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Compassion In Kenya


Compassion CBO

Compassion CBO, was formed to eradicate poverty through education and sustainable development among women living in the slums and rural areas of Kenya and to rehabilitate orphans and vulnerable children.

Survivors In DR Congo



COFAPRI is registered in Bukavu in the eastern Democratic Rupublic of Congo The organisation empowers women through encouraging income-generating activities such as the rearing of livestock.

Grassroots News

Safe World Field Partner, work directly with issues such as poverty, health-care, marginalisation, FGM, child marriage, and education.

Asha Leresh

How Asha Survived the Unnecessary Cut

Asha’s luck came when Samuel Siriria Leadismo, the Director of Pastoralist Child Foundation and his team visited her village, creating awareness about female genital mutilation (FGM) and sexual reproductive health....

Washing Hands to Improve Health in Rural DR Congo

COFAPRI organised handwashing sessions for school children and mothers in rural villages, with the aid of educational DVDs kindly supplied by Thare Machi Education. The word has begun to spread as neighbours are now prompting each other to wash their hands.
Safe Spaces

Safe Spaces Crucial for Women's Self-Reliance in Rural DR Congo

Increased security helps women become self-reliant and less financially dependent on their husbands. This improves the situation for the whole family and also means the women are less vulnerable to abuse.
Towards womens empowerment

DR Congo: Men's Inclusion in Women's Empowerment Benefits Everyone

It remains very important within communities for men and boys to be educated regarding the rights of women and girls, including their proper, fair and respectful treatment. When the women and girls become empowered, it is the whole community that benefits.
Margaret from Kiambu Support Group

Nairobi cancer survivor has hope at last

Margaret is among many women Compassion CBO trained in 2015. She has survived breast Cancer 2 times.

New Womens Magazine for Cameroon

The first edition of the Women for a Change Magazine is now available.

News, Interviews and Blogs

Under-reported issues affecting women and children. Exclusive interviews, articles and blogs by Safe World Correspondents and Content Partners

Compensation Claims Board 2

The Need for Victim Compensation Programmes - Pakistan and Globally

Globally, victim compensation programmes play a significant role in providing assistance to the victims of violence... however, in Pakistan we are lacking any such programme. It is high time to take serious note of the issue and develop a strong referral…
Lizzy and Victoria

Peace, Dialogue & the Ripple Effect: #RISING16 Global Peace Forum

Perhaps the most inspiring session for me came towards the end of the two days and was entitled ‘Bring back our girls – the forgotten victims of conflict’... We heard the CEO of International Alert, Harriet Lamb, and Victoria Nyanjura - who was kidnapped by…
Olutosin 2

Olutosin Adebowale: To America With Love

Once upon a time in my country, Nigeria, there was a ruler who was dreaded by many... We resisted and said No to every oppressive action or word to any weak or voiceless Nigerian... This is the time to stand firm on what has held the world together - Love.
Berlyne Ngwalem Ngwentah

Berlyne Ngwentah: 'The Biggest Cheerleaders of Women are Women'

All the most prominent, biggest community and feminist movements to alleviate the sufferings of women and girls and support women’s involvement in education and leadership have been championed mostly by women...
Jen 9

Promoting Misogyny, Zenophobia, and Bullying... is.... Nasty

I cannot ever vote for anyone who promotes misogyny, racism, Islamophobia, zenophobia, homophobia... It would be a mockery of my life... dishonoring my elders who have endured the many injustices of racial animosity, my friends who've experienced the same...
Women united

Women United for a Better Community in High Andean of Peru

“Women United for a Better Community” is a new group of grassroots women in the Ayacucho Region at the South High Andean of Peru, recently created by Estrategia, a National Grassroots women's organization. The grassroots women require to be heard and get the…

Adepeju-and-ShafaAdepeju, Brown Button founder, with healthworker, Shafaatu Abubakar Jabbi, at the Sabon Gari Primary Health Care facility in Gusau, northern Nigeria.

By Adepeju Mabadeje, Founder/Executive Director, BBF. Setpember 2012. 

