By Jesse John
Access Nigeria beat out more than 300 contestants from Asia and Africa to take home one of the top awards at the Partos Innovation Festival in the Netherlands.
The project for Nigerian voters with disabilities won third place in the festival’s Now-Us! Competition in October, earning a 10,000 euro prize. The contest honours projects that advance the inclusion of marginalized people in society.
“Access Nigeria hasn’t just won the heart of Nigerians,” said Grace Jerry, executive director of Inclusive Friends Association, the non-profit that founded Access Nigeria. “Now other African countries want us to bring the program to their countries. It gives me so much joy to realize that what we’re doing serves as an inspiration to others.”
To win the prize, Jerry and her team submitted a proposal, produced a 2-minute video and pitched their campaign at a live event in Amsterdam. Winning entries had to meet several criteria, including whether their projects could demonstrate real impact, sustainability and leadership by people with disabilities.
Jerry says she plans to use the prize money to fund a nationwide campaign that urges people with disabilities to vote in Nigeria’s elections in February 2019.
Sponsors of the NOW-Us Competition include: The Spindle, a Dutch innovation platform for international development, Dutch NGO Partos, the Voice and Butterfly Works.