ABOUT THE FOUNDER
Marvella Odili is an award-winning humanitarian and social innovator. She is a Champion of girl-child education and an advocate of women's economic empowerment in Africa. She is a changemaker who constantly advocates ending child marriage, gender-based violence, female genital mutilation (FGM), illiteracy and poverty among women and girls.
A dynamic results-oriented leader, Marvella is a recipient of The 1,000 Entrepreneurs Challenge (2020) and The International Alliance for Women (TIAW) World of Difference Award (2019). She is the only Nigerian that has been awarded the French International Prize for social innovation promoting entrepreneurship and technology among women. She was nominated in the "Achievement Award" category of Vigor International Award in Canada in 2018. She holds a Master's degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from the Université d'Abomey-Calavi, a french-speaking university in Benin. She was the first Nigerian to graduate from the Faculty of Law, graduating as the Best Student in her faculty in 2005.
A 2013 Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Fellow, Marvella started her professional career as a Bilingual Research Assistant in the international non-governmental organization, Communication for Education and Development (COMED) which has the Association of Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) in Paris as its parent organization. She cut her teeth under the tutelage of the late Prof Alfred Esimatemi Opubor, the first Director-General and pioneer Chairman of the board of directors of The Nigerian News Agency (NAN), and Secretary-General of COMED and WANAD. She later worked as a Consultant on Education in the West African News Media and Development (WANAD) Centre. In 2008, she became the Legal Assistant in a finance and investments company, Société Internationale de Finances et d'Investissements (SIFI).
After a brief stint at the American Embassy, Cotonou, Benin in 2010 as the Cultural Affairs Officer, working directly under the Public Affairs Officer, she founded Save Our Needy (SON). Her motivation for becoming a Social Worker stemmed from her desire to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, to promote girl-child education and empower women and youths. She believes that the key to true and sustainable development is the empowerment of women and girls.
In 2014, she was awarded the Excellence Award for Top Nigerian Executives in Public Administration. In 2015, Delta State awarded her the Humanitarian Award for Women and Youth Empowerment. In 2018, she became a recipient of Systers-Pass-It-On Award for empowering girls in technology and Empowerment Award by the African Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF).
Marvella is an active member of reputable organizations including UN Empower Women, International Women's Society, Nigerian Association of University Women (NAUW) affiliated to Graduate Women International (GWI), ONE Campaign and Association for Women's Rights In Development (AWID).
An African Changemakers Fellow 2018, Marvella is an excellent example of women who are breaking ceilings. In the course of her career, she has been fortunate to meet several important personalities, many of whom have greatly influenced her life. She strongly believes in making the world a better place for the downtrodden. She speaks the French language fluently. She also speaks a bit of Spanish.
Her hobbies include blogging, travelling, networking and reading.