GPI's weekly safe space lessons provide an opportunity for hundreds of 10-18 year old Nigerian girls to become empowered with factual information on gender, life management skills, adolescent sexuality, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Girls graduating from the three year program use the information gained to carry out social work interventions in rural communities on issues of early marriage, teenage pregnancies and FGM which have led to a reduction in these practices.
Youth make up one-third of Nigeria's population and they do not have good access to sexual health information and services. When this is combined with harmful cultural practices (such as female genital mutilation) and patriarchal values, girls and young women face issues of sexual abuse and discrimination. Some of the consequences include; unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions, sexually transmitted diseases, child marriage, and child trafficking.
Using GPI's curriculum on life skills and adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights, facilitators will guide 10-18 year old girls through a 3 year program empowering them as social change agents through increasing their self-esteem, knowledge, skills, and self efficiency. Graduating girls will in turn carry out community social interventions on issues identified above, creating awareness and advocating for social and policy change.
Between 250-350 girls attend GPI's weekly lessons and they are encouraged to share what they have learned with their family and friends (bringing any questions they can't answer to their class and facilitator to discuss). The graduating class is expected to do a social work project in a community educating them on SRHR. Combined with GPI's other efforts, the weekly lessons contribute to changing behaviours around SRHR and discriminatory practices and beliefs.