Girls of the GET Programme
Six months ago, we kicked off a weekly Girl Empowerment Training Programme at our Centre, with the support of SAGE Foundation, to focus on the need of the Girl Child. The programme is now in its last month, and we have had an average of 40 girls attend our Centre each week gaining from this training and mentorship. We have been fortunate to have the support of other charity organisations, such as YEDI (Youth Empowerment and Development Initiative), Taiwo Akinlami Inspires, The Foundation for Moral Value Reorientation, the Mental Health Foundation and more, to run this programme and provide the children with the most up-to-date and relevant information concerning their rights, as we seek to empower them for a fairer life.
We are happy to say that the aim of the programme, which was "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," has been achieved. All but one of our success markers, which included observing an increase in boldness among the girls to speak up, an increase in understanding and identification of child abuse, and an increase in their leadership skills, so they can teach others, have been attained. We didn't see a gradual growth in attendance, because we had a high number, constitently close to our capacity of 50 children per week, of children who attended regularly. All in all, it's been a success.
In the recent review we sent to the sponsors of the Programme, SAGE Foundation, we highlighted five outcomes that were achieved:
55 beneficiaries; We sought to train up to 50 girls, but 55 young girls from the Lekki Axis and a few from Ajegunle were part of the Girl Empowerment Training Programme at the FLA Centre. They benefitted from the training of seven organisations focused of children's rights, health, empowerment and education. We have a log-in and log-out book showing the number of participants.
Peer educators; The Girl Empowerment Training Programme has helped to build the girls up as peer educators, who in turn go back to the communities, their families, their schools, churches and mosques to educate others. This creates a ripple effect, such that the number of beneficiaries in the long run cannot be truly estimated. We have made visits to the Girls' schools and homes, where we saw the GET Girls talking to their Peers about topics of discussion at the Centre.
Community sensitization; The programme most importantly helps the girls, their families, community leaders and educational institutions within the community, stand for the girl child's right, because they have authentic information on what is right, what is not and how to know when something is not right. All beneficiaries grow in understanding of what abuse is, how to identify it, even in its most subtle form, and avoid falling victims of abuse. The benefit to society is immeasurable.
As a result of this programme, more parents have visited our Centre to register their kids on our Disadvantage to Advantage Initiative, and a lot of girls have also communicated their interest to join the programme. However, most did not qualify academically, while we are yet to assess some others.
Cases of Abuse have been reported; The girls are also more outspoken and positively expressive about topics that have to do with children's rights, child abuse, peer pressure, and more. They have been able to speak up about abuses that they were not willing to open up about before now. For example, three girls came forward to report cases of abuse in August. Fair Life Africa Foundation has reported this to the Child Protection Network and is currently following up on these cases.
Linking bridge; The girls are also confident that through Fair Life Africa Foundation, they can get access to other charity organizations that can come to their aid in an instance, where abuse has already occurred. They see FLA as a bridge that links them with other NGOs and businesses in society. We are currently collaborating with Taiwo Akinlami Inspires, one of our trainers, on a Child Protection Case, raised by children who attended our programme.
Though we had a few challenges with the programme, experiencing floods in our area, over-budgeting on feeding, due to our inability to predict the number of children that would attend any given day, and inefficient and unreliable electrical supply, which resulted in a greater reliance on our generators, we persisted with the programme, and we are happy to see how the children have grown in the time they have spent with us.
In this last month, we are doing a recap on all we have taught them on Children’s Rights and Child Abuse; Women’s Issues, Sexuality And Feminism and Personal Identity And Social Responsibility. We had plans to have an end of session Party, but we are looking towards having all the girls who participated in the GET Programme around for our Christmas Party with the FLA Kids in December instead! We kicked off planning for this party with month, with a meeting held at our Centre last Saturday, with the FLA Kids and Volunteers!
It has been a great quarter for our kids, and we are looking forward to a fantastic Christmas!!! We wish you the same in advance :)
They are bolder about speaking up
SAGE Volunteers at the GET Programme
Group work makes for better assimilation
GET Girls were taught by diverse trainers
The girls had fun too!