In 2018 The Spindle and Voice decided to collaborate on a brand-new project called NOthing about us, Without Us! (NOW-Us!). During the months June and July we worked hard to spread the word: we invite those entrepreneurial souls who are the southern frontrunners in inclusive development to join the NOW-Us! Award! An amazing number of 319 initiatives found their way to the NOW-Us! Award. What followed was a selection process in which a special jury determined which initiatives made it to the final 10. It was Access Nigeria that became one of the ten teams that got invited to join the NOW-Us! Week in the Netherlands and it was their initiative that eventually won the third prize of NOW-Us 2018! Will you win the NOW-Us! Award in 2019?
The project of Access Nigeria
Access Nigeria is a people with disabilities (PWDs) led, focused and evidence-based advocacy campaign that seeks to improve the participation of PWDs in Nigeria’s electoral process. Through our Round tables and ‘Get out the Vote’ with the Independent National Electoral Commission:
- sign language interpreters are now used during result collation
- at least 5 PWDs voted in all polling units in the Ekiti state July 14, 2018 elections
- priority voting has been introduced for PWDs
- magnifying glasses have been introduced for voters with Albinism.
Looking back on NOW-Us! with Access Nigeria
“The NOW-Us! Week! is still a fresh memory. First, the selection process was one that gave us so much joy. Being selected among the 10 leading practices was an encouragement and motivation that what the Access Nigeria was doing in Nigeria is a practice with so much potential. Discussing our theory of change and communicating that on paper and with the use of legos is still fresh. The diagram we’ve created during this week is still our guide; we monitor the growth of the campaign every week taking note of the challenges and adapting the new tactics towards our goal. One of the highlights of the week was that we were guided to tell our story within the shortest amount of time, and that has strengthened our ability to tell our story better at the moment. We are now able to share success stories noting key outcomes and make projections of where we are doing. The NOW-Us! Week was such a ride and inspiring week. It’s an experience that everyone, leading an inclusive practice should have because it would impact their work. The NOW-Us! Week is an encouragement that what you are doing is right, and an opportunity to learn from other practices and perhaps shape or reorganize your work.
The NOW-Us! Week was such a ride and inspiring week. It’s an experience that everyone, leading an inclusive practice should have because it would impact their work.
Beyond the learning experiences and input that we have gathered for our work, it has also given us the opportunity to hear from other participants, their practices and their peculiarities for adaptability or replication. We have begun conversations with other organizations to replicate the Access Nigeria practice across other African countries because the problems have been identified to be common.
Do you want to join NOW-Us! 2019?
This year, The Spindle and Voice have joined forces for the second edition of the NOW-Us! Award. The NOW-Us! Award seeks to honour initiatives from Africa and Asia that have long fought for inclusion and diversity, leading to self-empowerment of marginalised and excluded groups and communities. The 10 shortlisted initiatives win a 5-day trip to the Netherlands to participate in the NOW-Us! Week and eventually stand the chance to win the NOW-Us! Award. Check out all the information you need for joining the second edition of NOW-Us!