Fatima Mohammed Habib, born to Mohammed Habib, Rukaiyya Tahir Ahmad on September 23, 1999, in Jere/Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria, is the first of five children. She believes in humanitarianism, a passion that gave birth to an organisation, Advocacy for Human Value Foundation, that engages in active humanitarian activities, at the young age of 14 years. She believes a strong woman stands up for everyone.
I started my primary school at Abande Memorial School, Maiduguri in 2005, before transferring to Adeola International School, Kubwa, Abuja in 2009, for my secondary school and later transferred to Model Secondary School, Maitama, to complete my Senior Secondary School Certificate (SSCE) in 2014.
I got admission to study Political Science at the University of Maiduguri in 2015, and I am currently in my final year.
HOW IT STARTED
I grew up seeing my loving parents being kind to people despite race, religion, tribe or societal status. These unique values spurred me to copy them in my own style and translated them to what you now see. I decided to take it a step further by starting humanitarian activities at the age of 14, and later registered my organisation, the Advocacy for Human Value Foundation with the Corporate Affairs Commission in 2016.
Advocacy for Human Value Foundation is a non-profitable organisation that aims on improving the lives of the most vulnerable by providing them with basic needs such as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), health care services, protection and education. We have reached out to thousands of people in different communities.
My passion for humanitarianism is innate because I sincerely cherish and value people as you can see with the coinage of the foundation’s name.
I gained my passion for advocacy by the influence of my late grand parents (Late Hon. Kadi Alkali Habib and Alhaji Tahar Ahmad) as well as my loving parents who instilled sound values, beliefs and respect in me which reflects in my dealings with people.
I have two important people as my mentors- Dr. Mohammed Kyari Dikwa, a retired permanent secretary at the Federal Ministry of Finance, whose passion towards helping the weak , the less privileged, the vulnerable, and his dedication/sacrifice to his religion and humanitarian activities are legendary and worthy of emulation by our generation, and the late British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, (the iron lady of British politics: who once said “if you want something to be said ask a man but if you want something to be done ask a woman”). These two personalities have also made a positive impact in moulding me into the young outstanding woman that I have become.
WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT
Being the best version of yourself takes effort and a deliberate attempt. You never really know what the best version of yourself is until you start to try to become one. You’ll find that once you work on improving yourself, you’ll discover a new way to get better, and it becomes a continual process. The opposite is also true and should be avoided. If you let yourself slide, you’ll find new ways to continue that slide and become a version of yourself you never wanted to be.
Behind many fears is worry, especially about doing something wrong, looking foolish, or not meeting expectations due to fear of failure. I overcome that by trusting in myself and the belief that I can do it, and actually excel in anything I set my mind on.
Another fear I have is societal stereotypes. By this I mean the tag many people always put on women. I am a girl-child and people look tend to look down on the girls when they try to do big especially at my young age. However, I believe the only way to confront societal stereotype is to excel in whatever field one finds herself.
I don’t have any regrets. I am glad and I am proud of the woman I am growing into.
I love supporting women and orphans. That is why most of the programs of my NGO are actually centered on women and children. We do sensitization on sexual exploitation as rape has become rampant in our communities and we are currently looking at menstrual hygiene management (MHM) where we distribute dignity kits to women in the most affected areas of Nigeria.
I plan to make my organisation Advocacy for Human Value Foundation huge and globally recognised.
For me it is school/ work. It is actually difficult doing that but I am glad that I am almost done with my school and I’ll be strong and more focused on the work. I try to work part time while in school and full time when it is holiday period. I am glad I have God and supporting parents because it’s really not easy.
Remember, a strong woman stands up for herself. A stronger woman stands up for everyone else. I therefore prefer to be the latter.