International Day Of The Girl Child with Lilian Ike Foundation

International Day Of The Girl Child with Lilian Ike Foundation

Mr. and Mrs. Jakes had six girls and a boy. Mr. Jakes vowed not to train any of the girls beyond primary level nor equip them with skills. Their crime? They were ‘mere’ girls. He would always argue that he would not train another man’s property. He treated them and their mother like second-class citizens. However, he trained the boy up to the university level. Fortunately, he got a good-paying job in Dakar and left the country.

One of the girls was offered a scholarship that saw her through to the university level. Her outstanding performance got her another scholarship to study further in Japan. She took their youngest sister along with her to Japan as the scholarship made provision for that.

The other sisters did not have the opportunity to go to school from their parents’ house. Nevertheless, the upbringing and encouragement of their mother bore fruit. The eldest daughter was able to pursue her education from her husband’s place while the rest remained petty traders till fortune smiled on them all.

Unfortunately, once their brother left the shores of the country, he forgot all about his family. Their only consolation was that they knew he was alive and healthy. He broke his father’s heart.

As fate would have it, within a few years, the two girls in Japan began to make waves. Before you know it, their family rose from poor, obscure to rich, and famous. You would often hear from parents in that community, ‘Are those Jake girls not young girls like? Why can’t you try to be like them?

The Jakes’ girls did not stop with their family. They set up foundations to assist other girls to aspire to pursue their dreams. Their mother later joined the two who were in Japan.

Do you think these children will be wrong in neglecting their father? Would you cater to such a father if you were in their shoes?

In the light of such transformation and empowerment that girls can bring to our society, the Lilian Ike Foundation believes that every girl counts. Every girl has the potential to make a difference in the families and the nation as a whole.

That is why the Foundation always champions the causes of girls. From empowerment and counseling to speaking out against all forms of violence and discrimination against the girl child, they are girl child advocates.

As the world celebrated this year’s International Day of the Girl Child, Lilian Ike Foundation took it upon itself to educate young girls and their mothers on menstrual hygiene. Through their ‘one girl, one child’ campaign, they were able to share pads to many girls in the poor rural settlement of Ruga on the outskirts of Abuja.

Did you know that millions of girls miss school every month because they have no access to menstrual products like pads and tampons? Yes, menstrual/period poverty is a thing. Imagine a child missing school three to seven days every month simply because she cannot afford pads.

Some of them use tissue papers, old clothes, and even used pads! I remember a tweet where someone was reminiscing on how she used to scavenge for used pads in the dustbins. It is not healthy to wash and reuse your own pad; not to talk of a stranger’s.

You now see that the health and future of these girls are at stake. We can all join hands to change this narrative. Let us empower more girls to stay in school and maintain good menstrual hygiene. You don’t need to buy menstrual sanitary wears for all the indigent girls. Just look around you and help the few that you can.

If most of us who are capable can do this in our communities, you will see that we will be empowering lots of girls in a short while.

Some of us do not have access to these girls who face period poverty. You can collaborate with Lilian Ike Foundation to reach out to more of such girls.

Together, we can make our world a better place because when you empower a girl, you empower a nation. That’s the truth.

Happy International Day of the Girl Child 2020

Happy International Day of the Girl Child 2020

Mama Kemi and Mama Ada were both widows in their early 60s. Mama Kemi was hypertensive as well as diabetic but had long since moved from the village to Abuja to live with her younger daughter who was a software developer. Mama Kemi cultivated a garden in her daughter’s backyard with the help of her grandchildren. She would plant vegetables, corn, groundnut and what-nots. It kept her busy and happy.

The two daughters had decided years ago that it was best for them to have their mother close to enable them take proper care of her. The elder daughter, Kemi who was a nurse also lived in Abuja and alternated between visiting and taking their mother to her home for short stays. At times, her children will come on holidays and stay with their grandmother.

Mama Ada on the other hand had lived most of her life in Onitsha, raised her five sons there singlehandedly, having lost her husband when the boys were still tender. Now, they were all business men and lived far away with their own families. Occasionally, they would send her some money but she hardly saw them except maybe during Christmas.

She relied more on the assistance of her neighbors and on the proceeds from her petty foodstuff kiosk for her survival. But it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with the demands of buying and selling. She was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis years ago and the increasing pain was making it almost impossible to function properly without aid. The little girl living with her could only do as much as her young limbs and brain could carry.

Her neighbors had been quite helpful. When things get out of hand as they usually do when the rheumatoid pains become intense, they would call the sons. But they were often too busy to visit. At times they will send money.
Between the two women, who has an easier, happier life?

My sister, if you are blessed with five girls, all you need do is give them the best training. By the time old age comes around, you will be the envy of many.

Brother, if God gives you 5 boys, what can I say? Train them well and pray they marry good wives that will remember you at old age or at least allow your sons to do their best by you.
But come to think of it, what would have been the fate of Mama Kemi if she had refused to let her daughters pursue their dreams because they were girls?

What if their spouses were beating them up at the slightest provocation? They could be dead by now and their houses won’t be a home to their mother.
What if the girls were raped and butchered to death?

Education is freedom for girls

What if they were married off to some old Alhaji when they were still children?
The girl-child is as important to society and families as the male child. . Treat her with dignity. Accord her her rights. Do not deny her of equal opportunities. She can be your savior tomorrow.

Happy International Day of the Girl Child to every girl with a dream. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, keep pursuing your dreams.
To every girl striving to break barriers and soar, keep fighting, the star will be your stepping stone.

Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Diabetes and 13 Best Foods for Managing Diabetes

Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Diabetes and 13 Best Foods for Managing Diabetes

There are some facts about diabetes that most of us don’t know or neglect and this includes the best foods for managing diabetes. 

