The story: OCI Foundation and the “2020 FACE OF TIV INTERNATIONAL PAGEANTRY” Contest in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria (December 15-17, 2020).

The story: OCI Foundation and the “2020 FACE OF TIV INTERNATIONAL PAGEANTRY” Contest in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria (December 15-17, 2020).

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Between the 15th to the 17th December, 2020, the OCI Foundation featured prominently at the 2020 FACE OF TIV INTERNATIONAL PAGEANTRY. The “Tiv” is one of Nigeria’s approximately 300 ethnic groups, and the contest was designed to promote their culture.

The OCI Foundation participated as part of its Social and Public Welfare program, and used the opportunity to promote the “Arm Our Youths (ArOY) Health Campaign”, its flagship health initiative designed to empower Nigerians against breast and cervical cancers.

Video: The beauty pageants relax with their official vehicle, courtesy of the OCI Foundation

In addition to providing the official vehicle that transported the contestants at the Pageantry, the OCI Foundation awarded certificates to the top 3, and formally recognized the overall winner,  Miss Veronica IORTYER, as its Face of the ArOY Campaign for Benue State, and will work close with the OCI Foundation in all its activities across the State (see video and picture below). She was also crowned the “Face of Tiv International” by the event organizers.

The pageants would also be part of the ArOY Campaign messages that the OCI Foundation intend to pass across Benue State and Nigeria, as it seeks to flag off the Campaign across all senior secondary schools in Benue State. This is expected to commence in the second half of 2021.

Video: Queen Vera IORTYER (winner) and Mrs Vicky AKUHWA (Champion, OCI Foundation, Benue)

Pic: Queen Vera IORTYER, the winner, poses with the OCI Foundation team.

The pageantry event was anchored for the OCI Foundation by Mr Luter Ikyobo, the OCI Foundation’s Social and Entertainment Liaison Officer, and we are proud of his excellent delivery on this. Alongside Luter, the OCI Foundation was formally represented Mrs Victoria IKUHWHA, the Champion for Benue State. She handed out the certificates to the winners.

Video: Main event and performances from the contestants at the 2020 Face of Tiv Pageantry

The ArOY Campaign is a novel, Harvard-endorsedWHO-supported, and evidence-based health promotion initiative of the OCI Foundation, which is being introduced across all senior secondary schools in Nigeria as a way of tackling breast and cervical cancers. In September 2019, it was rolled out across all the 261 senior secondary schools in Anambra State of Nigeria, and a similar event, scheduled for Benue State in May 2020, was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  All of Nigeria’s 36 states (and the FCT) are expected to benefit from the ArOY campaign on or before the end of 2025, and the ongoing consultations are part of this whole process.

Video: OCI Foundation's role acknowledged by the organizers of the "2020 Face of Tiv Pageantry" (Dec 2020)

The ArOY Health Campaign has the support of the, (the World’s first online University), the United States Centers for Disease Control (U.S. CDC) and the University of British Columbia, Canada (ranked 45th in the world, according to the 2021 QS World University Ranking). Experts from these institutions, along with others from the University of Saskatchewan (Canada) and the Griffith University (Australia), will work with the OCI Foundation and the Nigerian Government on the roll-out, implementation and monitoring of the ArOY project. In addition, the prestigious Harvard Medical School, USA, of which Dr Chris Ifediora (the Founder of the OCI Foundation) is an Alumnus of, had earlier endorsed the Campaign, and made significant contributions to the Campaign’s design ahead of its roll out in Anambra State last year.

A number of other reputable Nigerian institutions partnering the OCI Foundation on this initiative include the Innoson Group, the NYSC (National Office), the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs (Nigeria), Nollywood Nigeria, the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, the Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS)Silk Road Restaurant (Abuja), and the Post Primary Schools Service Commission, PPSSC (Anambra state), among others.

There are also plans to involve the Office of the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Nigeria’s Governor’s Forum (which includes the Governors of all the 36 States of Nigeria), and Nigeria’s ministries of Health, Education and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

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