By Alex Enebeli
Enugu, – Prof. Joy Ezeilo, the Executive Director, Women Aid Collective (WACOL), has said the group assisted 62,000 women in need in 25 years across different states in the country.
Ezeilo disclosed this during WACOL’s 25 years Anniversary of defending human rights and promoting women and girls empowerment on Thursday in Enugu.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that WACOL is an independent, non-governmental and non-profit organisation founded by Ezeilo in 1997.
It is dedicated and committed to helping women and young people in need and works toward gender equality and human rights for all.
Ezeilo said most times, the group records 20 cases of violence against women on daily basis.
She added that WACOL had provided free legal aid and assistance to women and children whose rights had been abused and provided shelter for battered women.
Narrating how she started WACOL, Ezeilo recalled how she won US$ 75,000 from an international foundation in 1998 and channeled it into helping women and children.
“Most of the people given the amount, the best they could do was to buy cars and houses but my interest was to rent a big accommodation where I started this organisation which we are celebrating today.
“We were there until we built our own house in 2002 and since then, we have been creating a world where all can enjoy their human rights, especially women and children in very debilitating circumstances.
“With the achievements recorded in the past 25 years, I look back and appreciate God,” Ezeilo said.
Ezeilo, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), pointed out that she earned all her awards through hard work and dedication.
She, however, pledged to continue to fight for rights of women, stressing “I will cease to be alive the day I remain socially unresponsive”.
“I will ensure that my voice is heard in a world that treats women as second set”.
The executive director charged parents to train their female children to become what they want to become in life.
Congratulating WACOL at 25, the Country Director of Action Aid, Ene Obi, said WACOL is an example of an institution a state or organisation would be proud to associate with due to its leadership.
Obi, represented by ActionAid Nigeria Women Rights Manager, Niri Goyit, said, “If we have governors who are touching lives like WACOL, Nigeria will be good.”
Obi added that WACOL had been a great partner and mentored many partners.
The celebration featured awards to individuals and partners who had been supporting the group from inception. (NAN)