There are many ways that Dr. DaSilva-Ibru works to better the lives of Nigerian women. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from John’s Hopkins University and has levied that education in the service of others through her work with ERAF and at Ideal Eagle Hospital in Lagos. At ERAF, her role as a member of the board allows her to help shape and implement the programs designed to give widows and children a chance at rehabilitation and independence. Empowering programs like the job skills training program and micro-loan program give widows and older teenage girls what they need to generate a sustainable income for their families. At Ideal Eagle, Dr. DaSilva-Ibru works on women’s health issues as an Obstetrician and Gynecologist, one of only two full time doctors on the staff. Through her work at the hospital and through ERAF, she has touched a number of different lives and given hope and help to many different women in Nigeria.
The HIV epidemic in Nigeria has hit certain segments of the society particularly hard, and left many widows and children unprepared for the sudden need to fend for themselves. The Erelu Adebayo Foundation, known as ERAF for short, is a non-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to helping those in need. They provide hope and help to women, girls, and children in areas with high unemployment and HIV rates in the hopes of making a difference in these people’s lives. Founded by the wife of the former governor of Ekiti State, ERAF continues to expand their operations and programs with the help of funds donated from individuals and the five member board.
Among the many programs meant to assist and give crucial job skills to women and their families, is a micro-loan program designed to help these women start their own businesses. The loan program is designed to operate in a cooperative setting between the women to both enable them to obtain the capital need to start their businesses and provide an effective means of accountability and increase the chances of the loans being repaid. When women are empowered to generate their own incomes they become self-reliant and are able to provide for their families on a long term basis. Widows and older teenagers are also given job training that is meant to assist them in gaining the needed skills to generate that income.
ERAF is run by a board of 5 prominent women in Lagos who have compassion and a dedication to improving the lives of those less fortunate than themselves. The board members are: Erelu Angela Adebayo, Chairman and Founder of ERAF; Dr. Anita Kemi DaSilva-Ibru, a medical doctor at Ideal Eagle Hospital; Mrs. Ronke Okusanya, an executive Chairman of the Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State; Dr. Olusola Bob-Egbe, Medical Director of Faratori Eye Center; and Agatha A. Johnpaul, Programme Officer for ERAF.
The Erelu Adebayo Foundation, or ERAF, is a Nigeria-based NGO that serves to better meet the needs of some of the nation’s most ignored and vulnerable citizens. Working primarily with widows, orphans, vulnerable children, women, and HIV patients, the organization works to offer vital services as well as programs that will help Nigeria’s least privileged citizens to become self-reliant and to put them in a better position to care for themselves and their families.
ERAF is overseen and operated by a five member board consisting of Chairman Erelu Angela Adebayo, Dr. Anita Kemi Dasilva-Ibru, Mrs. Ronke Okusanya, Dr. Olusola Bob Egbe, and Programme Officer Agatha A. Johnpaul. While the programs and services offered by the organization are quite varied, there are six strategic initiatives that they strive to achieve. These initiatives include assisting and rehabilitation widows and surviving family members, housing feeding, and clothing orphans and homeless children, and empowering widows and young girls in order to become more self sufficient and better able to care for their immediate family members. Other primary initiatives include arranging procedures for adopting orphaned children, creating a resource network for humanitarian operations, and organizing training and networking venues for young girls, widows, orphans, and vulnerable children.
Meeting the needs of the underprivileged in a nation with high rates of unemployment and HIV infection is a very difficult task, and the work done by ERAF is funded through both member/philanthropic sponsorship and donations. Project proposals are fully developed before deployment, ensuring a full life cycle from design and implementation to monitoring and progress evaluations. The goals of the Erelu Adebayo foundation are broad, and the result is a set of programs and initiatives that make a big difference in the lives of some of Nigeria’s most often ignored citizens.