A Non-Governmental Organisation, Tabitha Cumi Foundation has embarked on capacity building of 35 community gender-based champions that would serve as role models and confidants to girls in 10 communities each of the FCT, Nasarawa, and Niger states.
The Executive Director of the Foundation, Mrs. Adetayo Erinle, made this known in Abuja at the commencement of a 3-day capacity building workshop for facilitators of 30 safe spaces created to engage 750 marginalised girls on gender-based violence in communities of the states.
According to Mrs. Adetayo Erinle, the workshop would enhance the capacity of women known as the Amintacces, (Trusted Adults), and Mama Yaras on how to prevent, and respond to Gender-Based Violence and provide psychosocial support to survivals in the communities.
“Ideally in the community, you blame rather than understand the girl’s perspective, the response is not usually in terms of the law, it is usually in terms of local settlements that leave the girl out. So, what we are doing is building the capacity of those who we call the Amintacces, trusted adults, that the girls can confide in, that they can feel safe with to speak out, can maintain confidentiality, and who will also flag up cases that need to be flagged up for medical attention, for justice and access to multi-sectoral services to support the girl” she said.
Some of the participants Okoro Christiana from Durumi community of the FCT and Rachael Olaniyi from Garam community in Niger state, who are both Amintacces, said they intend to make the safe spaces a conducive environment for girls in their community to freely express themselves.
“A girl child should have a conducive environment where she can speak out her burden; she can express what she had been encountering. She might have so many things in mind, maybe sexual abuse, financial abuse, emotional abuse. All these abuses she should be able to express it in a safe space” they said.
The three-day workshop is part of steps to implement the Flash Light Actions on Girls Safety, FLAG Project, a three-year project funded by the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against women in Nigeria.
Reporting by Aziztu Sani, editing by Daniel Adejo.