It’s been a long minute… But we’re still here. Still doing what we love to do! Here’s our most recent update to GlobalGiving. Thanks for all your support 🙂
Our previous Initiative, Care Continuity Challenge, focused on street boys for the three and a half years duration it ran for, though we intended to reach out to girls in the long run, when we grew in capacity. For reasons, previously stated, we decided to start on the Disadvantage to Advantage Initiative in September 2014, which caters to boy and girls, who are under-privileged, but not necessarily street children. In fact, most of the children in receipt of our support have guardians who they live with, and are enrolled for educational sponsorship with us, to ensure that they can achieve their potentials. Most of our children are academically brilliant and most are also female.
We were contacted by Sage Foundation last year about doing a project in our community which focused on girls, and with their support, our Girl Empowerment Training (GET) Programme kicked off this month! It is a six months, weekly training programme that will educate the girls on their rights as children, and as girls, and help them to better appreciate their contribution and value in society as women in the future. This month, our focus in on children’s rights, and next, we will be looking at child abuse. In the coming months, we will open their minds up to Women’s rights and the Feminist movement, and finally address issues with their personal identity and social responsibility.
Ufuoma took the girls on their first day, May 6th, and they had a good discussion as they learnt the answers to three important questions: 1. What is a child? 2. What is a right? 3. Why do children need special rights?
They answered the first two well, but struggled with the last part about why they need these rights. We also had to let them know that, because of vulnerability to abuse, there is a need to lay emphasis on their rights as girls, the same way there is an emphasis on children’s rights…to protect them from harm and to ensure they have equal opportunities to thrive in a society that believes in “the survival of the fittest”. In a male-dominated society, women and girls rights need a spotlight.
More of the girls attended in the following week, when Charles came to take them on what their rights were exactly, and the legal framework that supports that in Nigeria. It was a very informative session, and Charles did a wonderful job of carrying the children along. The group that were very shy on their first day, suddenly became bolder to ask and answer questions! This was really encouraging, because our aim through this project is to “equip our young girls with knowledge and grow their self-esteem, so that they can appreciate all that they have to offer the world – which is more than their bodies.”
And our Success Markers specifically stated: “We want to see an increase in the number of children taking part each week (up to 50 in capacity). We want to see more of them being bold about sharing and expressing their view points. We want to see more of them showing an increased understanding of their rights as children and girls, and the opportunities available to them in society. We want to see a growth in confidence and leadership skills, so that the girls trained can become peer educators to their mates who could not take part”.
This week, Nishola and Ifeoma will be taking the girls on their training, and we are expecting Charles to return for the last session of Children’s Rights month. We are thinking we might have to increase our budget for the feeding, because Charles brought our attention to the fact that some of the children were refusing to eat, because they were thinking of their families who need the food too! There’s so much to this, and we will be looking out for those girls who quaify for our Disadvantage to Advantage Initiative, to carry our further assessments on their living situation.
We’re excited about this programme, and this focus we are giving to the girls. It has always been our desire to work with girls, but working with them does require a lot more capacity and sensitivity, and we are glad that we are now positioned to do so!
In other news… Our children enjoyed their lovely trip to Lufasi Park for the Easter Break, where they had a Treasure Hunt and a Picnic. They are all back in school after the break, and all their school fees have been settled, many thanks to you! A number of them are writing examinations, and we are anticipating great results!
We appreciate all our partners, who encourage us to keep on going with their support! Many thanks to GlobalGiving for this platform!