As the world battles the outbreak of COVID-19 also known as Corona Virus, GPI Centre girls dedicated a day to reflect on the possible signs and symptoms of the virus as well as ways to prevent the spread of corona Virus. This they did by carrying out a campaign as ambassadors of GPI using a peer-to-peer approach in their immediate environment and community while adhering to the guidelines by World Health Organization (WHO) by washing hands using soap on running water, use of alchol based hand sanitizers, avoiding public gatherings, keeping at least 3ft distances from people and avoiding staying around sick people especially those coughing and sneezing.
This approach was necessary because girls and women are usually the ones who are made to care for family members when they fall sick and in the course of doing so, they become vulnerable to contacting the virus and are also vulnerable to other forms of domestic, sexual and gender based violence.
For the safety and healthy living/development of girls, GPI adopted that approach of giving out that warning tips early and in turn urged the girls to duplicate the information to their peers who may not have the opportinity to attend GPI weekly educational safe space lessons.
Throughout the year’s session, beneficiaries of GPI have been receiving information on sexual reproductive health and rights as well as on all forms of violence on girls and women and how to prevent it. As girls were rounding up the session for year 2019, social tips were given to the girls to help balance their lives. Girls were taken through the topic “Savings”. Which is the act of keeping money or any valuables for future purposes. Further information was added on where young people can save like:
After much discussion between the facilitator and the girls, they were advised to “save before they spend”
Another Session girls’ went through was on “Safety”. Facilitators shared some tips that girls could use in urgent situations to defend themselves or raise alarm when necessary. Some of the tips she shared to the girls included;
Do not get into a stranger’s car
Do not stay late night.
Do not open doors to unknown people
If you notice any suspicious movement, place a call to the police, or alert other people
Stay alert, always watch your back and never walk alone in dark and lonely places
Avoid blind or social media dates in an enclosed environment
Highlights on Dos and DON’Ts on social media.
Have your real name on any of your social media handle for easy trace
Be on any handle with your complete bio
Do not update wrong information
Disclose too much sensitive information
Send messages that can be saved and used against you
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.
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