Three young lead­ers get Women De­liver grants

Daily Trust - - YOUTHVILLE - Text by Judd-Leonard Okafor

Three Nige­ri­ans are among 20 “young lead­ers” each awarded $5,000 seed grants by the global ad­vo­cacy or­gan­i­sa­tion Women De­liver to sup­port six-month projects aimed at ad­vanc­ing girls’ and women’s health, rights and well­be­ing in their com­mu­ni­ties.

Olaoluwa Aba­gun is be­hind Safe Kicks Ini­tia­tive: Ado­les­cent Girls Against Sex­ual Vi­o­lence.

Some 592 out of 845 fe­male pa­tients at Mirabel Centre, a sex­ual as­sault re­fer­ral centre in Lagos, be­tween 2013 and 2015 are ado­les­cent girls, many of them res­i­dent in Kosofe and Alimosho Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Ar­eas.

“Through the ed­u­ca­tion and em­pow­er­ment of 250 ado­les­cent girls, as well as the mo­bi­liza­tion of key mem­bers of the com­mu­nity to adopt a Com­mu­nity Ac­tion Plan, Olaoluwa hopes that the project will pre­vent sex­ual vi­o­lence against ado­les­cent girls in Alimosho by 2017,” Women De­liver said of Aba­gun in a state­ment.

Boris Nwachukwu, the sec­ond Nige­rian on the list, wants to work to build ca­pac­ity of 5,000 stu­dents at the Univer­sity of Port Har­court on com­pre­hen­sive sex­u­al­ity ed­u­ca­tion and con­tra­cep­tives choice.

The ul­ti­mate goal is to en­sure that at least 25% of the en­tire stu­dent pop­u­la­tion of 40,000 will ben­e­fit from the youth centre.

The third awardee, Isaac Ejakhegbe, a mon­i­tor­ing and eval­u­a­tion vol­un­teer at the Women Health and Ac­tion Re­search Centre, has a project “My Body, My Right”, which aims to ad­vo­cate against fe­male gen­i­tal cut­ting, still widely prac­tised among many groups Nige­ria.

“With half the pop­u­la­tion in the world un­der the age of 30, the voices and choices of young peo­ple is ab­so­lutely cru­cial for peo­ple and planet.

“With the new Women De­liver seed grants, 20 in­spir­ing young lead­ers from 15 coun­tries can cat­alyze ac­tion and im­prove the lives of thou­sands of girls and women in their com­mu­ni­ties,” said Katja Iversen, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer and Pres­i­dent of Women De­liver.

The three young lead­ers are not new to ac­tivism. Aba­gun, now with a law de­gree, en­tered ad­vo­cacy world at 13 with a nom­i­na­tion to the Nige­rian Chil­dren’s Par­lia­ment, and then founded Girl Pride Cir­cle in 2014.

The seed grant is the first ever grant she’s re­ceived and has given “my ideas wings to fly,” she said.

Nwachukwu’s pas­sion for pro­tect­ing the health rights and wel­fare of women and girls fol­lows sto­ries he heard from his mother, in­clud­ing of her near es­cape from harm when heav­ily preg­nant. in

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.