Women selling baked goods in market, Lagos ©

British Council

January 2023

The Healthy Living and Women Empowerment Initiative (HELWEI) – a grantee of the Agents for Citizen-driven Transformation (ACT) Programme – has strengthened the ability of women and people with disabilities (PWDs) to participate successfully in community development activities. The project took place in Lagos State's Alimosho, Mushin, and Ibeju local government areas.

The Educational Co-operation Society, a member of HELWEI, led a consortium with three other non-profits on a project to promote the empowerment of women and vulnerable groups for participation and inclusion in social and economic development in the state's peri-urban areas.

The project was developed in response to the need to invest in and engage with civil society organisations (CSOs) to strengthen their capacity to engage in and influence sustainable development, as well as to contribute to social inclusion of women and people with disabilities in local development processes within Lagos State.

HELWEI provided capacity development for women, including those with disabilities, in areas such as human rights and redress pathways, community-level advocacy, leadership, self-esteem, and social inclusion.

As a result of the intervention, 80 women benefited with new skills to grow their micro-scale businesses and participate in community development initiatives. The project also resulted in an increase in change agents among PWDs (with an indirect reach of over 50 beneficiaries). 

As an organisation, HELWEI has previously undergone coaching and training to improve its capacity to deliver on planned solutions such as financial management, social inclusion, and monitoring and evaluation. 

“I am very happy to be part of  this programme. I learnt a lot, and my self-esteem has been boosted."

Agbeye Imoleayo Sarah, PWD