Our History

Year 1991
· ESWA was born out of the Better Life Programme (BLP), initiated in Nigeria by the then Nigeria first lady Miriam Babangida, as an African Diaspora Charity to work for the benefit of local communities in Edo State, Nigeria and London, UK.

· ESWA’s first project was to support people with leprosy in Leprosarium Hospital, Abudu, Edo State.

· ESWA continuously promotes Healthy Living for all women and children in UK and Nigeria. In the UK, the first major Workshop on Healthy Living took place in 2001 to address the cause and prevention of Obesity in our local communities. The Healthy Living Programme is securely funded for three years by NHS Harrow Primary Care Trust (PCT), London, UK .

Year 2005
· ESWA with support from the French Embassy set up the first Community Free Pre-School in Edo State, Nigeria. This facility was built for the children of Market women in Nigeria to enable low-income Market women focus on their business activities and career aspirations. This project encouraged the presence of the French Ambassador, His Excellency M. Yves Gaudeul, in Nigeria to commission the Pre-School in Benin City, Edo State.

· ESWA set up Youth Club/Leadership Scheme in UK to engage young people to become great leaders in the society. ESWA’s Youth Club members participates in British Youth Council Seminars, Leadership Training, Financial Management workshops, Football training, Field trips, Educational research, Life Skill training and Under 16 Youth Disco (starting 2009). The Youth Club receives 3 years funding from Football Foundation (FA) and 1 year British Airport Authority (BAA),UK.

· ESWA worked with Church Against Sex Trafficking (CHASE) to eradicate the issue of Edo young girls being moved illegally from Edo State to UK and the rest of Europe. ESWA campaigned to the United Kingdom Government to see these young girls as victims and not as criminals. Some of the girls were given UK residence status.

Year 2007
· Graduation of 1st set children in ESWA Pre-School into Primary Education in Nigeria. 1st Lady Edo State, Mrs. Usseih Osunbor, presented children with Graduation Certificates. 40 new Market women children were offered placement.

· ESWA’s Chief Executive, Eki Ogbeide, was invited by the Queen of England to attend a reception with The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace to reflect ESWA’s work and association with Commonwealth African countries.

Year 2008
· ESWA started her Social Enterprise arm, as a business registered by guarantee, in the area of providing Micro Finance to serve the community better and sustain her activities. This inspired the set up of its Micro Finance/Investment Programme which takes two folds – Micro-Lending to Market Women and opportunity for people in the Diaspora to invest in ESWA’s Loan Capital. The project started in Nigeria in 2006 and by 2007 sixty-four Market women group received micro-lending to assist them in establishing small-scale businesses, which followed in the UK and USA.

· ESWA held her first annual fund-raising event (Unity Day) in London, UK. This event inspired the High Hopes Raffle ticket sales draw through First Bank of Nigeria Plc, offering a chance to the lucky winner to win a 3-bed house in Benin City. ESWA alternates this event between UK and Nigeria.

Year 2009
· ESWA was nominated and awarded 2009 ELA Leadership Distinguished Awards (as an organization who has distinguished itself in leadership, programs, public service and contributed to the personal growth and success of Edo State indigenes, through education, advocacy, micro-lending, public and volunteer service) in Chicago, USA.

· ESWA Healthy Living Programme & ‘Under 16’ Youth Disco was launched in the UK.

· ESWA received lending capital from London Rebuilding Society (LSR) and issued six individual loans to members of its group.

· ESWA has secured funding from EU/UN JMDI to develop two women’s group in Micro-Finance operations in Benin City, Edo State.

Year 2010
· ESWA receives City & Guilds Centre Approval to run her Training into Employment (TIE) Project Nigeria.

· ESWA Healthy Living Programme launches in Edo State and Victoria Garden City Community (VGC), Lagos State, Nigeria.