Wadi Ben-Hirki Foundation

Initial Problem Statement
The injustice my project will solve is that of the marginalization of disadvantaged people with a major focus on young girls, women and children in the society. Growing up in Northern Nigeria exposed me to see and hear about incidences of wars, terrorist attacks, killings among others. Thousands of people lost their lives and property. I remember running and hiding to survive. My family, friends and I lived in fear of the unknown. We got to a point where we gave up all hope and were ready to die. I lost several relatives to the Boko Haram insurgency in North-Eastern Nigeria which is where I hail from. Our family house was destroyed and property taken away. People were displaced and couldn’t fend for themselves. Most of the women had nothing to call their own as a result of them not being educated or self-employed because of the general belief that young girls and women shouldn’t be enrolled in school but should stay at home because that’s where they belong. Many girls in my community are sexually abused regularly but either have no one to rescue them or are being threatened by the abusers if they speak up. These issues and more triggered anger in my heart and I made up my mind to be a voice for those who are voiceless.

I am attempting to solve the problem through my Charity Organization, Wadi Ben-Hirki Foundation. It is a registered organization in Nigeria. We run five major projects: Street2School which helps in providing quality education for as many children as we can at little or no cost, GirlsNotWives which is a platform where we advocate against girl-child marriage, female genital mutilation, rape and child trafficking. We also advocate for gender equity and girl-child education. Project LITMOW (Love In The Midst Of War) is focused on rehabilitating the survivors of the Boko Haram insurgency in Northern Nigeria, WBHF’s Shoe Shop project was launched in June and it provides shoes to school children and people who can’t afford them and our target goal is to give out at least 500 shoes before the end of 2017 and lastly, WBHF’s Clothing Bank provides good and quality clothes to orphanage homes, Internally Displaced People’s camps and people on the streets. I launched Sapphire by WBHF in July 2016. It is a social enterprise that helps to raise funds for the foundation, publicize through the sale of branded merchandise and provide job opportunities for less-privileged yet skilful young people in my community. I also founded “SHEROES by WBH,” an empowerment initiative for marginalised young girls and women to turn their pain into passion and exert their energy into something productive. It is also a healing process for them.

I am one of the coordinators for the #NotTooYoungToRun campaign where we are advocating for youth inclusion and participation in politics and governance and also campaigning for the reduction in the eligible age to run for a political office. Being a ONE Nigeria Champion has enabled me to fight against extreme poverty, preventable disease and gender discrimination using hash tags: #MakeNaijaStronger, #GirlsCount and #PovertyIsSexist. I am also able to make impact as an advocate of WARS (War Against Rape and Sexual abuse) initiative.

Website: http://wbhfoundation.org/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/wbhfoundation
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wadibenhirkifoundation/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wbhfoundation/
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