Image of Maureen Lance-Onyeiwu

Maureen Lance-Onyeiwu

Alumni Ambassador Nigeria

I have spent the most part of my working life in various capacities with the United Nations System in Nigeria. Presently, I work as the National Coordination Officer with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in Nigeria where my responsibilities include inter alia, ensuring effective synergies among State and non-State actors for the expansion of access to justice for the Nigerian people and particularly poor people in conflict with the law, and for addressing the structural causes of crime and criminality such as corruption and drug trafficking.

In the margins, I work on an informal community-based project dedicated to helping poor people especially women find simple solutions to their poverty. The project equips women and their families with the skills to understand the connection between making money, protecting the environment and living well by converting everyday materials such as pieces of fabrics and plastic into hand-woven mats and rugs. As we find local markets for these mats and rugs in the neighbourhood, the women exhibit higher self-esteem than previously, they feel more empowered and confident as they earn money that allows them to keep their children in school, own property and gradually start to move out of chronic poverty. I look forward to devoting even more time to this idea of helping poor people find solutions to poverty when I eventually retire from my position with the United Nations.

Studied at IDS: MA Poverty and development, 2008