“Can we go upstairs?” I ask.
“Yeah,it looks like the air conditioner and noise is a bit too much over here.” Prisca replies.
The restaurant is filled with people chatting,waiting for friends and having lunch.
I gather my things and climb up the stairs behind her to our preferred spot. The balcony was not any better and the only space we could find was opposite a large air conditioner and a loud speaker blaring the latest hit from the rave of the moment, Teni the Entertainer.
I was really excited and puzzled at the same time. Probably because the activities of Prisca Foundation is not easily decoded at face value. This made it even more intriguing to me.
One of the reasons I like to have live interviews is, it lets me connect with these ladies and get insights about their personalities. Its like a sneak peek into the lives of regular girls like us who are taking daily steps to impact the society and do something meaningful with their lives.
A childhood encounter almost got her marred for life but for the intervention of her mother who was able to nip it in the bud and handle the situation. Ujunwa Prisca came out from that experience with a sense of responsibility for the advancement and well-being of young women.
How did Prisca Foundation Start?
It was inspired by an experience when I was 13.
After being saved by my mum, I developed some kind of hatred for the male figure. But growing up, I came to terms with some realisations that young girls need help. They need to be educated and informed over certain issues. They also need to be advocated for.
Prisca Foundation accommodates victims of rape,molestation,assault,domestic violence and abuse. I saw my experience as an opportunity to talk to young women.
However,my first secondary school tour brought a new turn to Prisca Foundation. I discovered that a lot of girls in secondary schools don’t have dreams,goals or plans for their lives. A random question about where they see themselves in 5 years elicited responses like they would get married and end up in a man’s house so there is no need for goals.
I express my shock at how such an ideology is possible in 2020 and Prisca goes on to tell me about another tour she intends to embark on. This time around,she will be educating them on certain things about life like how they can build dreams,set goals for their lives and picture themselves where they would like to be in the next 5 years.
“Women should not just rely on men for everything,” she says.
Social entrepreneurship is all about doing business for a social cause or recognizing social problems with the aim of solving them. What does your organization hope to change?
The mindset of African women towards unlocking their potentials,achieving goals,planning and becoming accountable for their lives. We want to teach women how to plan ahead and not just let life happen to them.
How long have you been doing this?
I’ve been nursing this for a while but we started officially in January 2019.
Origin of the name-Prisca Foundation:
I came up with a name about being original as a young woman but I changed it to my name for identification sake. The name is gotten from my own name-Prisca.
Places I’ve visited since we began:
We have been to 1 school so far. We went to Community Secondary School,Nkpolu-Oroworukwo in Port Harcourt. It’s a mixed school. We would have been to many schools but we are taking time to plan. We would like to focus more on girl schools.
On the 8th of March which was International Women’s Day,we also did a rally where we went to some places to talk to girls and some women.
What are some of the heart touching moments in Prisca Foundation?
At my first outreach,when some of these secondary school girls told us they didn’t have dreams or plans and couldn’t picture themselves anywhere.
Another moment was chatting with a Facebook friend where she shared a story of how she was physically abused by her aunt and grew up hating herself. We are currently working on ways we can help her regain her confidence and build her future.
Sponsors,partners and sources of funds are…
FIYA , Arm Opulent and some personal sponsors. We are also looking to partner with some medical practitioners to help with abuse,assault and rape cases. Forte foundation has also been a partner in our school tours.
Links with international organisations:
We have links with an American NGO- “Out of the Corner”. The convener speaks frequently in our Facebook Group and acts as a matron for our foundation. I’m also working with her to bring her NGO to Nigeria.
How do you create time for school and Prisca Foundation?
I encounter this question a lot. I know how to plan myself, I know the days to give my foundation and the days to give to my school work. I also know when to give my foundation a break. In everything,I try to create balance.
What do you think are the most challenging aspects of running an NGO?
It’s really challenging running an NGO because you are leading a group of people and leading people isn’t easy. Locating sponsors is also a challenge,you struggle to get sponsors.
Getting people to volunteer is also a challenge because some of my team members are students,they have tests and exams. I try to make the times for our tours flexible so a lot of people can participate. You’ve got to put in your best,be committed to your vision and show results. Your dedication and consistency is what would get people to own the vision with you.
What keeps you inspired in spite not being paid for the work you do?
I want to see a better future with girls.
Another thing that inspires me greatly and in fact is the greatest inspiration is: I was only almost molested but never molested.
It was at the verge of being lured into sexual romance that the timely intervention of my mum prevailed.
My Dad has been a fierce man and I watched my mum suffer domestic violence and abuse in marriage. It pushed my hatred for men entirely. It made me constantly think of how to get my mum and every other lady out there from abuse, molestation and every other thing a lady can suffer in the hands of men. I always helplessly watch my mother being beaten, abused and forced into stuffs. I cried, was bitter and I swore to do something.
Advice for upcoming social entrepreneurs?
Doing something profitable for the society and standing tall doesn’t mean you’d be without adversity but your ability to hold fast to your dreams and purpose determines the realization of a better future.
You can follow Prisca and her foundation via:
1. Instagram : @priscee_uche
2. Facebook: Prisca Uche Ujunwa
3. Facebook: Prisca Foundation
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