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  • Writer's pictureUgochi Obidiegwu

2023 RoundUp

Our Work In 2023

Stepping into 2023, the word God gave me for my year was "thankfulness." Initially, I questioned the choice of language because we often want to hear high-sounding words when starting the year, but I quickly reset, accepted it, and integrated it into all aspects of life. I am thankful today because integrating thankfulness into daily living made a significant difference in all areas of my life.

This year at The Safety Chic, our work got selected in the NYU Female Founder Fellowship. This opportunity led to research and customer discovery for a possible entry into the US market. It led to writing a new child safety storybook that was more suited to the US context and a pilot of the Train Them Young Initiative in a summer camp for children on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, NYC. In order to contribute to knowledge in the field, we published two articles: The Public Health Epidemic of Childhood Injury: Why Classroom Instruction Provides a Path Forward and Unintentional Injuries Leading to Deaths of Black Children in the US.

We also got a chance to share the results of our pilot project in Nigeria through a poster presentation at the 23rd World Congress on Safety and Health at Work in Sydney. At this congress, I was featured among 12 safety professionals from around the world in a Talking Safety video series to share the importance of child safety, consideration for a global scale, and strategies for the future. As part of our commitment to safety education and advocacy, we were involved in high-level workshops on online safety organized by Meta and TechSocietal and a Joint EC-UNCTAD workshop on research in product safety. We also spoke at conferences and workshops training educators and parents. We thank our team members, funders, partners, senior colleagues in the safety industry, and friends who continuously refer us for all the support in 2023.

This year at UGIP Foundation, we focused on one of our core pillars: the mentoring pillar. In the mentoring pillar, we worked with young people from 3 countries over the course of 12 months, equipping them with resources to thrive and contribute meaningfully to society as well-rounded individuals. The cohort wrapped up with an outreach to give back to the community. In partnership with The Buluzo Foundation, we implemented the Pad A Girl Initiative, reaching 107 girls in 4 secondary schools in Lagos State. The PCOS awareness training and pad distribution were a success. We are thankful to our stellar community leaders who excellently led this initiative.

On the other hand, one of our core pillars, God's Own Footprints, passively produced results. This was the year when several young ladies who had received our Christian fiction, God's Own, began to reach out to share their stories and how the book impacted their life decisions. We look forward to serving them more in 2024. We are grateful to our Board of Trustees for their support in executing our programs this year and for also showing up to train the 2023 mentorship cohort.

To support the development of African social impact initiatives and organizations, this year, I got a chance to train founders and staff of nonprofit organizations through the Nonprofit Programme Management Intensive organized by Ideation Hub Africa. I also executed strategy sessions with founders and individuals seeking to start their organizations or amplify their existing work. As a current NYU grad student and higher education admin personnel, I contributed to proferring insights, implementing programs and conferences, and supporting the advancement of African students at NYU through leadership positions. 

Top 3 Lessons

As I reflect on the year I have had across the different areas I worked, there are many things I can say, but I would highlight three things I observed about my life this year:

1. I worked from a place of rest. Compared to previous years, we did not do many things in the organizations, but the little we did was divinely inspired, strategic, and critical for the future. Combining this with other responsibilities across other areas of my life was seamless because I leaned into my systems, which enabled me to accomplish what needed to be done without being overwhelmed. I am thankful for team members and life systems that enabled me to have fun, travel, retreat, and enjoy my days whilst still producing results.

2. God is my source. Amidst all this, I had dollar-denominated bills that had to be sorted for my grad degree, and God always provided right on time. This point deserves its own blog post, YouTube video, or book, maybe someday. I enjoyed too many amazing things this year that came from God through men and organizations. I am so thankful for all the beautiful and faith-filled experiences 2023 provided. 

3. Focus is gold. In a world where people keep getting distracted by every shiny reel on social media, the ability to focus on your vision, your God-ordained path, and your work is critical for growth and stepping into new opportunities. This year, I saw how the work of previous years, topped up by the strategic work of 2023, positioned me for my current blessings and future goals. It made me shudder to think about what would have happened without focus. It also concretized my desire to stay focused.

This is definitely not exhaustive, but I hope it inspires you as we begin a new year. May 2024 give you so much joy. 

Happy New Year!

(Did you miss last year's roundup? See here.)

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1 Comment

Jan 01

The 3 last points are highly inspiring. The ability to focus away from social media is quite a luxury these days. I’m definitely implementing it For my 2024.

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