Vweta Chadwick

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Ms Chadwick the founder of ProjectASHA made this all possible. Until her demise in July 2020 in the UK, she was ProjectASHA’s Global Programmes Director. We have retired this post in her honour. She was a committed social worker and fierce advocate for the rights of grassroots women and girls.

 

​While receiving treatment at a government owned facility in Edo State Nigeria, Vweta was moved to initiate a support group for women who like her, were coming to grips with an acquired disability, but lacked the support they desperately needed in coping with and readjusting to their new circumstances. ProjectASHA started in 2004 as a support group for young women with acquired disabilities.

For her work with ProjectASHA, Ms Chadwick was awarded

  • LEAP Africa Social Innovators Award in 2013 and inducted into the 2013/2014 LEAP Africa Social Innovators Fellowship.

  • 2013 Fellowship of the Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative of the US Deputy Consulate

  • 2013 World Pulse Voices of Our Future Correspondent

  • 2015 United States Institute of Peace Generation Change Fellowship

  • 2015 Fellowship of the Global Change Leaders Programme at the Coady International Institute, during that program Vweta produced a high calibre video addressing the issue of patriarchy while on campus. Vweta’s exemplary work in Nigeria with ProjectASHA received both local and global attention in US and Canada.

  • 2016 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders presented by US President Obama,

  • 2016/2017 World Pulse Global Ambassador

  • In 2017 Vweta set up House of ASHA, an initiative dedicated to producing assessable clothing brand for everyone but with specific focus on disabled people. The project came 2nd place at the Mandela Washington Fellowship 2017 West Africa Regional Conference Pitch Competition.

In the last 16 years of her life, she was a Staunch advocate for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, Vweta described the purpose of her work as follows: I am working towards a more just and equitable world for women and girls without recourse to status. She was dedicated finding solutions to some of the most pertinent problems confronting women and girls in Africa, through Project ASHA.

 

In 2017, she started a support group to empower women survivors of abusive relationships and their children in Wales UK ‘Newport Rising’. She said: My life experiences have shaped my work towards a more just and equitable world by recognizing women's contribution, highlighting their struggles, spotlighting their stories, and celebrating their successes.

 

Vweta’s work ranged from Poetry to Accessible Fashion, from Women empowerment to period poverty, and from gender equality and trafficking to digital literacy & empowerment for girls.

 

In 2019, she was a guest speaker at a world summit in Cambridge highlighting the Hidden Statistics behind Human Trafficking.

 

ASHA is a girl's name of Swahili, Hindi, Sanskrit origin meaning "hope; life". Our motto is “Inspiring Hope & Transforming Lives.”  Vweta said: If what you do inspires hope in others and transform their lives for the better, then you are ASHA (life and hope) to those you affect. Hence the hashtag #IAMASHA.

 

Today projectasha.org has presence in six States in Nigeria and Ambassadors in 6 Countries within and outside Africa. Through her work, Vweta received numerous global awards.  A brief biography of Vweta was published on TIME.

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see more videos on: Vweta's Channel

2012/2013

ProjectASHA and Vweta worked with Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA), to combat young adult incarceration. We also supported in coordinating initiatives on Alternatives to Violence Projects with Illegal Migration Awareness Project [IMAP].

Coordinating Director Erica Jacqueline Licht of the Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge, Massachusetts USA said: Vweta was an accountable, supportive, and collaborative member of the team making sure that the needs of both the program, students and staff were met.

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2015

Vweta was awarded the 2015 Alumni of the Year, by the Carrington Youth Fellowship Initiative of the US Consulate General Lagos in recognition of her exceptional and consistent commitment to CYFI during the 2015 program year.

Vweta was a 2015 Alumni of the US Institute of Peace Generation Change Fellowship. Regarding her time on the programme, Aubrey Cox (USIP) said of Vweta: 

She demonstrated dedication, motivation and resourcefulness while integrating learnings from USIP into her community. USIP continued to invest in Vweta as a young change maker. Vweta participated in training on Conflict Management and Leadership as well as a highly selective Train the Trainers’ Program.

Vweta was a 2015 Alumni of the US Institute of Peace Generation Change Fellowship. Regarding her time on the programme, Aubrey Cox (USIP) said of Vweta: 

She demonstrated dedication, motivation and resourcefulness while integrating learnings from USIP into her community. USIP continued to invest in Vweta as a young change maker. Vweta participated in training on Conflict Management and Leadership as well as a highly selective Train the Trainers’ Program.

Vweta produced a high calibre video addressing the issue of patriarchy while on campus. Vweta’s exemplary work in Nigeria with ProjectASHA received both local and global attention.

Already a strong human rights defender and supporter, Vweta continues to be a role model for other women concerned with gender justice and engagement of marginalised people.

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2016

Vweta was a 2016 Alumni of the University of Delaware Civic Leadership Institute. Professor Gretchen Bauer Academic Director of the Civic Leadership Institute of University of Delaware commented:

Vweta was one of 25 fellows from across Africa [selected to] participate in the prestigious and competitive fellowship sponsored by the US State Department.

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2016

On 23rd June 2016, after addressing a joint session of the State of Delaware House of Representatives and Delaware State Senate, the House of Representatives made the following citation in respect of Vweta:

Be it hereby known to all that the house of representatives acknowledges Vweta Chadwick …

We warmly welcome this remarkable individual to the state of Delaware and commend her outstanding work towards the betterment of the lives of African citizens.

What people have said about ProjectASHA and Vweta Chadwick