We empower girls and women to be strong from the inside out
Strong Enough Girls’ Empowerment Initiative (SEGEI) is a women-led and youth-focused non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping girls and women in low-resource settings find their voices, access resources, and use their talents to thrive. We seek to IGNITE, NURTURE, and HARNESS the intellectual, emotional, and social strengths of adolescent girls and young women through education (formal and informal), mentorship, and life skills development. SEGEI works with government, community leaders, secondary schools, universities, and communities around Nigeria (and across Africa) to help girls practice healthy living and acquire marketable skills by educating girls on self-esteem, leadership, sexual and reproductive health, academic and career success, and promoting trans-cultural exchange.
We seek to IGNITE, NURTURE, and HARNESS the intellectual and social strengths of adolescent girls and young women through education, mentorship, and life skills development to promote strong character, excellence, good health, and community among girls.
SEGEI envisions an equitable world where every girl and woman feels supported and empowered to reach her full potential.
We believe in the power of working collaboratively to bring about transformation and sustainable development in girls, women, and their communities.
The Strong Enough Girls’ Empowerment Initiative (SEGEI) began with 10 adolescent girls in Kisumu, Kenya. During her first trip to the country in the summer of 2012, SEGEI Founder, Onyinye Edeh, had an opportunity to sit down for lunch with adolescent girls who shared their life stories and the challenges they face as girls in their schools and communities. The encounter and the stories the girls shared awakened Onyinye to the harsh realities of girls’ lives and their vulnerabilities, particularly in developing countries. Most importantly, Onyinye realized the crucial need for girls in low-resourced communities to have access to role models and mentors who can advise them and provide positive guidance as they navigate the challenges of growing up. Upon her return to the U.S., Onyinye began a letter-writing initiative between her female friends and the Kenyan girls to provide sustained mentorship and friendship to the girls. The letters helped nurture sisterhood bonds between the adult women and adolescent girls, and proved to be a valuable tool for empowerment. A blog site was soon set up to share more inspirational girl-centered posts. Following a one-year experience with adolescent girls in Nigeria in 2015, Onyinye was encouraged to register SEGEI as a non-profit initiative with the aim of empowering women and addressing the everyday challenges that adolescent girls in low-resource settings face, namely the denial of their human rights to education, good health, and social empowerment. The name Strong Enough Girls reflects Onyinye’s desire to empower girls and young women to know, feel, and see that they are/can be strong enough to be who they are, pursue big dreams, and resist societal norms/pressures.
Meet Our Executive Team
Board of Directors
Onyinye EdehFounder and Chief Empowerment Officer
Hon. Abiodun EssietBoard Chair
Ibiba Bullba EdehBoard Member
Bose Deji-OderindeBoard Member
Grace UwadialeBoard Member
Dr. Benita IkegwuohaBoard Member
Onyinye EdehFounder and Chief Empowerment Officer
Onyinye is the Founder and Chief Empowerment Officer (CEO) at SEGEI. She is a Sexual and Reproductive Health Specialist and innovative Social Entrepreneur with over 10 years of domestic and international health experience and a contagious commitment to advancing adolescent and women’s sexual and reproductive health, girls’ education, and youth empowerment. She holds a Master of Public Health and Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology & Anthropology from the University of Washington-Seattle and Agnes Scott College (Decatur, GA, USA), respectively.
Grace AnajaCommunications Officer
Grace is the Communications Officer at SEGEI whereby she serves as the primary contact for all communications requests and publications for the organization. She is a graduate of English and Literary Studies, a writer, transcriptionist, proofreader and editor who has worked on several publications. She is an alumnus of the Leadership Exchange Programme 2021 organised by Jela’s Development Initiative. Her passion for social causes influenced her role as the team lead for the LEP Impact ’21, a community service project at an Internally Displaced Persons camp. She loves exploring various forms of art and enjoys watching movies and documentaries.
Queen C UgwoeruPrograms Manager
Queen is the Programs Manager at SEGEI whereby she plans, designs, and supervises health and education programs that improve the well-being of adolescent girls and young women. Queen is a gender equality advocate and is passionate about empowering adolescent girls and women, especially in Africa, with the required skills to thrive and aspire to become leaders in society. She has a B.Tech in Biochemistry from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria.
Ruth GibsonEducation Program Coordinator
Ruth is the Education Program Coordinator at SEGEI whereby she oversees the SEGEI Scholarship and Mentorship program as well as school and community outreaches, including organizing tutorials for the scholarship recipients on STEM topics. She is an educationist and a certified Health Safety and Environment officer. Ruth helps girls commit to their education and develop essential life skills.
Irene IgomuProgram Officer
Irene is the Program Officer at SEGEI whereby she oversees program design and implementation for school and community outreaches. She is a graduate of Civil Engineering, a baker, and a gender equality advocate. She is actively involved in community outreach that will enhance the health and general well-being of the girl child. Irene is passionate about ending sexual gender-based violence, advocating for the proper use and access to family planning methods, and providing life skills education to adolescent girls and young women.