Based in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria, the International Women’s Communication Centre (IWCC), was created in 1993 by a group of women human rights activists, with the aim of disseminating information about 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’s programmes are community-based, and the centre actively engages and empowers women from both Muslim and Christian communities in the state.
IWCC’s HIV/AIDS programmes 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 to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS. IWCC has also successfully lobbied for the integration of HIV/AIDS clubs in schools in Kwara State 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, fashion design, computer literacy, and office skills, to the most disadvantaged girls from throughout Kwara State. The success of this programme has rested on the partnerships that IWCC has been able to form with local authorities throughout the state, who refer girls who are very poor, orphans, or carrying the AIDS virus to the Institute. At the end of the year-long 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 conversational English. Girls and Women are economically empowered through a micro-credit programme and seed grants in order to start small businesses. By doing this, the Institute has been helping to reduce the level of abject poverty among the most disadvantaged girls and women in Kwara since its inception.
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Address of IWCC: IWCC House, 4 Oko Erin Road (Beside Winners Yoghurt Office), Ibrahim Taiwo Road, P.O.Box 1750, Ilorin.Kwara State, Nigeria.