COMMUNICATION CENTER (IWCC)
The International Women’s Communication Center (IWCC), based in Ilorin, Nigeria, was created in 1993 by a group of women human rights activists with the aim of disseminating information about the international women's struggle to women at the grassroots level and initiating women's rights projects at the community level. IWCC is engaged in women’s empowerment and anti-AIDS initiatives throughout Kwara State. IWCC actively engages and empowers women from both Muslim and Christian communities in Kwara, IWCC’s programs are community-based.
IWCC’s HIV/AIDS programs are based on groups of volunteer Home-Based Caregivers, coordinated by IWCC’s Community Volunteers. Caregivers provide palliative and nursing care, treat opportunistic infections and counsel and support infected people and their affected families.
Caregivers also form the core of IWCC’s anti-stigma and awareness raising campaign in Kwara State. IWCC’s members actively mobilize communities, including Muslim and Christian religious leaders, parliamentarians, local authorities, opinion leaders, Local and State Action Committee on AIDS (LACA and SACA) members in dialogues to educate the community about HIV/AIDS, to fight stigma and reduce the spread of HIV. IWCC has also successfully lobbied for the integration of HIV/AIDS clubs in schools in Kwara in order to integrate HIV/AIDS education into the curriculum through youth peer-to-peer learning.
One of IWCC’s most innovative strategies has been the Yearly Women’s Institute, which provides vocational training—including sewing, design, computer literacy and office skills—to the most disadvantaged girls from throughout Kwara. The success of this program has rested on the partnerships IWCC has formed with local authorities throughout the state, who refer girls who are very poor, orphans or HIV positive to the Institute. At the end of a year of training, the local authorities then facilitate job placement for the girls in their communities. One can find a number of the Institute’s graduates now holding down jobs at government offices around the state.
The Yearly Women’s Institute also includes courses in reading, writing and speaking English. Girls and Women are economically empowered through seed grants for small business and a micro-credit program. In these ways, the Institute has effectively reduced poverty levels among the most disadvantaged girls in Kwara since its inception.
Limota Goroso Giwa
International Women Communication Center (IWCC)
Nicon House, P.O.Box 1750
Llorin, Kwara State, Nigeria