Group launches girls’ safety initiative campaign
WITH support from the Australian Government, Tabitha Cumi Foundation, has launched Girl’s Safety Initiative scheme. The programme is aimed at promoting security awareness, peace building, conflict resolution, life building skills, and mentorship, among others.
The Girls Safety Initiative is also aims at addressing some of the multiplicity of challenges facing girls education and widening access to education for girls.
At the launch of the initiative in Abuja, the Executive Director of the Tabitha Cumi Foundation, Mrs. Adetayo Erinle said the project was conceived as a result of the state of insecurity in the country which according to her affect young women and girls “who have been the most affected of the security challenges facing the nation”.
Erinle said: “The country is insecure and girls have been the prime targets. Many of these girls stay in communities that are underserved on the outskirts where accommodation is relatively cheaper than the city.
These communities have been found to be places where people who migrate to from other places can stay for a while quietly before they launch out to do whatever they want to do.
These girls are usually the first targets”. Explaining further, she said: “We have brought out these girls to teach them about their environment, security, how they can identify strangers in the community, how they can know what to do when they notice suspicious activities or persons.
Besides these points mentioned, in many communities, there are so many isolated areas where girls have been violated and nothing has been done about it.
They can’t speak out; sometimes nobody become away and most often, these experiences affect their lives. “These girls have also been brought together to learn life building skills so that they can grow beyond their environments because we have found that it is not as if these girls are dull, what they lack is opportunity.
If they have the same opportunities the ones in the city have, they can become whatever they desire to be and more in the future. Because they don’t have the high fences and security that protect the girls in the city, we don’t want them neglected but to have safe places within their communities. “These girls have had a wonderful time with their facilitators and have done well through the learning process and I believe that if they take their knowledge back to other girls in their communities, in time, we would have developed hundreds of girls with these life building skills,” Erinle said.
With the Girls Safety Initiative Campaign, Tabitha Cumi Foundation aims to create Girls Clubs in five communities across the Federal Capital Territory to support over 300 girls and young women to provide them with a safe place to grow, learn, have fun and develop confidence in themselves and their ability to stand out and make a difference.
The launch of the initiative signified the end of a three-day training workshop for 50 girls selected to be peer educators and leaders of the Girls Clubs.
The Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Jonathan Richardson, said, “The Government of Australia has a steadfast and ongoing commitment to be at the forefront of women and girls empowerment through our development assistance programme.
The right for girls to learn and develop in safety is one of the most basic ones we hold dear both in Australia and Nigeria.” Richardson was appointed one of the Girls Safety Ambassadors for the High Commission’s support for the project.
According to Richardson, the project is one of the 21 projects the High Commission has supported over the last one year, which according to him is approximately N110 million.
During the programme, awards were presented to personalities, including representatives from the Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Education, and Civil Society Coalition on Education for All (CSACEFA), and popular radio personality, Ahmed Isa, among others