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IGBO WOMEN ASSOCIATION NOTTINGHAM (IWAN): THE BRIEF HISTORY

The Igbo Women Association Nottingham (IWAN) is a socio-cultural organisation of Igbo women living in the United Kingdom, particularly in Nottingham. The IWAN has a mix-membership structure that embraces non-Igbo women who are married to Igbo men. We formed IWAN in 2012 with the unifying motto of ‘Ofu Obi Amaka’ which translates into Unity of Purpose, which primarily promotes the spirit of togetherness and neighbourly love. As a socio-cultural organisation, IWAN among other things encourages the education of the Igbo-Child in the diaspora on the importance of Igbo heritage such as Igbo traditions, language, food, dressings, behaviour, dances and above all, the Igbo nation. We are happy to support your occasions with the presentation of our dance if invited for a token.

One of the building pillars that ensures the practical sustainability of IWAN is no other than our able Matron, in the person of Mrs Lolo Okenwa. Mrs Lolo Okenwa and her husband, the late High Chief Bernard Okenwa has been the spiritual, financial and emotional rock from which IWAN benefitted so much. The demise of her husband has remained a massive blow to IWAN.

IWAN has since its formation been blessed with ladies endowed with exceptional leadership qualities. IWAN’s pioneer leader to occupy the exalted position of the Executive Chair-lady is Mrs Geraldine Chidinma Iwunze. Mrs Iwunze served IWAN creditably for six solid years. Under Mrs Iwunze’s leadership, the Igbo Women Association Nottingham (IWAN) successfully launched its first diversity celebration and fundraising to support Breast Cancer Research as well as the Oasis Breast Cancer Trust. At the end of this fundraising activity, IWAN successfully disbursed the sum of £500 each to both Breast Cancer Research and the Oasis Breast Cancer Trust in 2018. 

Graciously, in February 2019, Mrs Lovelyn Umeloh emerged as the next elected Executive Chairlady to pilot the affairs of the Igbo Women Association Nottingham (IWAN). By December 2019, barely eight months in office, the IWAN under Mrs Umeloh’s leadership presented toiletries to patients on the wards and the sum of £200 to Nottingham Breast Institute in keeping with its charity work. This year 2020, IWAN donated foods to some of the wards in Queens Medical Hospital to support the front-line workers who were treating and helping people with Covid-19.

July 2020, under the leadership of Lovelyn Umeloh, Igbo Women Association Nottingham (IWAN) was registered as a full charity organisation in the UK. She also created IWAN’s Website and Twitter Account. Ladies, all hail our able leaders and the entire members of IWAN for our support and dedication towards achieving more in our efforts to transform the society in our little way. 

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