Girls’ Power Initiative (GPI) primary focus is the adolescent girls, and every year, GPI send forth her beneficiaries who have benefitted from the programme for 3 years. They are certified peer educators having gained accurate information and skills on gender perspective, sexuality education, leadership and life management and the ability to make informed decisions towards an empowered womanhood. For this, year, over 50 girls graduated on to continue to make change in their immediate environment to enable them live healthy lives, identify their talents, career and to become self-reliant while contributing to development in their environs. This practice has been on since 1997.
Some participants had this to say: “the GPI troupe helped in correcting the misconception about GPI also passing key information on; FGM, Rape, ignorance, unsafe abortion etc. to the participant”
“I learnt that GPI does not only hold weekly lesson but also trains girls in various skills acquisition like shoe making, fashion & design, fish farming etc. and to believe in girl child education and give them opportunity and the support they need as well as providing a safe space for them knowing that everyone has a vital role to play in the society”
Girls' Power Initiative (GPI) Calabar Centre during her safe space weekly trainings for adolescent girls took it upon her self to strengthen the modalities used in delivering lessons to girls aged 10 to 18 years.
the well structured curiculum used in delivering lessons to girls to help them overcome challenges of growing up, get acurate information from a gender perspective on their sexual reproductive health and rights. Some topics taken include:
Right and responsibilities of a child
Vision and goal setting
Violence Against girls and women(VAGW)
Negotiation and Refusal Skills
Cancer and Self Examination
The Male and Female Reproductive System
Legal Instrument protecting the rights of girls and women
Harmful and contemporary social practices
Friendship and love etc.
The facilitators also are concious of giving age appropriate information to the set of girls they are dealing with.
Currently, we have over 250 adolescent girls who attend this lessons on weekly basis and are so enthusiatic about the program.
Girls’ Power Initiative (GPI) Calabar centre beneficiaries joined Amnesty International organization working in Cross River State to celebrate Human Rights Day (December 10). The state Coordinator of Amnesty International Mr. Gabriel, shared with the girls some points about their rights as human beings. He pointed out that, every woman/girl is entitled to all the fundamental rights as listed in UN documents, so therefore every girl should be bold enough to speak out when the need arises. At the end, girls showed solidarity to support the victims of human right violation by Signing the petition to stop HR violations across the Nigeria and the world at large.
GPI girls joined the global community to celebrate the international day of the girl child together with other partners: AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), Cuso International, After School Career for Centre Development, UNFPA among others with the theme: ‘’Creating safe spaces for young girls (keep the promise to the girls”. The day was awakened with a keynote address on ‘’Creating Safe Spaces for young girls’’ by Mirabelle Morah, a young girl, an advocate for girl child education. In line with addressing young people’s numerous issues, other presentations were focused on ‘’Menstrual Hygiene and Management’’ and the need for more adolescent sexual and health friendly centres to be created in calabar. High point of the event was presentation of prizes to winners of essay competition. The GPI drama troupe highlighted the social challenges young people face followed by a passionate appeal and call to action to the government representatives who were present on the need to create safe spaces for young people and making the schools environment safe for girls.
2018 GPI graduating girls took SRHR information and services to a rural community. The exercise was a two-day community intervention in Ekong Anaku community in Akampka Local Government Area of Cross River State, Nigeria.
The aims were to:
To pass on information on issues of sexual and reproductive health rights, gender and sexuality in rural communities
To assist girls, build practical skills on community intervention/social action
To help girls to put into practice the information/skills learned from the programme
Ekong Anaku is a community settlement of about 3,795 people, whose pre-dominate occupation is farming and trading. Reproductive health Issues identified were: teenage pregnancy, early marriage, teenage cohabitation, wife battery, Female Genital Mutilation(FGM) and Violence against girls and women. Girls held sessions with community members and engaged them in a participatory discussion were more in-depth issues were discussed. At the end information on the effects of the issues highlighted above were highlighted as well as their long term health implications on the girls and women in particular.
The second day featured medical check-up and services (drugs administration) to children, adolescent, young women, women and men. The event was a success as it helped build linkage to the health post in the community through provision of some basic drugs and health care commidoties, enhancing the populace confidence in accessing orthodox health care being that the event was held in the only health post in the community. It made health service accessible at zero cost to community members; It aided community members to know their health statues; Minimum package of health intervention was achieved as the outreach took care of behavioural (information sharing), Biomedical (the rapid test) and structural (meetings with community leaders towards promoting/strengthening healthy living) especially for the most vulnerable groups – girls and women.
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