It was an awesome time for Mamalette Champions at Mamalette Live! 2018.
This year, the spotlight was placed on the impact of the Mamalette Champions programme that started in 2017. This program was born out of the need to extend information and support on pregnancy and childcare to grassroot women who have little to no access to pertinent information on maternal and infant health.
In 2017, 1,828 women for all over Nigeria applied to be a part of the programme. These women were screened to prove that they had practiced positive health behaviours, had strong networks in their communities and understood the importance that health information and peer-to-peer support plays in helping to reduce the preventable causes of maternal and infant mortality 70 women were trained across Lagos, Abeokuta, and Ibadan to be health champions in their communities.
At the training, these women were empowered with the necessary tools to provide support and information to women in their communities. The implementation of the project was demanding and challenging for many of these women as they worked hard to get women in their community to commit to being a part of the program. .
Quiet and shy women were emboldened to be strong and firm champions. This was clearly displayed when some Champions were selected to moderate panel discussions Mamalette Live! 2018. In the words of Champion Anthonia Ikhide of Oworo Cell group “…After the training one has to establish a Motherhood Cell Group in the community & being someone who is not outspoken, I didn’t believe I would be among the Champions that can open a Motherhood Cell Group in my community that is really making impact in the life of women, children & families”.
Evidence of this transformation was displayed at the Mamalette Live 2018 event were champions took the centre stage as moderators and speakers.
The first-panel session ‘A Season For Motherhood: Role Of Family Planning In Improving Maternal Health’ was moderated by champion Reje Onuh; second session ‘Nutrition: Maternal and Early Years’ was moderated by Champion Ijeoma Thomas-Odia. Another Mamalette Champion, Yemisi Onaopemipo moderated the third session “Correcting Myths and Misconceptions on Maternal Health’. At the fifth session, the speakers were all Mamalette Champions and included Juliana Okebalama, Ogunbowale Christiana, Adesina Titilayo, Oluchi Anumni, Ekpenyong Olamide who spoke on the topic ‘Building Healthy Communities: Mamalette Champions Success Stories.’
These remarkable and dogged champions against all odds have gone on to establish 35 cell groups and have touched the lives of over 2000 women in their communities. These efforts were commended at the Mamalette Live 2018 as awards and certificates were given to distinguished Champions. Adenike Lasisi of Iju ishaga cell group got the best ‘Mamalette Champion Of The Year’, Adesina Titiilayo of Olomi cell group, Ibadan got the first runner-up, Oluchi Anumni of Lawanson cell group got the second runner-up and Anthonia Ikhide of Oworo cell group got the third runner-up. Other Mamalette Champions also received certificates for their exemplary work in 2018.
We can’t wait to see what these amazing women get up to in 2019.