programs — Se’rigbo in Lagos, Ireti Eda in Oyo, and Komai Nisan Jifa in Kaduna — audiences follow the lives of characters and their interesting journeys through everyday life in Nigeria. The shows also give listeners the opportunity to call-in and speak directly with family planning experts, who will answer their questions live on-air. Listeners also have a chance to win weekly prizes of N1,000 recharge cards.

Speaking about the programs, Dr. Mojisola Odeku, NURHI 2 Project Director said, “Listeners are hooked on the programs’ serial dramas and real stories. Fans calling-in to the program to have their questions answered by family planning experts is one of the more popular features.”

Radio Show premiere dates, radio stations, and broadcast times are as follows:

Lagos Se’rigbo :
-Bond 92.9 FM: Mondays 4-5pm
-Radio Lagos 107.5FM: Mondays 4-5pm
Both start on February 12

Oyo Ireti Eda :
-Fresh 105.9FM: Wednesdays 4-5pm (Start date: February 14)
-Amuludun 99.1FM: Mondays 3-4pm (Start Date: February 12)

Kaduna Komai Nisan Jifa :
-Liberty 91.7Fm: Saturdays 4-5pm (Start Date: February 17)
-Nagarta Radio 747Khz: Wednesdays 3-4pm (Start Date: February 14)

Radio listeners can join in the conversation and see what other fans are saying and catch up on previous episodes on Get It Together’s official Facebook page: @getittogetherng

About the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative 2 (NURHI 2)

The NURHI 2 project uses communication to increase demand for family planning among men and women. It is led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP) in partnership with the Center for Communication Programs Nigeria (CCPN).

The Get It Together radio programs build on the success of the previous seasons and the campaign’s 2016 hit song “Get It Together,” featuring Paul ‘P Square’ Okoye and Tiwa Savage. NURHI 2 has also helped establish a network of trained health providers offering friendly and confidential family planning services. NURHI 2 locations can be recognized by the blue, yellow and orange puzzle piece logo with signs that say ‘FP services available here” and the National Family Planning ‘Green Dot logo’.

For more information please visit http://www.nurhitoolkit.org, send an email to cokereafor@nurhi.org or call Chukwuemeka on 0805-334-0599

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Reaching People at Home & Work Places with Information about FP

Engaging our community and dialoguing with members at the grassroot level about Family Planning is key to poverty eradication and family empowerment.

Once while working with ARDA & NURHI on the field going from house to house, business centers dialoguing and informing people better about the need to plan their families we met a group of men. It was interesting discussing the issue with these men, some agreed that couples should only give birth to the number of children they can cater for but one man’s opinion stood out. This man whom I will call Bode believed that a man has a right to keep giving birth to as many children as he desired. Then we raised the issue if how frequent and too many births can affect a woman’s health. The discussion then centered on the wellbeing of his wife; Bode believed that he would keep acquiring more women to give birth to more children.

I looked at Bode and it was obvious that he didn’t earn much. Bode like many others hold the cultural believe that the Lord Almighty who gives children will take care of them. I believe that God is the giver of children and he also makes provision to care for them. However he expects us to be responsible therefore he will also hold us, parents accountable if we do not train and equip our children with all they need to become responsible men and women in the society.

I see many women at the grassroot suffer and struggle to take care of children because their husbands/men are busy donating babies to as many other women. Forgive me if I sound rather hard here.

Then there are men who will insist that the woman(his wife)  should just keep having as many babies as possible to the detriment of her health and the family’s wellbeing.

Family Planning means having the number of children one can care & provide for.

Family planning is key to preventing abortions. 

Family planning has helped couples who didn’t know any better to stop aborting babies. I have met a few couples who were able to relax in between births before having another baby and no longer had to abort unplanned pregnancy.

Life is all about the choices we make. These choices in turn make us and our future.

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

PRESS RELEASE: “IRETI EDA” Radio Program Returns: Weekly Program to Air in Oyo State

The “Get It Together” Campaign, led by the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative 2 (NURHI 2), will launch 26 new episodes of their weekly radio program – Ireti Eda – during the week of July 14, 2017.

The new episodes of Ireti Eda in Oyo continue the captivating drama it was known for intermixed with real-life testimonials from community leaders, health service providers, and program listeners. This combination of entertaining and educational content encourages all Nigerians and Oyo people, in particular, to KNOW the facts about family planning, TALK to their partner, and GO for family planning services – the key message of NURHI 2’s Get It Together campaign.

“I like the radio program, Ireti Eda, because it educates us on Family Planning, especially through the drama characters, highlighting the need, importance, and methods of Family Planning. I do not miss any episode as I have learned a lot from the expert that answers questions also, as some of the things they said are things I have experienced as a woman. The program is very good and It it should be continued.Bunmi.

As in the previous three seasons, this radio program will feature the latest jams, real-life stories from satisfied family planning users, and the chance to win the weekly prize, which will be N1,000 recharge cards. The programs will also offer listeners the opportunity to call-in and speak directly with family planning experts, who answer their questions live on-air.

Dr. Mojisola Odeku, NURHI 2 Portfolio Director said “Listeners are hooked on the programs’ serial dramas and know they can trust the project to provide factual and accurate health information. Fans can even call-in to the program to have their questions answered by family planning experts, one of the more popular features.”

The new episodes of Ireti Eda radio program build on the success of the first seasons, NURHI 1’s popular radio programs, and the campaign’s 2016 hit song “Get It Together,” featuring Paul ‘P Square’ Okoye and Tiwa Savage. At the same time, NURHI 2 has helped establish a network of trained health providers offering friendly and confidential family planning services. NURHI 2 locations can be recognized by the blue, yellow and orange puzzle piece logo with signs that say ‘FP services available here.’

