Women and girls’ empowerment (Girls’ CAP)
Our focus is mainly on addressing the needs of pregnant women and nursing mothers with a focus on reducing maternal and infant mortality through our community engagement and advocacy activities especially in disadvantaged communities. Part of the project responsibility of our Girls’ CAP participant is to develop sustainable solutions including App development that will make delivery and nursing of a baby safe. We also look at the entrepreneurial needs of the women in rural communities so as give them more relevance in the community when they are financially empowered. We have been able to distribute over 3400 Insecticide Treated Nets to pregnant women and nursing mothers.
The Girls’ CAP is a holistic project poised towards empowering girls with the knowledge of reproductive & sexual health education, sustainable development/advocacy (SDGs), entrepreneurship, and leadership so that they can afterward become change agents in the society. The girls use the skills they have developed to come up with sustainable solutions to the challenges disadvantaged women face in their communities.
Coding for girls will also be introduced to them in other to develop their skills in the area of using ICT to address local challenges.
We were able to reach 29 Secondary schools and trained over 600 secondary school leaders in the last two and a half years.
We have partnered with private, public and international organizations like State Ministry of Education, State Ministry of Environment, NYSC MDGs project, Bumble Bee Publishers, Public/Private schools and lots more.
Our weekly radio program tagged ‘Our World’ is another avenue to reach out and involve this target audience.
Facilitation skills, Workshop, group work, Brainstorming, group/individual presentations, group projects, field work, advocacy, street impact etc
15 weeks or 15 meeting days
Between 40 minutes to 1 hour
For effective delivery maximum of 50 students
Girls’ CAP project effects so far
- The girls are now able to speak out and engage the public about issues affecting the wellbeing of women and girls. They have been passionate guests on our weekly radio program.
- Through Girls’ CAP mentorship, the girls were able to participate in some essay competitions about their role in addressing climate change and governance issues.
- Girls’ CAP was able to introduce the concept of social responsibility engagement in the organization of school beauty pageantry. This gives the girls the opportunity to value the importance of beauty and brain as complementary virtue.
- Girls’ CAP motivated the girls to take the advocacy about issues surrounding violence against women and child abuse to the street by engaging community members through Rhealyz street impact campaign.
- The girls are getting to understand the information they will need when they start to develop mobile applications and strategies that can assist pregnant women and nursing mothers as a way of reducing any incidence of mortality
- The girls are now passionate advocates in their schools taking the sustainable development message from the school assembly to their various classes.
- They are now brainstorming on building green spaces in their schools to advocate for sustainable environmental practices, recycling/upcycling, reuse, reduce and climate change education.
- Before the Girls’ CAP project, some of the girls saw domestic violence as a normal experience for every woman because they grew up to see it happening around them. They are now informed about the evil in it, how they can play a major role in ending it and not experience it.
- Before the Girls’ CAP project, there are lots of myths/misconceptions they believed as regards reproductive and sexual health and other female limitations which they now discovered during class interactions that were all false. There were some of their misconceptions before Girls’ CAP;
- A woman’s voice cannot be heard in society.
- A girl should be careful not to be around/touch boys when she’s menstruating and even when she’s not because she will get pregnant.
- Girl child education doesn’t give much value.
- Sex education is wrong; it corrupts the mind – a taboo.
- Knowing your rights as a girl in African culture is a waste of time.
- A girl needs to go through certain harmful cultural practices to be prepared for womanhood.
- If a woman is empowered, she will gain control over men.
- Certain issues like menstruation, pregnancy shouldn’t be discussed because they are private things.
- Rape is the only form of abuse.
- It is shameful to report cases of abuse and violence against women; It’s more honorable to keep quiet about it.
- Focusing on girls and women issues will result in giving them too much freedom.
- A girl will not experience menstrual pain if she is sexually active.
The interactive sessions gave the girls the opportunity to get answers to lots of questions bothering them because of the economic pressure their parents do not have time to listen to them. Some of them were misled by friends and acquaintances.
Girls’ CAP needs and Challenges
- Girls’ CAP activities clash with school academic activities. Most schools see academic activities as more important than building the social responsibility capacity of the students.
- We need to salary to pay more permanent staffs that will be dedicated to the projects. Increased the stipends given to the volunteers
- Related books and resource materials for the girls to enhance their learning
- Branded T-shirts, face caps and training materials that can act a source of motivation and educate the populace about the issues we discuss.
- Refreshment for the girls to enhance interaction. Transport support to encourage them to stay longer for the workshop. The free shuttle buses provided for the government attracts them to leave school early.
- Training equipment needed: Projector, mobile generator/inverter, dedicated laptops, etc
- Dedicated video and audio production equipment: This will train the girls on how to use videos and audio for advocacy. Advocacy messages will also be produced with them.
- Training materials for the proposed green space in the schools where recycling/upcycling will be used to build a green This will fulfill their commitment to climate change and environmental sustainability.
- Financial and resource support for the coding for girls initiative under the Girls’ CAP project.
- App development to help pregnant women and nursing mothers during their antenatal and postnatal period.