The Girls Voice Initiative (GVI), a programme of Action Health Incorporated (AHI), has trained 60 teenage girls in Lagos State, southwest Nigeria.
The programme, Development Diaries learnt, addressed issues tied to sexual harassment, domestication of child protection policy in schools, and elimination of child marriage.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Executive Director of AHI, Adenike Essiet, explained that the programme sought to provide the opportunity for young girls to discover their potentials and encourage them to drive change in their various communities.
‘We are excited about it and any time we find a partner who is willing to support these issues, we are always ready to collaborate’, said Essiet.
‘In this short period, we have seen how they have worked with the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to address the issue of sexual harassment.
‘We have also seen how they have worked to address the issue of girls being kept out of school to be able to support their families and several other issues that affect young women.
‘A week ago, four of the girls were speaking in a primary school, encouraging other young girls to look up for themselves’.
In her remarks, Country-Director for Rise Up, Theresa Effa, expressed her joy in having the participants go through the programme.
She said that the programme provided a platform for girls to build their advocacy and public speaking skills which will enable them effectively engage policymakers.
‘We are particularly excited that we are graduating 60 of those special leaders, whom through technical support of AHI, have amplified their voices to be able to identify issues within their communities and make a change in that area’, Effa said.
‘From what I learnt they have been able to engage policymakers, for instance, Tutor-General Permanent Secretary (TGPS), District One, to implement the child protection policy within the schools’.
Photo source: AHI