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100 Women: Meet Semhar Araia, an Eritrean-American On a Mission to Mobilize African Women

Get familiar with the woman championing community building throughout the diaspora.

Semhar Araia has made it her life's work ro support the aspirations of African women throughout the diaspora.

As the founder of DAWN—Diaspora African Women's Network and the head of Diaspora Partnerships at UNICEF USA, the Eritrean-American is working to create opportunities for women to realize their potential as future leaders and community builders.


She's dedicated to diaspora engagement—a deeply rooted passion that stems from her experience being raised by Eritrean immigrants in New York City.

She has an encouraging message for fellow second-generation immigrants:

"We are a gift and an asset to both cultures, to both countries," she says. "There are so many examples of women who celebrate both, who don't pit one against the other, who don't need to be more African than American or more American than Africa. I think there's a way to be both and to celebrate that."

Watch the video below to learn more about the social activist, and check out or full OkayAfrica 100 Women list here.

This article appears as part of OkayAfrica's 100 Women 2018—a project highlighting the impactful work done by African women across the globe. Throughout March, we will be publishing a series of profiles, videos, interviews and feature stories on these inspirational women. Click here to see the entire list of 2018 honorees.

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Image courtesy of Chude Jideonwo

Nigerian Mental Health Advocate Chude Jideonwo Shares Practical Ways Of Coping During COVID

We speak with the founder of Joy Inc. about the mental health challenges facing Nigerians, how many have managed to find effective ways to cope, and the online resources available to the community.

Never in our lifetimes have we experienced a pandemic of this gravity. As COVID-19 cases rise in Nigeria, Nigerians aren't just worried about getting the virus, they are also concerned about a host of other challenges: our lack of efficient and effective healthcare—which is overwhelmed even without a pandemic—the lack of appropriate data, and the high levels of poverty and illiteracy in the country that make it difficult to enforce the strategies that will enable us to handle the pandemic and keep it under control.

In a bid to understand how Nigerians are dealing with mental health challenges now, on the ground, due to the pandemic—which has led to a lockdown restricting movement and also social distancing rules—we spoke with Nigerian journalist, lawyer and mental healthcare advocate Chude Jideonwo, who is the founder of Joy Inc. He shared insights from his experiences with The Joy Inc., which he founded in 2016 to help young people going through mental and emotional challenges. He aimed to help provide young Nigerians with tools to help navigate the world around them.

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'This Is One Too Many'—African Union Condemns the Murder of George Floyd

"The African Union is distressed to witness yet another unwarranted execution of another African-American male."