A group of five Nigerian women made their way to the Rochester to learn about politics here, thanks to a program with the U.S. Department of State.

Throughout the next few days, they’ll meet numerous local leaders and observe our elections process.

“My group is very concerned about monitoring, observing, and learning about the democratic process here in the USA,” said Baraka Sani

“We have a young democracy in Nigeria,” said Remi Sonaiya. “And it’s good to see the nuts and bolts of how the system works.”

This group of women in the International Visitor Leadership Program have been involved in politics themselves in their home country, so they are excited to meet with female leaders they relate to like Mayor Lovely Warren.

“I understand the challenges that they’re facing in their country,” Mayor Warren said. “And they want to improve the lives of their people and their citizens – not only for themselves, but for the children and the families there, and so I wanted to be able to encourage them.”

“I’m really excited to find that more women are getting involved in politics, and I hope this will continue,” Sonaiya said.

And not only are they learning about the political process, but they’re inspired to bring things they’ve learned home.

“I’ve observed so many aspects that I hope to adapt and introduce when I get home to Nigeria,” Sani said. “Especially the mentorship program for students where they are taught the political process, the legislative process, and campaigns.”

The group will be in Rochester through November 6 and will continue to meet with more public servants in our area.