Creating Sustainable Organizations through System Strenghtening.


The door to many doors is what the Women’s Voice and Leadership Nigeria (WVL-N) Project funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) has been to many Local Women’s Rights Organisations (LWROs) in six (6) states where it works. Attah Sisters Handholding Foundation (ASHH) is one of such organization and is blazing the trail in Bauchi State.

With no structure, policy, and staff on ground to effectively run the organization, ASHH foundation was selected as one of the partners for the WVL project and was taken through the rigorous AAN PAM process. Working for almost 10 years without securing any donor grant, ASHH foundation only conducted community-based activities centered around sensitizing women and girls on GBV and had no visibility at state level.

Through the PAM process, areas around programmatic and institutional level gaps were revealed and resolved through capacity building trainings on project management, organizational effectiveness and board governance, intersectional feminist programming and policy influencing trainings, managing GBV in emergencies, M & E, proposal writing and resource mobilization trainings, mentoring, handholding among others. Benefitting from the multiyear funding, COVID top up fund and a strategic opportunity grant, ASHH foundation was strengthened and capacity across staff, management, board members, systems, policies, and ability to implement state level programs were deepened. The organization began to provide robust intervention by setting up a functional case management unit, Psycho-social support unit, a state level multi-stakeholder GBV response committee, among others. This increased the organization’s visibility, and influence as regards women’s rights intervention in the state as ASHH has become a go to organization for GBV response in Bauchi state and has gained state, national and international level visibility.

The ability to define their agenda, implement and make impact has won them 3 new grants from women for women international, UNESCO Japan, Peace Direct UK, Institute of Security studies of south Africa and Nigerian Women Trust funds.

ASHH is now managing, and sub granting 6 other CBOs and have currently secured a fund from a philanthropist in the USA that has funded the buying and construction of an office space with adequate equipment required in the office.

The significance of this change could be seen from 4 years ago, where ASHH Foundation could not rent an office space, working from a borrowed apartment. Through the WVL project the organization was able to rent an office for three years and has now secured its own property. With grant acquired in May the building was erected within four months, creating a sustainable path for ASHH foundation. This self-owned space is allowing ASHH reach and impact many women and girls in Bauchi and neighboring states, expanding to women’s health, economic empowerment and pollical participation.

This story contributes to WVL outcome 1(Improved management and sustainability of Local Women’s Rights Organisation) and 2 (Enhance delivery of programming and advocacy to advance gender equality by Local Women’s Rights Organisation in Nigeria.) as well as increase enjoyment of human rights by women and girls and advancing gender equality.