For starters, there are different types of diabetes, prominent among which are Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is not necessarily caused by sugar intake. In fact, Type 1 diabetes has nothing to do with the quantity of sugar you consume.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease. When the body’s immune system attacks the beta cells that produce insulin in the pancreas, it results in Type 1 diabetes. You cannot blame the patient for having Type 1 diabetes because it is just the body attacking itself. The reason for this is not known yet.

A lot of factors can cause Type 2 diabetes, including genetics. This is why you should be cautious if your parents were diabetic.

In as much as diabetes can be managed for a long time, the sufferer needs to live a healthy, careful lifestyle. It is not just about taking insulin and avoiding sugary foods.

If not properly managed, diabetes can result in various complications that can affect most parts of the body including eyes, heart, kidney, nerves, etcetera.

Aside the physical toll diabetes takes on the body, it also results in depression, feeling of hopelessness (burnout), weight loss, dearth of relationships, erectile dysfunction for men and vaginitis and cystitis for women.

Factors such as stress, alcohol, pregnancy, sleep, exercise (or lack of it), sex, food, drugs, and even the weather can affect blood sugar levels.

On the other hand, food, medications and exercises help in managing diabetes.

13 Types of Food for Managing Diabete

While some of us are struggling to eat healthy and maintain good shape, for diabetics, feeding right is a matter of life and death. Once one is diagnosed of diabetes, eating the right kind of food becomes top priority for managing diabetes.

Likewise, exercising is also an important process in the management of diabetes.

Without proper management, diabetics become more vulnerable to heart disease, stroke, kidney diseases, nerve damage, and loss of sight among others.

Let us take a look at the types of foods that are vital for managing diabetes –

Basically, foods with low sugar, low carb, and rich in fiber are excellent for management of diabetes. In addition, healthy fats and proteins are also good since they contain macronutrients that slow down digestion. They can help regulate blood sugar while keeping your energy level high.

  • Sweet potatoes: sweet potatoes contain carbohydrate but the carb are regarded as slow-release carb. They work together with adiponectin hormone also contained in potatoes to help control blood sugar level.
Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes

Potatoes are rich in fiber which is highly recommended for diabetics. Depending on the method of cooking, sweet potatoes have low or medium GI (glycemix index). Frying is the least favorite way of preparing sweet potatoes. 

  • Avocado pear: This amazing pear has healthy dose of fats and dietary fiber that helps control sugar levels. This it does by slowing down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates.
  • Green veggies like spinach, broccoli, and kale : Green vegetables are excellent because they are non-starch and are high in vitamins like lutein. Because they are mostly high in potassium, they help keep the heart strong and healthy. They also help fight oxidative stress and neuropathy common with diabetes thanks to the presence of sulforaphane in most of these veggies.
  • Beans:  I bet you already know that beans is a good source of protein and therefore great food for diabetics. But do you also know that its high concentration of soluble fiber and ability to give a feeling of fullness make it the go to plant protein for diabetics? So rather than consume too much meat which isn’t great for your heart, especially as a diabetic, eat more of beans. 
  • Whole wheat bread: I remember my former boss, God rest his soul. You won’t find him dead with any other bread that is not whole wheat. Everybody knows him for that, even hotels and eateries that he frequents. It became a part of him.

So if you are diabetic, you can still take healthy portions of carbohydrate. Whole wheat bread contains complex carbohydrates which fortunately, are richer in vitamins, minerals and fiber that helps control blood sugar.

Greek yugort
  • Greek yogurt: This can come in handy when you need to boost your energy level in the morning before you face the day. Greek yogurt is packed with protein but also contains a little carbohydrate – perfect combination for managing diabetes. When you feed on Greek yogurt, you help your system to regulate blood sugar as well as hunger level. 
  • Garlic: Managing diabetes by eating healthy does not mean eating tasteless food. Rather than add more salt or sugar to the dish, spice it up with garlic. Both your taste buds and your nostrils will thank you for it. Don’t forget that garlic also has various amazing health benefits.
  • Onion: This wonderful plant is packed with a lot of health benefits that are most beneficial for diabetics. Apart from that added taste and flavor onions gives to food, it can help manage blood sugar, lower cholesterol and boost the health of your heart. All thanks to the allium and oligofructose contained in the onions. It also has low glycemic index with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. You get the best out of onions the rawer you eat them. 

  • Tomatoes: You can snack on tomatoes rather than unhealthy snacks or add it to most of your food like salads, rice, beans, etcetera. Tomatoes have numerous health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties. Besides, they make food look more appealing and add flavor to food.
  • Oats: Because they contain beta glucans, oats are good for managing blood sugar level as well as blood pressure. You can take your oats as breakfast cereal or blend them into oatmeal that you can eat with soup. 
  • Omega-3 foods like tuna fish, sardines, pasture-raised eggs, crayfish and the likes. These help control blood sugar while nourishing you with various nutrients as well.
Green tea
  • Green tea: This drink is healthy in managing diabetes. Green tea helps reduce fat storage in the body because it has the power to enhance metabolism. In addition, it helps lessen hunger as it has a filling effect, ensuring that you don’t over eat. 
  • For snacks – carrots, tigernuts, groundnuts/peanuts, walnuts, are better choice than starchy or processed snacks. 

Managing diabetes is not impossible. You can do so effectively and live a long life. Aside religiously taking your medications, once you are able to manage your feeding, exercise and lifestyle, you will be fine. 

Take carb intake for instance. It is not like you need to quit taking carb foods entirely. But you have to eat them moderately and with lots of veggies so that your body will have no need to store the excess energy.

One thing with eating what you don’t like is that in a short while, your taste buds will adapt and that same food you didn’t like becomes quite tasty to you.

Stay healthy.