From: Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
Civil Society Scaling-Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN) has called on Civil Society Organisations’ (CSOs) in Kaduna State to work towards the attainment of improve nutrition through effective and sustainable advocacy in Kaduna state and Nigeria by 2020.
The Group Project Assistant, Isaac Dare, made the call at the opening of the training in Zaria, Kaduna State yesterday.
The training according to him, was to raise a crop of change agents that would passionately advocate for improve nutrition and provide advocacy and leadership skills needed to effectively fight malnutrition in Kaduna State.
Dare who described change agents as ‘critical element’ to the entire process in the nutrition space, disclosed that the agents would initiate, facilitate, implement and support organisational change for effective result.
He said that CS-SUNN was implementing a project entitled “Partnership for Improving Nigerian Nutrition System (PINNS), in Kaduna, Nassarawa, Niger, Lagos and Kano states.
Dare explained that the training was designed to equip CSOs with the necessary advocacy and leadership skills as change agents for health and nutrition in the PINNS focal states.
He described change agents as ‘critical element’ to the entire process in the nutrition space, adding that the agents would initiate, facilitate, implement and support organisational change for effective result.
“There is, therefore, the need to raise a few who will catalyse the mandate of CS-SUNN; a country where every citizen has food and is nutrition secured”.
“But to be successful, the nutrition change agents need to possess a wide range of personality traits, skills and knowledge in advocacy and leadership.
“CS-SUNN had trained 10 change agents from each of the five states and are currently training 20 members of advocacy organisations in their respective states.
“The 100 beneficiaries were expected to equally step down the training in their respective organisations with a view to raise an army of nutrition change agents across the country for better nutrition outcome,” he said.
Jessica Bartholomew, the group’s secretary in the state, explained that CS-SUNN mission was to mobilise non-state actors to advocate, generate evidence, build capacity and stimulate communities to scale up nutrition in Nigeria.
Also speaking, the group Coordinator in the state, Mr Salas Ideva, said that the training on advocacy and leadership manual would strengthen the advocacy approach in the fight against malnutrition.
Ideva said that PINNS project was designed to strengthen Nigeria’s nutrition system to be result-driven, effective, serviceable, efficient and transparent.
According to him, building the capacity of CSOs on advocacy and leadership skills will ensure effective delivery of expected outcomes in the fight against malnutrition in Kaduna State.