It was a week of hard work and commitment with 30 young women from 27 States of Nigeria and great support from the WAGGGS Advocacy Team – Nefeli Themeli (Global Programmes Manager), Anush Aghabalyan (Head of Advocacy and External Relations) and Jean-Ann Ndow (Advocacy Manager). Together, we successfully reviewed the impact of the Nigerian Girl Guides Association (NGGA) Stop the Violence (STV) project; Voices Against Violence (VAV) Curriculum and National Campaign #SayNoToChildSexualAbuse. The young women explored the issue of child Sexual Abuse and came up with strategies to further the STV programme/campaign.
The training started with a welcome session by Nefeli from the WAGGGS team, with an activity which involved people getting to know themselves followed by reflection with a theme on “Inner Strength and Motivation”. Participants were instructed to use papers in creating symbols that represent their strength.
The facilitators introduced themselves and gave an overview of the training, after which participants were instructed to write and post what their expectations would be from the training on the board.
Introduction to Gender based violence was discussed and participants were made to understand the difference between the concept of sex and gender, the Law and Human rights.
Furthermore, there was an Opening Ceremony which was graced with the presence of representatives from the Ministries of Education, Human Rights, Women Affairs and the Lagos State Police Force who spoke on how they have been and will be contributing to the society to tackle violence issues.
The opening session was facilitated by Jean-Ann, alongside with Anush. Jean-Ann spoke on advocacy, lobbying, campaign and how to identify them. Panelists from different parts of the government like FIDA, National Human Right Commission (NHRC), Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviations, Catalyst Men International (CMI), Ministry of Education, Curriculum Service Department and the Police Department were invited to discuss on the theme “Stop the Violence”. There were six panelist and two moderators. Each panelist was given seven minutes to answer questions asked by the moderators.
Mrs Kasai Mudiraqat from Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation spoke on how to curb girl child violence in the home and community through the use of the prevention, protection and pro-active (PPP) approach. Mrs Kasai emphasized that information is made available to protect people from being abused in any form. These include helpline, family social service and shelter. Mrs Amaka Omo (NHRC) spoke on the promotion and protection of human rights and the law guiding mechanism on rape and child sexual abuse. Barrister Helen Obi (NGGA) and Barrister Ngozi Ogbolu (FIDA) spoke about the laws guiding the rights of the girl child. Mr Abiodun Peter (CMI) focused on the importance of creating more awareness to men in order to protect women since the CMI is in-charge of raising confident and vibrant men. The guests assured us of the unwavering support of their ministries to help in preventing violence in the best way they can.
The participants asked various questions such as ways to avoid shutting up victims of violence that try to open up and how to promote the girl guides STV programme which were all answered by the facilitators. Also, the facilitators discussed how to create an advocacy decision tree to help access the problems that lead to child abuse. Participants were divided into different groups to complete the task.
The day kicked-off with the continuation of the advocacy plan within the groups. In groups, participants were made to brainstorm on how to carry out their advocacy campaign, stating their goals, objectives, formulating their power map, key messages, posters, action and their SWOT analysis.
Each group was given five minutes to present their advocacy campaign, after which the training was brought to an end with the sharing of certificates and badges.
Thanks to Nefeli Themeli, Anush Aghabalyan and Jean-Ann Ndow for the awesome support, skills and experience impacted. Special thanks to our partners; FIDA, NHRC, NPF, Lagos State Ministry of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation and Ministry of Education for sharing their wealth of knowledge and experience on the subject matter with the girls.