NGO urges PLWDs to speak out against gender based violence

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The Abiodun Essiet Initiative for Girls, a Non-Governmental Organisation, has urged students and Persons Living with Disabilities to speak out against issues surrounding Sexual and Gender-based Violence.

This was made known during a town-hall meeting on Gender Equality and Social Inclusion, held at Gwagwalada Area Council, FCT, Abuja.

READ ALSO:NGO educates students against silence on SGBV

The event was themed, “Engaging the Youths as Anti-SGB Ambassadors on Gender Equality and Social Inclusion in their Community”.

According to the founder, AEIG, Mrs. Abiodun Essiet, the meeting was geared towards engaging over 100 SGBV ambassadors in selected secondary schools to speak out in the FCT.

She noted that PLWDs would also be trained on steps to take to end the silence surrounding the menace.

Essiet said, “This meeting is meant specifically to train the youths across the six area councils in the FCT on sexual and gender-based violence. The youths are our representatives at the high school.

“They talk to their colleagues on SGBV and they call the attention of their counsellors and teachers to any form of violence within the school premises.

“Since the inception of this project, we have received feedback from our ambassadors about issues concerning sex-for-marks or grade, and we have sent those reports to SUBEB on some of the findings that we have.

“But we have strengthened our ambassadors to know what to do at every point and we have NAPTIP protection officers across the six area councils, as well as Nigeria Correctional Service Officers, who will be sharing their contacts with them to call for further actions,” she said.

Speaking also, Executive Director, AEIG, Mrs. Mayowa Akpati, called on the ambassadors to remain agents of change in their respective communities.

She said, “As part of our project, which is ‘Strengthening Traditional Justice Systems to Combat Sexual and Gender-Based Violence’, we have organized sensitization seminars in community schools across the six area councils in Abuja.

“We have also reached over a thousand students and raised about 30 anti-SGBV ambassadors in these schools to become change agents, not only in their schools, but also in their respective communities and the world at large.

“We cannot talk about sexual and gender-based violence without also talking about gender equality, because SGBV is rooted in gender inequality, the abuse of power and harmful norms” she added.

Ezekiel Josiah, an SGBV ambassador and student of the GSS Gwagwalada, said the training has made him brave enough to speak against the menace.

According to him, “Through the assistance of AEIG, we have learnt so much about the menace and how to help tackle it within the school environment.

“As a youth and teenager, this exposure has given me a moral role to be actively involved in engineering a positive change of narrative” he added.

Wumi/ Punch

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