‘I launched Project Safe Birth to support women in rural communities’
Abiodun Emiola Alabi is a passionate Human Resource professional and serial entrepreneur very keen about people and performance management. She is an enthusiastic and self-motivated professional with over 12 years experience in human capital management, business development and social entrepreneurship.
With a B.Sc in Business Administration and Management, Biodun is also an associate member of Chartered Institute Personnel Management of Nigeria (CIPM) and Nigeria Institute of Training and Development (NITAD) respectively. She’s alumnus of Day Star Leadership Academy.
Abiodun is also the founder of the foremost Moms platform; Motherhood Nigeria Initiative, where she shares tips and educates mothers on how to navigate the journey. Through her platform, she has empowered and supported women in undeserving communities through her Project Safe Birth Initiative. She shares her story in this interview with Esther Ijewere.
MY childhood definitely prepared me to build resilience and empathy; it taught me to create lemonade from any lemon experience. Growing up was not quite exciting for me. From a family of 6 (six) children, I happened to be the fourth born and the last daughter of my family. During my secondary school days, my family lived in a ‘face-me I face-you’ house in Ibadan. Then, we had a young couple as our neighbours; the man’s wife was friendly and industrious. However, she had complications during childbirth of her second baby, which led to excess bleeding and she later passed on. The situation of her children after her death was unpleasant as there was no proper care for her children. This situation made me determine to strive to support motherhood in the future.
Inspiration behind Motherhood Nigeria Initiative
I have always believed women can solve many of the societal problems when there is synergy. In 2018, when Bill Gates visited Nigeria, he said, “Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places to give birth with the fourth worst maternal mortality rate in the world…” His statement made me remember the incident of a woman that bled to death during her childbirth when I was in secondary school. So, I began to think, read and research how I could proffer solutions to the reduction of maternal mortality in Nigeria. That gave birth to the Motherhood Ng Initiative; a woman-led NGO purposely established to improve the maternal and child health in rural communities in Nigeria.
The Journey so far
It has been enlightening and challenging, I must say; it has stretched me to live outside my comfort zone. Since we started, we have trained women in five states in Nigeria as change agents for maternal and child health in communities closest to them. This is made possible through the members of our online community for mothers and mothers-to-be for almost six years. We have done community outreach to campaign and promote the family planning to women and their families. In June 2020, we launched Project Safe Birth and it has reached more than 50 pregnant women with free safe birth kits. We shall continue to address issues that concern women within reproductive age and children under age five.
Project Safe Birth
Project Safe Birth was launched to focus on improving maternal and neonatal health, increase the quality of lives of mothers and newborns with provision of free safe birth kits for pregnant women, as well as providing health education and advisory. This project will also embark on family planning awareness for both mothers and their spouses. We recently launched this project and it has provided over 50 safe birth kits for pregnant women in two states. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends six steps to prevent infection during childbirth. Our safe birth kits contain items that prevent infection, which is one of the leading causes of maternal and infant mortality. Project Safe Birth’s target is to provide 10,000 safe birth kits to pregnant women in rural communities in Nigeria before the end of 2020.
The challenges I experienced since the establishment of our NGO have really helped me to think outside the box to create funding solution for the sustainability of our vision. One of the challenges is funding. Presently, we seek for partnership with interested organisations and supportive individuals to reach out to more women in rural communities.
Being a Member of Several Organisations
I am an associate member of Chartered Institute personnel management of Nigeria and Nigeria Institute of training and Development respectively. My thirst for personal development and human capital development can be linked to it. I always believe human resources are the most important resources to sustain an organisation.
Women who Inspire me
Pastor Funke Adejumo, the Convener of Winning Edge Women Conference and Founder of Funke-Felix Adejumo Foundation. She is an exemplary woman of unusual grace and courage. Mrs. Ibukun Awosika is a global, phenomenal and fearless woman. She has achieved global recognition and attained heights that break gender barriers.
Impact of the Motherhood Nigeria page
The Motherhood Nigeria social media page was created almost six years ago on BBM channel and migrated to Instagram two years ago with the community of twelve thousand mothers and mothers-to-be. The platform has impacted mothers in racing their children and helped them to make informed decisions in their motherhood journey.
Work life balance
It is difficult to explain how I cope with multiple responsibilities. I realised that there is nothing like work life balance but work life integration. So, I try as much as possible to prioritise being a mother and wife over work and vice versa.
Coping mechanism during the pandemic
Be resilient and stay focus. The solution you are looking for is in you; look inward. There is abundance locked up in you waiting to manifest. Be content.
Being a Woman of Rubies
I am a woman of rubies because I am solution oriented and resilient. I believe in women providing solutions to communities.