~ Pays advocacy visit on Demsawo community, ADSUBEB, Min of Education, state house of assembly
A Non Governmental Organization (NGO) under the auspices of Women Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) has today paid advocacy call on state and non state actors in Adamawa State in its drive to enhance girl-child enrollment in schools to fill the gap created by COVID-19 pandemic.
Adamawa State coordinator of WRAPA, Barr. Fatima Raji in company of the communication officer of WRAPA Abuja office, Habiba Ahmed paid an advocacy visit on Demsawo community in Yola North LG, Adamawa State Universal Basic Education Board (ADSUBEB), state ministry of education and human capital development and state house of assembly.
During the advocacy visists, Raji called for renewed effort at enhancing girl-child enrollment in schools.
The advocacy visit was to ensure the attainment of a policy advisory aimed at mitigating COVID-19 impact on girls education, recovery and resilience.
WRAPA is a registered non-governmental organization (NGO), non-political and non-profit making charitable organization with mandate for the promotion, protection and realization of women’s rights, the elimination of all forms of repugnant practices and VAWG with the aim of enhancing their living standards.
The organization seeks to advance and protect the rights of women as provided by national laws, policies, regional, international treaties and agreement.
WRAPA has been implementing an intervention titled Mitigating COVID 19 Impacts on Girls’ Education: Recovery and Resilience across Six states in Nigeria including FCT, Jigawa, Sokoto, Katsina, Adamawa and Plateau.
The necessary restrictions and school closures has led to increased domestic violence, a high spike in rape of minors and teenage girls across the country.
Marginalized girls are also left out of opportunities of alternative learning channels due to poverty, lack of requisite technology tools and infrastructure or sheer pressure on the skewed time use weighed to care giving responsibilities.
In situation of crisis such as these the Project seeks to provide alternative, community learning programmes where girls can easily access education without being in the four walls of the classroom.
Explaining the rationale of her visit to Demsawo community which was attended by traditional and religious leaders, women and youth groups, Raji noted that the advocacy was geared towards enhancing more girl-child enrollment back to school.
She noted that the incursion of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic has left a sour taste in the mouths of many girls who became victims of rape, dropped out of school and in many instances brutalized.
She noted that during their meeting with state and non state actors, the need to create safe and conducive corridor for girls to actively engage in learning activities in order to secure their future was canvassed and validated.
Also commenting, Communications officer of WRAPA Abuja office, Habiba Ahmed, noted that the lockdowns imposed to curtail the spread of COVID-19 pandemic have exposed the girl child to physical and mental health risks.
She said during the lockdowns, girls have faced many abuses including sexual and psychological trauma noting that many girls were abused and maltreated.
Ahmed added that as the situation normalises, girls should be returned back to school noting that part of the policy is to ensure that the girls are not only returned to school but their security and safety must be guaranteed.
Also commenting, the village head of Demsawo community, (Maijimilla), Alh. Muhammad Baba Sarkin Yakin Jimeta reiterated the readiness of the traditional institution to work with WRAPA to ensure enrollment of more girls back to school.
He noted that in their move to stop girls from being exposed to risks, he has banned girl child hawking in his domain but added that the policy has exposed parents of such girls to the elements since most of them have no income as he noted that a lot of them are internally displaced persons who were driven away from their ancestral lands by Boko Haram insurgency.
He noted that most of the women find it difficult to afford decent meals, and are contiously struggling to pay house rents and other bills, calling on WRAPA to escalate such challenges to the relevant NGOs and INGOs for quick intervention.
Highlights of the event was a question and answer session which brought to the fore some of the challenges militating against the girl-child enrollment back to school.
While answering the questions, Raji assured the residents that she will escalate the challenges to the relevant quarters for assistance and support to come to the girls.