The new episodes’ premiere dates, radio stations, and broadcast times are as follows:

Oyo:
Splash 105.5FM: Fridays 3-4pm (Start date: July 14)
Amuludun 99.1FM: Mondays 3-4pm (Start Date: July 17)

Radio listeners can join in the conversation and see what other fans are saying on Get It Together’s official Facebook page: @getittogetherng

For more information please visit http://www.nurhitoolkit.org, send an email to info@nurhi.org or call Toyeke on 0905-261-5272.

About the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative 2 (NURHI 2):

The Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative 2 (NURHI 2) funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/T. J. Mather is using communication to increase demand for family planning among men and women. It is led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (JHCCP) in partnership with the Center for Communication Programs Nigeria (CCPN).

Published as released by NURHI

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

People and Places that have made my Week Memorable

It has been a great week learning, writing, translating and working very hard with ARDA (African Radio Drama Association) in developing stories for the NURHI season 2 radio drama.
I’d love to share a few photos with you…

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Writers at the NURHI season 2 radio drama workshop.
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Khadijat(NURHI) , me & Caroline (facilitator)
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Writers in the car on the way to take breakfast & bags packed to leave
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Driving through Victoria Island
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Sights in Victoria Island, Lagos.
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The Civic Center, Victoria Island Lagos

 

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Working on stories
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Our team of mock newscasters at the workshop… Tokunbo & Priscilla (ARDA)
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Group work & presentations
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Topic Brain Storming session

Have a fabulous week end!!! 😀😀😀


Adebisi Adetunji (C)

 

 

If You Were a Multimillionaire or Million Dollar Rich What Would You Do?

workshop-ardaAt a Radio Drama Design Workshop Facilitated by The Nigeria Urban Reproductive Health Initiative (NURHI) and African Radio Drama Association(ARDA) while getting to know one another this exercise came up.

If You were a Multimillionaire rich you would….

So many interesting thoughts on what people would do with their Million Naira/Dollar. My thoughts went racing as I was blank at first.

Then I sincerely said to myself what would I really do...sometimes you don’t know what you would do until the money drops. And the person sitting by me said you have to know now before it arrives.

Someone said she would cry….

Interesting Answers Below that I would like to share with you:

* Give people back their face – Meaning people who need facial surgery because of previous scars
* Food Shelter for the Poor
* A big factory to employ many people and travel to many places.
* Save lives
* Travel around the world to assist people impoverished and set up a Foundation
* Exotic Holidays
* Help the voiceless
* Free Health Care for All
* Set up a football Academy for young upcoming talents in Nigeria
* Chill out and not do anything for 10years. Then engage in motivation speaking not necessarily for a fee.
* Travel the world with my mom – This one got all the men in the hall protesting.
* Send my daughter to a better school – Why just your daughter someone asked. Because I don’t have a son the man said.
* Change companies and make them work better.

So what would you do with your Multi-million dollar or Naira?

What I would Do: Travel Around the Globe/Start a Foundation that will cater for less privileged women, girls, and children.

This music rocks…Take a listen

Adebisi Adetunji (C)

Feature: Celebrating the woman – Data Phido

Data Phido is the Executive Director at African Radio Drama Association, Lagos, since 1996 to present (19years) She Studied Theater Development at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Data Phido 4

Ibadan babe is what she calls me sometimes. We have met on phone and communicated via e-mails/social media but every time we connect there is something so warm about her personality. Her voice tells me that she cares deeply for people and her actions lend credence to this. Data Phido is talented and has created a number of development oriented radio drama all geared towards achieving social change. She is a trainer and a mentor who continues to share her experience in various parts of Nigeria and the world.

Data Phido 5
Training: Centre for communication programs, Nigeria

My experience with her is something I want to share in this post. I and a few of my colleagues at work have this maternal and child health education programme ( Abiye) we produce for the grass root on radio. Our passion took us into working with community hospitals and health workers and invariable we were faced with a number of helpless cases. It was heart breaking to meet a 16year old girl who was said to have been impregnated by her boss’s husband. She was a child trafficking victim and a house maid. At the time we met her she had being delivered of her baby and we found her in the hospital with no one to care for her. A Good Samaritan brought her in as an emergency case. My team and I put heads together to think of how to handle the situation. Data Phido played a key role in helping us get this young mother out of the hospital.

This young mother’s case was to be the first case of teenage mothers my Abiye team would meet. It started to bother us and this gave birth to a seminar for girls in public schools who were the vulnerable group. Again Data Phido and her NGO, ARDA supported 12 vulnerable girls giving them education support. She and her organization in no small way ensured that we got the needed transportation to get the girls to the venue of the seminar. The smiles on the faces of these girls I would remember for a long time.

Yet again we needed school support for a 5year old blind boy who was a victim of measles. He had being enrolled in a school for the handicap to equip him with skills for a brighter future but his parents didn’t have enough resources to purchase materials needed for school. This time again, Data Phido and her team joined others to support this young boy and another boy who is an orphan to get the much needed educational support.

It would seem that Data had abundant resources but no she only sacrificed out of her meagre means. In fact at some point I felt she should have just said no to our asking again and again but a YES to make life better for another girl, boy, baby or mother came. Data Phido for me is a woman making a difference through her skills as a writer, trainer, and her little resources to make the world a better place in her own little way.

On top of all the development project work, travels, writing she has to deal with, she makes out time to be loving wife and mother. She is a good cook who delights her family’s palate with delightful dishes:

Data phido foods

All work and no play they say, makes Jack a dull boy. If you are a hardworking person, you must know how to rest. Data knows how to take time off to relax.

Data PhidoData Phido relaxing at the beach

Still haven’t met her in person but she inspires me and many other girls, boys and women.

Adebisi Adetunji