Moving girls and women of the Zawan Community toward self actualization
November 18, 2014
We organized and developed a community sensitization program that to date, has reached over 600 community members. The focus of the program is to educate the community about the importance of girls' education and to promote girls' equal rights to education and skill acquisition. Ultimately, if girls have the right to career choice and self-actualization, they will contribute to national development.
SOS Children's Villages in Jos, Nigeria continues to educate 187 girls and boys in the SOS Primary School. Thanks to the program, SOS has re-enrolled a number of out-of-school girls back into the classroom. In addition, SOS is supporting eleven other schools in facilitating Child Social and Financial Education sessions which mandate inclusive opportunities without gender bias. We have also facilitated interactive sessions with key community stakeholders and leaders in addressing the core cultural beliefs that reinforce negative perceptions about girls' education.
Risks and challenges
Cultural beliefs, poverty, ignorance, and illiteracy are some of the factors that prevent parents from sending their girls to school. Many girls are forced into marriage at a young age, exposing them to reproductive diseases including Fistula. Sexual abuse is alarmingly common among girls in the Zawan community. We are committed to promoting gender-based issues and addressing inequalities arising from the lack of commitment to girls' education in Nigeria over the long term. Our efforts will need to be intensified in order to shift the community away from its present state where girls' education is treated with little or no consideration.
A core element of Child Social and Financial Education program is ‘Personal Understanding and Exploration’ which has produced four female presidents of the Aflatoun Clubs in four schools in the last two years. (Aflatoun is a non-governmental organization focusing on educating children about their rights and responsibilities and managing financial resources through social and financial education.) This program helps to re-shape the mindset of young people towards gender inclusivity.
Initiatives will continue in the community focusing on the importance of girls education. Collaboration with partner organizations will allow us to provide monthly sessions to over 400 girls to raise awareness on sexual/reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and the value of education. Sex education classes for 49 girls will help them positively understand their bodies and gender roles. Extracurricular lessons with social workers will allow girls to talk openly about sexual and reproductive health.
The recent adoption of the child right's law in Plateau state is helping to change core cultural beliefs around girls' education. We recently secured the commitment of a key community leader to support the incorporation of the Zawan Community Child Protection Network which will focus on girls' education. This committee is being supported by SOS Nigeria and has organized campaigns such as "Education for All", which has greatly improved school enrollment and attendance in the community.
Help girls understand their rights and create opportunities for Nigerian children to shape their future through education.
Why we care: In Nigeria, 40% of children aged 6 -11 are not in school. Girls’ attendance is especially impacted for reasons such as economic hardship and early marriage.
How we’re solving this: By providing Nigerian girls with the opportunity to learn academic and life skills that create a brighter future. With your support, we’ll fund essential salaries for three teachers and a social worker, carry out extracurricular sessions on sexual and reproductive health, and train one peer educator.
Located in the center of Nigeria, the city of Jos is the site of recurring interfaith conflict. Violent clashes have left 2,000 people dead, displaced many more, and disrupted students’ education. In direct response to this crisis, SOS Children’s Villages began working in Jos in 2011. In addition to running a kindergarten and primary school, we’ve helped 421 girls re-enroll in school through our community outreach program.
For this project, our specific goals are to:
- Educate 187 girls and boys in the SOS Primary School in Jos. We’ll educate both girls and boys, as boys are important advocates and allies in empowering girls.
- Develop material and hold monthly extracurricular sessions for female students about sexual and reproductive health, students’ rights, and the importance of education.
- Provide counseling services for female students led by a social worker.
- Train one peer educator about sexual and reproductive health and life skills development
In collaboration with Halt-AIDS Foundation, Plateau Aids Control Agency, and the National Youth Service Corps, we’ll host monthly extracurricular sessions with more than 400 girls. The sessions will be held at the SOS Primary School and 11 public schools to raise awareness on sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and the importance of education. In addition, at the SOS Primary School, sex education classes will be held for 49 girls to help them understand their bodies and gender roles in positive ways. During extracurricular lessons and counseling sessions led by a trained social worker, girls can talk openly about their sexual and reproductive health and concerns.
SOS Children’s Villages has more than 40 years of experience in Nigeria. Operations in our fourth and newest location, Jos, began in 2011. Despite the threat of violence, including the twin bomb blasts in May that killed 118, SOS is committed to protecting and supporting the children of Nigeria. Given that SOS Children’s Villages is widely recognized for its neutrality, our programme facilities often serve as safe havens in communities suffering from military conflict.
By providing access to knowledge and education for both girls and boys, we’ll support Nigeria’s girls to lead independent lives and become productive members of society. Nigeria’s children are Nigeria’s future. Empowering and educating these girls now will secure a stronger tomorrow for Nigeria.