ADMINISTRATIVE, FINANCE & STRATEGY
Founder | Jennifer Abu
Co-Founder | Jonathan Abu
OPERATIONS & PROGRAMMING
East African Coordinator | Luladay T
Program Advisor | African Leadership University Perez Ogayo
Noni K Abdur-Razzaq
In 2014, over 200 girls were kidnapped in Chibok, Northern Nigeria in broad daylight. This event made international headlines with activists around the world partaking in the #BringBackOurGirls campaign to raise awareness of these kidnappings. Frustrated yet empowered, Jennifer Abu, a young senior in college, decided to create an online blog to raise awareness of these atrocities and many other challenges faced on the continent particularly by women and children. She titled the blog Women and Children’s Rights in Africa, also known as WACRIA, to advocate for the rights and societal status of women and children in Africa. The blog garnered attention with readers from around the world.
In the Spring of 2017, Jennifer Abu consulted with Olivia Roberts, to establish WACRIA as an official student led organization on the University at Albany campus to engage students as well as faculty to invest in the well being of the African woman and child. They were able to recruit more than 20 passionate members and created the Bring Back Our Girls Campaign to raise awareness of Boko Haram’s abduction of 276 girls in Chibok, Nigeria. In addition, they organized multiple fundraisers, fostered partnerships with global NGOS, organized youth-led initiatives centered on promoting women empowerment and children’s education all while giving back to their local community.
After a successful year, the pair graduated and passed on the torch to an incoming executive board. Their work has gained momentum and is now one of the prominent organizations on the UAlbany campus.
After graduation, Jennifer Abu wished to continue to build on the outlet to advocate for women and children in Africa and recruited Jonathan Abu. The pair officially launched WACRIA as a foundation in July 2017 at a hotel in Brooklyn amidst family and close friends.
Shortly after that, they collaborated with UN Women on a brown paper bag event on September 14th, 2017. This event fostered a constructive dialogue between WACRIA and members of the UN Women who have dedicated their lives to finding solutions to the problems that we are just beginning to find answers to; their advice, answers, and input was unmatched. Since their launch, they have raised $5,000+ in funds and have collected and donated school supplies in schools in Sub Saharan Africa.
August 2016: Established WACRIA as a student at University at Albany
bring back our girls - Awareness campaign
We sat down with faculty and students of the University at Albany (State University of New York) to discuss their perception of the Boko Haram abduction, the influence it had on themselves and their families, and to send a message to the missing girls and their families.
Filmed by Reece T. Williams
July 29, 2017: Official launch of WACRIA Foundation