Nneoma Albert-Benson’s passion for widows and orphans will melt your heart
Nneoma Albert-Benson is the founder of the BEFA Women and Child Care Foundation.
It’s an organization that provides poor women and children with quality legal services.
Nneoma Albert-Benson is a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. She plans to fully implement the organization’s “Save Women in Prison Initiative” across Nigeria by providing a viable litigation system accessible to every imprisoned woman.
BEFA has been working with women to ensure that widows are not tortured for the death of their spouses or stripped of their properties unlawfully; ensure prosecution of perpetrators of domestic violence; challenge forced/premature marriages.
The foundation also ensures that divorced/separated/widowed women are not denied the comfort of their children and/or legal entitlements and also to empower young women entrepreneurs.
Since December 2010, 153 women have benefited from BEFA at various levels of the nation’s judiciary. Of the 153 cases they have taken to court, 55 successful judgments have been recorded, the rest are pending in various courts across Nigeria.
Nneoma Albert-Benson through BEFA has effectively utilized arbitration/reconciliation modes of dispute resolution in over 100 cases handled across Nigeria.
Many women and girls have also been empowered through their partners across the country in various vocations.
Nneoma’s passion for widows, orphans and less-privileged
BEFA (Beauty for Ashes) women and child care foundation is a non- profit, Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) established in 2008 and registered in 2009 as an incorporated trusteeship under the Nigerian law with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
In August 2013, BEFA was granted special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Our vision is to bestow a crown of beauty instead of ashes on women and children, to provide poor women and children with a wide variety of aggressive, quality legal services which effectively helps them to gain equal access to the courts; empower them to control their lives and impact on the major causes and effects of poverty.
Our motto is, “Achieving the minimum conditions for living with dignity.” Our focus areas are protection of rights of women and children; provision of legal aid for women and children; empowerment; rebuilding, rehabilitation and re-integration.
Nneoma Albert-Benson’s Save Women in Prison initiative (SWIP) works to limit and where possible, prevent the damage and destruction done to women due to their contact with the criminal justice system.
Presently, she is operating from four cities: Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Owerri. A 24-hour helpline enables women to call-in within these jurisdictions and lay their complaints and they follow up all our cases to logical conclusion.
We are mainly funded from donations by philanthropic individuals and organizations who understand the impact of our mission in the society and we run social enterprise projects that enable us provide funding for the organization.
On legal aid, since December 2010, 153 women have benefitted from BEFA at various levels of the nation’s judiciary. Of the 153 cases we have taken to court, 55 successful judgments have been recorded, the rest are pending in various courts across Nigeria. We have effectively utilized arbitration/reconciliation modes of dispute resolution in over 100 cases we’ve handled across Nigeria. We have also empowered numerous women and girls through our partners across the country in various vocations.
BEFA also set up vocational training and rehabilitation center in Imo State where select women are trained in bakery, hand crafts, catering, event management, cleaning, marketing, etc. Yearly, select outstanding candidates are presented with financial and material benefits from the organization to enable them start up their own small businesses. Most of our empowerment initiatives are funded by the Trustees from their personal resources. In addition, BEFA discovered a huge empowerment opportunity in recycling waste for wealth and partners Recyclepoints Limited in engaging women in recycling and making a good living for themselves and their families while assisting the community in waste disposal and management.
BEFA participated at the Commission on the Status of women (CSW59) Beijing + 20 held at the United Nations headquarters in New York in March 2015 and spoke extensively on the need for women to form liaisons and coalitions to ensure gender equality. We emphasized that the problem in Africa and Nigeria in particular is Patriarchy. Gender equality can never be achieved in a patriarchal society. Until we ‘slay’ patriarchy completely, all our efforts for equality will be limited in scope and longevity.