Out-of-school children seek access to quality education, empowerment

Some out-of-school girls on Wednesday, appealed to the government and relevant stakeholders to increase access to quality education and empowerment programmes to enable them to achieve their full potential in life.

The children made the call in Abuja, at an event organised by Tabitha Cumi Foundation, a non-governmental organization to commemorate the 2023 International Day of the Girl Child.

The event was organised under the NGO’s ‘Flashlight Actions on Girls Safety’ project funded by the UN Trust Fund.

The project was designed to assist 750 marginalised girls in FCT, Nassarawa and Niger states on Gender-Based Violence and empower them to function effectively in the society.

A 17- year out-of-school girl, Kelechi Kugbo, a beneficiary of FLAGS, appealed to the government at all levels to educate parents on the benefits of girl child education.

“As a girl, we pass through challenges in the area of education. Most parents feel they have the right to train the male child instead of the female child.

“This idea of inequality in education has done more harm than good. The government can help by telling parents to take their girl child the way they take the male child.

“Government should take the education of citizens more seriously, particularly girls in rural communities,” she said.

Another beneficiary, Amazing Dubem, also urged the government to invest in increasing access to quality education and put stringent laws in place to ensure that parents send their children to school.

She said that the FLAGS projects had impacted her positively, adding that the project equally helped to build her confidence and self-worth.

Similarly, Mrs. Godiya Danjuma, who facilitates the communication between TCF and marginalised girls in communities, appreciated the organisation for its support.

She said that before TCF’s intervention, the challenge was mainly that the girl child was being abused, while the survivors could not report or confront anybody because nobody would support or believe them.

“But after TCF came to our community and trained us, people are now aware and anytime there is a case, we speak out. We now have confidence and self-esteem.

“We are calling on the government and other stakeholders to continue to support ongoing efforts to end GBV in our society,” she appealed.

Earlier, the Executive Director of TCF, Mrs. Tayo Erinle, explained that the UN day was meant to further highlight the challenges affecting the girl child, especially out-of-school girls from underserved communities.

“This event was put together to celebrate our girls. They are our treasure and each year, we leverage on the International Day of the Girl Child to raise our voices for Nigerian girls.

“We work with girls in underserved and marginalised communities. We feel their plights and do our best to see that we alleviate their sufferings by providing access to education, health, financial empowerment, and leadership training.

“We work with different stakeholders to respond to issues of GBV and teach the girls how to build self-confidence.

“We need to invest in our girls, wherever we find them, to enable them to become leaders tomorrow,” she said.

Also, the Programme Officer, International Federation of Women Lawyers, Ms. Chioma Chukwuma, reiterated their commitment to rendering free legal services to vulnerable women and girls to ensure they get justice.

She said that the objective was protection, preservation, and the promotion of the rights of women.

“We do this through advocacy, sensitisation and provision of free legal services for women whose rights are being threatened, and those whose rights have been violated,” she added.

Assistant Chief Programme Officer, National Orientation Agency, Mrs. Obiageli Kechere, reiterated the agency’s commitment and the need to create more awareness on girl child education, especially at the grassroots.

On his part, the National Secretary of, Child Protection Network in Nigeria, Mr. Segun Olorunfemi, reiterated their commitment to ensuring the rights of children are protected and that no child in Nigeria is neglected or abused.


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