lois-auta“I was affected by poliomyelitis at age two but I have scaled through countless hurdles even as an orphan and physically challenged lady. Some see their disabilities as a weakness I see mine as strength; some see their disabilities as a curse I see mine as a blessing. While others blame God for theirs, I praise God for mine. God knew I could manage it well that’s why He created me this way. I’m proud to be a member of the disability community”.

Lois is a young vibrant lady who is very productive, full of life and energy, a role model, brave, courageous, independent, mentor, intelligent, hardworking, and full of ideas. She has never allowed her disability to make her a liability despite her humble background but fought her way through life. She is a proactive individual who is able to develop, motivate and inspire others to achieve a goal in life. Lois’ advocacy made some persons with disabilities to be fully employed, scholarship awards to be given to students with disabilities, sign language interpreters to be included during meetings, ramps to be built in some offices, schools, churches, and restaurants and other social places.

Lois Auta has over five years of experience advocating for the betterment of persons with disabilities in Nigeria and soon to the world. She is a Mandela Washington Fellow, Vice President, Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Association, Nigeria, a support staff with Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Founder and Executive Director of Cedar Seed Foundation. She is the president FCT Disabled Sports Club – Abuja, she is a Board Member– Federation of  Civil Servants Staff with Disabilities Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Assistant National Coordinator – Advocacy for Women with Disabilities Initiative, Board Member – Potters Gallery Initiative, Member – Joint National Association of Persons with disabilities, Founder, Ability Africa, President, Women on Wheels Multipurpose Cooperative Society.

She holds a diploma in Public administration from the University of Abuja and is presently a Bachelor of Science (Final Year Student) undergraduate in Public Administration from the same university.

Lois Auta’s credibility and activities also featured in a selection in the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders the first class of 2014, an initiative of President Barack Obama. She met with President Barack Obama and got a presidential handshake from him and a hug from Michelle Obama.

She held meetings with world leaders like John Kerry, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US Assistant Secretary of State on African Affairs. Ambassador Rice, US Senators, Nigerian President, Nigerian Senators, Ministers, and Chief Executive Officers of world recognized companies, organizations and host of others.

Life after Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) experience in the USA. She returned to Nigeria and gave back to the society the leadership skills she was taught in the US by advocating more for persons with disabilities in Nigeria.

Lois Auta was taken by surprise, mentioned, recognized and celebrated by Christopher Runyan a Senior Coordinator of YALI, USAID and IREX as one of the inspiring, passionate and hardworking Mandela Washington Fellows who worked tirelessly in the inclusion of persons with disabilities and their issues during the 2015 Nigeria’s elections.

Her achievement was mentioned at the West Africa First Mandela Washington Fellows Regional Conference in Ghana in April 2015. Lois is making things happen by ensuring the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in government policies and programs particularly the 2015 Nigeria’s Election in which she promoted a violence – free election and inclusive election for persons with disabilities in Nigeria.

Lois was one of the panelists on the Contributions of Women in Developing West Africa with Christelle Bay Chongwain of Cameroon and Selma Neves of Cape Verde at the same conference in Ghana. Thank you IREX and USAID, words cannot expressed my feelings when Chris blew my mind.

Lois also represented “Thisabled” People in drafting the Youth Declaration Document for the President Buhari Administration in the Pre-Summit Youth Consultation on Youth with Development on August 11, 2015 for International Youth Day 2015. She was part of the team that presented the document to President Mohammadu Buhari on International Youth Day at Aso Presidential Villa on August 12, 2015 and received a presidential handshake from Mr President.