Project Our Heroes provides security, stability and critical support to the most committed and best-positioned change makers in communities. The program pays the Heroes a basic salary so they can focus on addressing the urgent problems around them without distraction or hardship.
Gift Augustine: End Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
A natural organiser and leader, Gift has committed her life to saving others. A trained nurse, she has founded Cesved (Centre for Social Value and Early Childhood), a non-profit organisation based in Suleja, Nigeria, with the vision of a just and peaceful society were all lives are respected regardless of cultural and traditional believes.
Cesved supports and empowers women to fight practices like Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Breast Ironing, which leave young girls in horrific pain, unable to develop naturally and at risk of losing their lives. Cesved also protects the rights of orphans, widows and pregnant women.
Cesved trains community volunteers who then travel to the villages to educate men and women about the dangers and injustices of those harmful practices—and to stop them being executed. This one-to-one approach has been very successful, and countless girls and women have been saved from these terrible, traumatic and life-threatening practices.
As part of the End FGM Global Media Campaign by The Guardian, Gift has become an ambassador for Nigeria.
End of 2016, Gift attended the Summit on Female Genital Mutilation at the United States Institute of Peace. Here she talks about how the media have helped her fight to #EndFGM in her home country:
Aisha Sani: Justice for children
"I am very sad to say that Aisha Sani has died, a tireless and brave activist. She will be much missed by the women and children whose lives she saved. Projects For All provided financial aid to the eight orphaned girls that were living with her at the time of her death. We will miss her."
- Katrin Macmillan
Horrified by the prevalence of sexual assault in her community, Aisha was determined to fight it. With no resources at all, she became a volunteer vigilante police officer. She persuaded government and police officials to let her travel in the police vehicle whenever a child or woman was arrested. This simple act of bearing witness prevented the women and children from being raped in police custody.
Aisha also fought for justice for children who have been raped. She raised money (by begging) to pay medical examiners to examine victims as well as lawyers to prosecute on their behalf. Often, Aisha took rape victims into her own home. When Projects For All met Aisha, she had a 12 year old rape survivor living with her and was prosecuting a case on behalf of a 3-year old boy. Her work has put her in personal danger but she was never intimidated. Aisha kept fighting until the day she died to protect children who otherwise would have had no one to fight for them.