Women in Business, WIMBIZ, kick started its COVID-19 Relief Project, to assist Nigerian women within the low-income bracket who are vulnerable to the impact of the lockdown. Knowing that they would need support to comply with the government’s lockdown restrictions designed to flatten the curve as well as stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the WIMBIZ COVID-19 Relief Project, is an initiative borne out of the challenges associated with the pandemic and the need for a collective action to combat the spread of the virus.
Initially, three communities were considered; Ijeh in Obalende, Idiaraba in Surulere, and Mushin. However, due to the scale of the adverse economic impact of the ongoing pandemic and in response to the overwhelming support and feedback from our donors, we increased our relief package distribution target to 10,000 relief packs.
In addition, going forward they diversified their geographic focus and extended their donation window to enable them expand their reach. The relief packages have so far been distributed in these communities across the country: Ijeh, Shomolu, Orile, Aguda, Mushin, Ikorodu, Seriki Ado, Ikeja, LAWMA, Makoko, Oke-Iranla Ojo, Yaba, Onikan, Addo, Langbasa, Garki, Gwarimpa, Tungan, Maje, Jikwoyi, Durumi, Bundu, Okrika, Diobu Waterside, Bonny, Akinyele, Iddo, Lagelu/Egbeda and Ona-Ara.
The WIMBIZ leveraged on the diverse network of associates and received immense support from members of the Board of Trustees and Executive Council. There was also a representation of the secretariat staff led by the Executive Director of WIMBIZ for this well-needed outreach initiative. The collective effort from those within the WIMBIZ organization resulted in effective execution of this outreach and strengthened the desire to continuously remain the catalyst that elevates the status of women as well as promotes nation-building.
The WIMBIZ COVID-19 Project Relief Program distributed 11,919 relief packs, directly impacting over 71,514 Nigerians across 28 communities in 4 states within Nigeria, with donations from 503 cash donors and 18 in-kind donors. Sector demographics covered include healthcare workers, waste management staff, widows, law enforcement households, internally displaced individuals, and an old people’s home.
With Nigeria’s population estimated to be close to 200m and a large proportion of our citizens living below the poverty line, the pandemic has been catastrophic. The restriction of movement as part of the Government’s efforts to stop the spread of the virus has significantly impacted livelihoods, particularly those that depend on daily cash incomes. More focus is required to identify the vulnerable members of society across the nation and create safety nets to provide respite. The WIMBIZ COVID-19 Relief Package has assisted (and continues to assist) with supporting some of these households but there is still a lot more to be done to reduce inequality and achieve gender equality.
The WIMBIZ is committed to growing the network of professional women, delivering value-added programs, creating differentiated benefits for Associates, advocating for increased female participation at all levels & supporting our communities.
WIMBIZ is a non-profit organization founded in 2001 by 13 phenomenal women and one amazing man with the objective of elevating the status and influence of women and their contribution to nation-building through programs designed to inspire, empower, connect and advocate for women in Business, Management, and Public Service. Our founders include; Dr. Omobola Johnson (Former Minister of Information and Communication in Nigeria), Bola Adesola (Senior Vice-Chairman, Africa, Standard Chartered Bank), Ifeyinwa Ighodalo (Current Chairman of the WIMBIZ Board of Trustees and CEO, DO. 11 Design Limited) among other notable personalities.
The core of what WIMBIZ embodies includes; inspiring women to attain leadership positions, advocating for gender parity, educating and empowering women to maximize their potential, creating platforms for mentoring, networking, and building value-added business relationships, capacity building for sustainable livelihoods and supporting our communities. In line with the last objective, we launched the WIMBIZ Covid-19 Relief Package Project on Monday, March 30, 2020 and distribution of Relief Packs in communities commenced on Wednesday, April 8 with a plan to provide five thousand (5000) relief packs (non-perishable food, personal care, and hygiene items) to vulnerable low-income households in Lagos – the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria.