District Head Lauds UNFPA Interventions In Sokoto State

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Alhaji Bello Abdurrauf, the District Head of Bodinga Local Government Area of Sokoto State, North-west Nigeria has commended the UN Population Fund, UNFPA, for enhancing the lives of many communities in the state through different interventions.

Abdurrauf made the commendation in a special interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Bodinga on Sunday, and also called for the establishment of more Girls Safe Space centres to empower girls and reduce street hawking.

He explained that the education interventions being implemented in his domain, especially the Safe Space centre, helped many girls to remain in school, reducing the rate of hawking, and appealed for more support to sustain the tempo.

He said that the centre was “established to cater for the vulnerable women and adolescent girls’ health, empower them, and give them psycho-social support.”
NAN reports that a safe space is a place where women and girls are protected from bodily harm, including sexual abuse and preventable injuries.
In a safe space,  girls feel free to openly express themselves in a confidential environment without fear of judgment or intimidation.

According to the district head, the healthcare and empowerment services provided by the UN body have enhanced peoples’ lives, especially the commitment to fight Gender-Based Violence (GBV), Vesicovaginal Fistula, VVF, among others.

Alhaji Bawa Sani, another traditional title holder, the Turakin Bodinga, also commended the fund for the interventions implemented in the area.
Sani said that the UNFPA awareness on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, SRHR, GBV, as well as the support to community groups and access to education greatly impacted the lives of the people and
improved women’s health.

Mrs Ubaida Abdulnasir, former State Team Lead of Centre for Girls Education, CGE, the implementing Non-Government Organisation of the Safe Space initiative, said no fever than 2,200 girls participated in the UNFPA-supported programme in Sokoto State.

She explained that under the intervention, CGE provided the girls with knowledge of jolly phonics, life skills, and GBV.

She added that 81 mentors in Sokoto North and Binji local government areas were also equipped with life skills knowledge, jolly phonics, and GBV.
She said that the focus areas were mentoring, mentoring standard practice, practical sessions preview, and others.

Consequently, there is an obvious increase in the number of girls’ school retention due to the safe spaces conducted in implementing schools.
Girls are now able to help and teach other members of their families about what they learned in the safe spaces, and their academic performance also improved.



NAN/Shakirat Sadiq