Students Supported with books
According to a 2017 UNICEF report on Education in Nigeria, Nigeria has 10.5 million out-of-school children and about 60% of these out-of-school children are estimated to be girls. Although statistics show that Girls’ primary school attendance has been improving in recent years due to increased awareness campaigns and advocacy for girl child education, this has not been the case for girls from the poorest of households.
In Kaduna state, the government has made education free for girls at the primary and secondary level. However, studies conducted show that young girls in the state still face challenges and barriers to getting an education some of which include inability to afford other surcharges asides from the school fees such as school uniforms and books, intimidating environments, cultural disadvantages and so many others. EVA initiated a “Back-to-School” drive for girls in 3 communities in Kaduna in addition to the safe space sessions that have been running which are aimed at giving them access to accurate and non-judgmental information on SGBV, life-skills, emotional support and the opportunity to develop solidarity with one another. The “Back-to-School” initiative sought to address some of the barriers to being enrolled and remaining in school specifically the issue of lack of funds to pay for school necessities like books and uniforms. 30 beneficiaries were provided with Textbooks, school uniforms and other school necessities to support their education pursuits into public schools in their localities. To achieve sustainability, EVA encouraged beneficiaries to leverage on the vocational skills they had acquired in previous workshops during the course of the project. EVA also works closely with the school and communities to ensure that these girls stay in school.
In recognizing that building the agency and life skills of girls can improve the chances that they remain in school, get an education and graduate, as well as improve their confidence and access to important tools to navigate the various stages of life, EVA commemorated its “International day of the Girl Child” in 6 all-girls schools. Taking its cue from this year’s theme “Girl Force: Unscripted, Unstoppable”, 260 girls were reached in 6 schools across 3 communities with empowering information and material. These adolescent girls were also engaged in active discussions concerning challenges that they face to improve their confidences and promote a consciousness of their rights. They were educated on the existence of the sexual assault and referral center (SARC), and its duty to provide free medical care and counseling among other things to survivors of SGBV. They were encouraged to reach out for help if they experienced harassment or molestation.
With continuous support from donors, we hope to increase our reach by extending the safe spaces to more communities and be able to identify more girls who are willing to go back to school.
Pupils in Tudun Wada learn life skills
Engagement on Girl empowerment for lDGC