3 reasons why you must attend AkiDwA's 20th anniversary

 

3 reasons why you must attend AkiDwA  20th year anniversary celebration

A reflective practice by 

Amaka M Okonkwo

Journalist

Founder @ eDundalk

 

Come with me to my world with AkiDwA.

AkiDwA is a national network of migrant women in Ireland, founded in 2000. My first contact with AkiDwA was in 2010 when I saw their advert on Metro Eireann looking for a volunteer. I applied for the position and got it. While volunteering, a position became open and I was lucky to be selected as a full time staff. I ended up working in AkiDwA for almost 7 years (with brief intervals) on different capacities as Employment officer, development and event officer, national coordinator young migrant women project and migrant women's health officer respectively. In all these, I represented the organization at different cooperate events, locally, nationally and internationally. Thanks to Salome Mbugua, the CEO.  My best moment in AkiDwA was when someone asked me genuinely if my surname was AkiDwA. That was phenomenal. Today, I have moved on a long time, yet, the connection is still there. On 26th February, AkiDwA will celebrate their 20 years of recognizable impact in Ireland.

Here are 3 reasons why you should attend this anniversary celebration.

Do you know AkiDwA was the first organization to raise awareness on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Ireland. They later progressed to the Dial to present the dangers of FGM which later was signed into law by the Irish government. My first entrance and sitting in the Dial was through my work in AkiDwA. As women’s health officer at a time, this project took me to many European countries.

At the time access to employment and 3rd level education for migrant women was extremely challenging, AkiDwA intervened and published Access to Employment and 3rd level education: a hand book for migrants. This handbook later became a great resource for migrants looking for jobs or access to 3rd level education in Ireland. This project gave me the opportunity to explore Ireland and visited almost all the accommodation centers in Ireland, building bridges and facilitating training/workshops/focus groups to asylum seekers and refugees. Through AkiDwA work, I began to say, No to Racism!

For a migrant (Black African-Irish woman) lead organization in Ireland to have thrived for 20 years and brought about impact and change in Ireland, it is a huge milestone. Through my work in AkiDwA, I met incredible people who have impacted my life including some of you reading this.

Today, I am not just the way I met AkiDwA, I am a brand, yes, a brand!

Now, come with me to celebrate AkiDwA at 20! Click here to get your tickets -€50. The event is on 26 February at Hilton hotel, Dublin Airport.

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