Vweta was a champion for the rights of women and girls. She founded ProjectASHA as an NGO and vehicle to advance the rights of women and girls in underserved communities. Through her work, Vweta has believed and demonstrated that empowering women and girls is key to bringing about positive change and sustainable development in local communities and globally.
Chadwick believed that one of the ways to empower women and girls was to give them a voice. She believed in the power of the internet to amplify and crystallize the challenges, disabilities, struggles and marginalization of women and girls. Throughout its short life, Vweta has used technology to connect relegated communities to the world. For this reason, the annual poetry contest honoring Vweta Chadwick is a continuation of her legacy.
This year’s competition and the inaugural edition are marked “Invisible Disability”. This year’s competition is virtual and would be broadcast live on Zoom and social media. This year’s theme has been carefully chosen to reflect the topics championed by Vweta, e.g. gender equality, empowerment of women and girls, civil and human rights for policy change, violence against women and girls, the promotion of black women’s rights and the human rights of people. who, like her, suffered from an acquired disability due to negligent medical treatment in Nigeria.
Vweta Chadwick and ProjectASHA have received numerous national and global awards and recognition for their work mentioned above, but also work specifically to give voice to women and girls in difficulty and campaign for the rights of persons with disabilities. Vweta has spoken to different audiences, given a TED talk, the House of Senate and Representatives of the US State of Delaware, the University of Cambridge, and has also written numerous poems and essays on topics ranging from social justice, equality, diversity, inclusivity, gender equality, patriarchy, honour-based violence and abuse, technology for empowerment, obstetric fistula, female genital mutilation and the fight against discrimination. She spent her last days as a social worker in the UK supporting children in care and running a support group for women experiencing domestic abuse in Wales.
The turnout for this year’s contest was phenomenal. Nominations were received from talented girls and young women from all parts of Nigeria and abroad. Entries sparked conversations, raised awareness and shed light on the various forms of injustice faced by people with invisible disabilities and some focused on the mild to high intersectionalities of disabilities that many girls and women experience around the world . In what has proven to be a very competitive field, our distinguished jury has narrowed down the entries to 12 shortlisted finalists who will now present their poems in the live final.
This year’s final will be held virtually on August 6, 2022 (time – 9:00 a.m. WAT).
It will be hosted and broadcast live on Zoom as well as other popular social media channels. The prize for the winning entry is 500 USD (#500,000 NGN). Register here.
Details of our panel of distinguished judges can be found here
Details of the judgment criteria can be found here
Please join us in what will be truly remarkable SLAM poetry exposing and embracing with absolute honesty and stark reality the issues faced by millions of people living with invisible disabilities in Nigeria and around the world.
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