BRIEF HISTORY OF WOFAN & CAPACITY STATEMENT
Women Farmers Advancement Network (WOFAN) was established in June 1993 and incorporated with the Kano state Government as a community Development Association in 1995 and later registered with the corporate affairs commission in 2007 with its headquarters in Kano. WOFAN now functions in 7 states of Nigeria.
WOFAN partners and works with a mobilized, registered multipurpose cooperatives, CBOS, community service groups, private sectors, trade groups and research institutions towards achieving a holistic development of the general populace in the areas of agriculture, education, enterprise development, climate change adaptation, water and sanitation through building business models with communities to address their basic and strategic needs holistically.
In 2017 WOFAN’s application to graduate to “Women Empowerment Foundation” received the legal approval of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) of Nigeria. The new outfit supports WOFAN’s strides in making a difference in pushing a people and community-owned partnership and collaboration with all arms of governments, the private sector, NGOs, traditional and community structures as well as donor agencies to stimulate self reliance and sustainable growth and development of the populace.
This extra effort is expected to bring additional complementary strength and shared responsibilities in supporting the common goals of the less privileged, disadvantaged and the voiceless , thereby assisting them scale up their enterprise skills and become managers of their own development.
Presently, WOFAN has 4500 clusters of women, men and youth groups of 30 members per group across 7Northern States of Nigeria of which 75 % of its membership are women .
WOFAN aspires to scale up its outreach at a national level through partnership and collaboration with all relevant and interested stakeholders
WOFAN is participatory and responsive in its approach. It works at the community level, with self – selection groups. WOFAN using PRA/PLA exercise, assists rural groups to identify their needs and draw up action plans for intervention. Each group chooses its own leaders, including president, secretary, and treasurer, and it is responsible for implementing WOFAN-assisted projects. In each community, there are at least two committees as explained below under management and organizational structure.
Membership in WOFAN is open to individuals and groups who believe in the organization’s goal and objectives and are willing to work together for their own development.
WOFAN generally involves the household in its activities with the aim of improving gender relations by encouraging the involvement of men and women in project intervention at all levels.
Within WOFAN, groups form themselves into 25-30 members each.
The groups are mainly unisex with 75% -80% being women and choose to engage in similar socio-economic activities.
WOFAN started with 28 members in 1993 and grew up to 50 members in 1998,
In year 2000, the membership sprang to 150 groups working closely with CTA- The Netherlands and expanded to 250 groups in 2003.
Through the intervention of the USAID and Coca-Cola Africa Foundation in a funded water project, WOFAN’s membership strength became 500 groups.
The USAID Nigeria water project supported WOFAN in a Water and Sanitation project which expanded the network to an outreach to 1500 groups of 30 members per group in 2014.
Presently, WOFAN has over 4500 rural mobilized groups of which 75% are women groups and 25% are male and youth groups between the ages of 18years to 35 years who are registered with WOFAN and their various state cooperatives or community development units of their LGAs.
To benefit from the services of WOFAN, a community groups must learn to work and partner together for a minimum of 6months and demonstrate good sense of leadership and unity within themselves. During this period, group members would have undergone some training to build their capacity in group dynamics and Enterprise management.
WOFAN groups are mostly non-literate who are helped to attain literacy level during its projects with them. In recognition of this, WOFAN has designed a curriculum called the “community women curriculum” which focuses on functional literacy programs that is completed within two years span. Also included in the group training are issues around basic health , vocational/ skills acquisition, agriculture and food nutrition trainings, good governance, economic empowerment and information and communication management.
Presently 2020-201, WOFAN leads a Rice value chain expansion project implemented across 7 states, including the Food and Nutrition security project funded by UNDP-GEF-FGN that targets 42,000 beneficiaries of which 75% are women groups and 25% are male and youth groups.
The organization’s values are focused on poverty reduction strategies in a responsive and participatory manner as well as functional literacy /capacity building process towards achieving enhanced livelihoods, health, and governance, with capacity development as a cross-cutting issue.