Triumph over Trauma: Beacon of Hope

I am not worried about the father of my child anymore, just looking out for my little boy. People often laugh at me when i’m advocating for people with disability because they feel I’m just another crippled woman but now, they have realised that I am not just another crippled woman but a woman with a lot of capacity to take down anyone who perpetuates abuse against women living with disability”

(IQUO)

Iquo, a physically challenged woman, faced immense adversity when she became a survivor of gender based violence (GBV)at age 17, resulting in an unplanned pregnancy. However, her life took a transformative turn in 2020 with the support of the Women Voice and Leadership Nigeria (WVL-N) Project funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC), managed by ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) and implemented by Neighbourhood Care-well Foundation (NCF) in Calabar, Cross River State. With the initiative’s backing, Iquo courageously documented her GBV case,  seeking justice and closure while also accessing advanced trauma services to heal and rebuild her self-esteem. Overcoming her past through the escort referral, mentoring and empowerment services of NCF, Iquo refused to be defined by her experience and dedicated herself to helping people with disabilities facing similar challenges. She became a mentor and advocate in Imoh Community and has provided emotional support and guidance to 30 women living with disability, raising awareness about the rights and dignity of women with disabilities thus showcasing that there can be ability in disability. Today, Iquo Mkpang stands as a beacon of hope for those who have suffered in silence. She after 2 years of support became the State Coordinator of Advocacy for Women with Disability Initiative, works as a case manager in Neighbourhood Care-well Foundation, is currently the secretary of people living with disability in Cross River State and has bought a car for transport business from whence she is getting daily income. Through her initiative and support from Women2Women and Mentoring walk under the WVL project, she has recorded the empowerment of 20 women living with disability through businesses such as transport business, ware selling, farming, etc. And is currently being given technical support to start her own NGO that supports women with disabilities.