Last week, I had yet another opportunity of travelling up to North Nigeria. This time, my destination –  together with our programs coordinator, Afolabi Imoru Ibrahim, was Zamfara. Yes, you heard me! ZAMFARA.

For most people and organisations in other parts of Nigeria, Zamfara or anywhere up North in this season of ‘Boko Haram’ is a no-go area.

'Boko Haram' is an Islamist movement based in northeast Nigeria which strongly opposes man-made laws and modern science – and is also known to be a violent organisation that seeks to establish Sharia law in the country.

Coupled with its application of the Hadd* aspect of Sharia law, a trip to Zamfara was considered an unwise move by many – even if it was to save lives. (Sharia law was reintroduced here in 1999 – and since that time, a local had his hand cut off for stealing a cow and another also for stealing two goats).

A team from the Brown Button Foundation travelled to Zamfara to open a new hub for maternal healthcare.

Prior to our Zamfara trip, Brown Button Foundation’s (BBF) effort had been centred on the west of Nigeria.

Tackling the Face of Poverty

We needed to impact more lives and save more women at childbirth. Zamfara, it was decided, was the place to flag off our northern campaign. The reason was simple.

Using the result of the 2006 Census in Nigeria, Zamfara State has a population of 3,259, 8,946 people and only about 100 skilled health workers. This is not surprising, considering the high illiteracy rate in the North.

Maternal and child mortality is extremely high in the state where poverty is not only thought about, but seen. Primary Health Care centres are dilapidated, without water, electricity, a functioning laboratory and a befitting labour room even in the capital ‘city’ of Gusau. If poverty had a face, surely, it will be Zamfara!

Zamfara-healthcareEntrance to Sabon Gari Primary Health Care facility

The Health Centre

At the Sabon Gari Primary Health Care facility in Gusau, we met health worker Shafaatu Abubakar Jabbi, who took us round her facility. In shock and disbelief, the Brown Button team went round in silence.

The Sabo Gari Primary Health Care caters for more than 11 settlements in Zamfara state. People come from as far as 15 kilometers away to use the facility, which has a record of more than 300 patients every month and an average of 10-15 deliveries in a month.


Jemila-and-ShafaJamila Bello and Shafaatu Abubakar JabbiThe facility has no ward to admit patients, so all patients – including new mothers, are discharged after delivery.

Shafa is the only health personnel at this facility. Whenever she has a delivery to attend to, she is often assisted by a biologist, Jamila Bello. From the mats in the delivery room to the environment of the laboratory extension, it’s almost as if I had time travelled two centuries back.


Zamfara-labour-roomLabour roomShafa informed us that few weeks prior to our coming, a new baby had been infected with tetanus due to the use of a rusted blade to cut his umbilical cord.

Distance in getting to the health center had prompted a home delivery by the baby’s mother using unskilled and untrained birth personnel.

This mother survived the ordeal – only a few do…

Action Plan to Save Lives

Our action plan: Brown Button commenced intervention by donating a large quantity of insecticide treated nets, as well as birth kits containing gloves, scalpel blades, gauze, cord clamps, and delivery mats to birth attendants in Zamfara. We have also flagged off our training of birth attendants in the state with these kits.

For Sabon Gari Health Center, we intend to commence a facility upgrade, starting with the donation of bed posts and mattresses to the facility.

We believe at Brown Button Foundation, a woman's location at childbirth should not be an excuse or factor in determining on whether she lives or dies.

So there you have it: a nice summary of our trip to Zamfara where we dared ‘Boko Haram’, set aside religious differences, ignored the distance, and scored a victory for women’s health!

The welcome we received was very warm.



Editor's Footnote:

* Within Sharia law, there is a specific set of offences known as the Hadd offences –  crimes that are considered to be "claims of God": theft, fornication, adultury, alcohol, and other intoxicants, and apostasy. These crimes are  punished by specific penalties, such as stoning, lashes or the severing of a hand. The penalties for Hadd offences are not universally adopted as law in every Islamic country.