Friday, April 4, 2014

Some Last Thoughts about the Women’s Movement in the United States

In the United States the month of March is commemorated as Women History Month.  Information Officer of the U.S. Embassy Abuja, Rhonda Ferguson-Augustus spoke with Peoples Daily reporter Favour Egbuta about the month and its significance.  Below are excerpts from the interview.

Can you give us some background about the Women History month?

International Women’s Month actually started as Women’s Day in the United States, going back to 1909.  I believe that initially, women banded together to advocate for women’s suffrage, improved working conditions, equal employment, and to champion the needs of working mothers.  These issues were important in 1909 and they are just as important now.  The International Women’s movement embraces these same issues.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Lakeside Vacation

Last summer, I vacationed at Lakeside, Ohio, a community on the shore of Lake Erie.   My kids played along the beach of the world's largest fresh-water lake, while I relaxed or played tennis.  My family enjoyed free daily concerts from orchestras and performers.  Free lectures on historical and scientific topics were also offered.   I marveled that despite having nearly ten thousand summer residents, crime is seldom heard of, and bicycles are often left about unlocked.

Lakeside Ohio is known as a "Chautauqua", an American community movement which emerged in the 1870's, when a Methodist minister combined a church revival meeting with lectures from noted speakers and performances by musicians and actors.  Chautauqua grew to become an American summer tradition, and yearly Chautauqua assemblies emerged, many organized around a particular faith.  But by the 1930's, as radio and other sources of information and entertainment spread, the tradition had largely died out.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


When I first heard the word “SHUGA” from a colleague I thought she was referring to the normal sugar.  Turns out it’s the title of a drama that provides great entertainment but important messages about HIV/AIDS and other health issues.

The production of SHUGA 3, the third production in the MTV award winning TV series – “SHUGA” – took place in Lagos and included mostly upcoming Nigerian actors and actresses.  More than three years ago the first production of SHUGA (“SHUGA 1”) was filmed in Kenya to highlight the risks young Kenyans faced when being sexually active without the use of protection and living careless lifestyles.  SHUGA 3 highlights the realities for youth in Nigeria.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Giving back to the youth

It is generally agreed that unemployment, especially among youth, is one of the issues that fuels the fire of violence and insecurity in parts of Nigeria. The United States government in its partnership with the Nigerian government emphasizes a holistic approach to Nigeria’s security challenge that includes an economic recovery strategy to complement the military one.
As a partner and friend, the U.S. government also supports Nigeria’s efforts in engaging young people through various youth targeted activities. The theme of this year’s annual U.S. alumni leadership conference was Youth Empowerment for Peace, Education and Leadership. The focus was on discussing issues related to youth in northern Nigeria and the way forward.