The New Me

The New Me is an initiative pioneered by the co-founder Mrs. Favor Wazota Agbu and is centered on women self-liberation and freedom from stigmatization. This scheme is in four phases:

  • Child outside wedlock
  • Victims of rape
  • Marital Abuse
  • Personal Hygiene

CHILD OUTSIDE WEDLOCK

Growing up in this part of the world, I have witnessed the horror and abandonment faced by girls and women who have had a child or children outside wedlock. There is a lifetime stigma of a nobody, a whore, the outcast, the disowned, you don’t belong here, and a sense of complete elimination from the society.

These group of women or girls get their titles from Teen Pregnancy, Pregnancy from rape, and pregnancy after a divorce. This event has the capacity to ruin their life completely, depending on where they are in life. If they get pregnant during middle school or high school, that is the end of schooling for them. They are not allowed to continue classes while pregnant. So, she returns home until she has the baby, so often that is the end. If they are lucky to have the child’s father accept the pregnancy and eventually marries them, then they are married and remain housewives and raised their children. And if he denies ownership, the girl is on her own, and this could lead to her being thrown out of the family house, and if she is left to remain, then that is life for her.

This initiative is targeted at the rehabilitation of these women/girls; services are geared towards making them understand their self-worth, reincorporate then back in to the society, put them back to school, (for middle or high school drop-out).  Extra classes will be provided to prepare them for tests, exams and finals that prepares them for college.

For those who have passed school age, there will be provision for small business start-up either through loan or subsidies.

VICTIMS OF RAPE

There’s an absolute believe that it is always the rape victim’s fault to be raped. She does not have a voice, no one will believe her story, it is shameful to speak up, there’s an attitude of “this never happened”. And 90% of these rapes are done by friends and family members, and so it becomes a taboo to talk about them.

This initiative will be that voice for the voiceless, help them deal with the hurts and shame, transform them from being victims to gaining victory over their pains and gain back their self-esteem. This will be achieved through counseling, self-empowerment seminars, teaching the act of forgiving and loving self in the face of adversity. This initiative will strive to end girl molestation in my community.

MARITAL ABUSE

This is so bad and had become a norm such that some women get in to marriage with the readiness and expectation to be abused by a man, either physically, verbally or emotionally. And it is often preached about in churches on marriage ceremonies that if your husband beats you and throw your things out, gather them up and ask him for forgiveness and put your things back in the house. You must NEVER leave your marriage, it is until death do you part.

90% of women in my community believe and accept that a man is expected to cheat, have a mistress and IT IS OK, provided he meets your needs, and provide for the household. It seems the women are powerless, they have no choice, and these affairs are not done in secrets, the wife knows about it, she accepts it because it has become a norm. If she tries to confront him or speak against his behaviors and the emotional abuse, she receives beatings and sometimes the end to her marriage, so the best response is SILENCE.

This initiative will help these women understand their right in the society and will create an awareness to the myth that it is ok for the man to defile their matrimonial home.

Give them the opportunity to be self-dependent, saying no to physical or emotional abuse, receive counselling, and reclaiming their independence.

PERSONAL HYGIENE

Personal hygiene and care is often neglected amongst women in this part of the world. Only few women and girls understand the concept of a proper hygiene and personal body care. You can find situations where girls don’t have the necessary tools and accessories to use during menstrual cycles, some use rags, napkins or tissues to handle this important period in their lives. Due to inappropriate accessories to use, often they carry a strong body odor that can easily be taken care of with proper guidance, knowledge and materials. Luka Agbu Memorial Foundation will help teach and provide the necessary materials needed to properly take care of themselves.

Things as simple as regular shaving of pubic areas, daily application of roll-on or antiperspirants, body sprays and the like are simple and easy, but often neglected.

Things to help with are small hygiene kits- deodorants, body spray, razors, toothbrushes/toothpaste, Menstrual kits, Make up kits etc.

Rehabilitating those with a broken past, battered and abusive marriage, emotional abuse, teen-pregnancy, child out of wedlock, sexual molestation, and how to hygienically care for self is our core value.

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