“My name is Dorothy Akende and I am from Nigeria. I have four years of experience in the community development sector, specifically focused on peace-building and empowering women. I graduated from Nasarawa State University with a degree in Religious Studies. I have a background in telecommunications and am the founder of the House of Hilkiah Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on empowering women and providing formal and informal education and skills acquisition to young people. I am a certified sexual and gender-based violence instructor and am also the Benue State coordinator of Education 4 Justice, a project run by the United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime(UNODC).”
How did you learn about Alison?
When coronavirus was declared a global pandemic by the WHO, I was still trying to understand what exactly it was all about. In March 2020, Alison’s Coronavirus: What you need to know course was shared in a WhatsApp group that I am a member of. That’s when I first learned about Alison. I took the course because my team and I were trying to raise awareness of the virus to help flatten the curve in the rural communities we work in.
What was your first course on Alison, and why did you choose it?
Coronavirus: What you need to know was the first course I took on Alison. I choose the course to gain knowledge about the virus, preventive measures and how we can help stop the spread in our community through raising awareness.
How have Alison courses affected your career?
After taking the course on coronavirus, we were able to translate the information into local languages which we then distributed to vulnerable rural communities together with handwash buckets, locally made sanitizers, face masks and soap. Because of this act I was given an honorary mention award and mini-grant of $250 by the Union Bank of Nigeria, as well as a Corona Warrior award by the National Human Welfare Organization in India. This motivated us to continue the work to include more communities in Nigeria.
What’s your favorite way to relax from studying?
I love watching movies or reading romantic novels.
Where are you working and what are you studying at the moment?
I am currently running the House of Hilkiah Foundation where we are working towards achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. We just launched a new project, Educate for Greatness, to ensure that every child has the right to education, especially those in rural areas. Right now, I am taking a course on depression and how to identify it, which will help us in providing support to children who are facing mental health challenges.
What’s next for you, in terms of education or work?
Researching the best policies to facilitate involving youths in peace and conflict resolution in Nigeria.
If you could learn absolutely anything in the world from an Alison course, what would it be?
How to involve young people in peace and mediation processes.
What would you say to someone if they asked you about Alison? Would you recommend it and why?
Alison has some of the best online courses. Their courses are easy to understand and the website is user-friendly. I would definitely recommend it because the courses gives you an in-depth focus on possible careers. Whatever course you choose, the course materials are informative.