UNESCO PARTNERS WITH ARFH TO TAKE THE WAR AGAINST SEXUAL AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE TO SCHOOLS
As part of the Spotlight Initiative, The Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH) paid an advocacy visit to the Honorable Commissioner of Education of Ebonyi State, Dr. Onyebuchi Chima.
The battle to end Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and harmful practices against Women and Girls is a legitimate fight that calls for all concerted efforts of all stakeholders.
To provide relevant services to victims of SGBV/HP, prevent or bring an end to it especially among In-school young people, teachers need to have better knowledge and capacity to deliver quality SGBV & HP information and referral services to their students.
It is against this backdrop that the Spotlight Initiative, funded by the EU and United Nation Systems included this activity in its program.
The Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH) is contracted by the UNESCO to implement Activity 4.1.12 of the Spotlight Initiatives. Specifically, ARFH is supporting Collaboration between schools and health facilities to link schools to relevant services on Violence against Women and Girls/ Sexual and Gender-Based Violence/ Comprehensive Sexuality Education and Sexual & Reproductive Health in selected Basic and Secondary Schools in Abakaliki, Ezza South, Onitcha and Ohazara LGAs.
The specific objectives of the project are:
- To Empower In-school girls and boys with information and life skills to resist gender related violence against girls and women
- To increase the access of abused girls and boys to services through referral to health facilities and other SI implementing CSOs.
- To increase access of In and out of school adolescents to ASRH messages through Peer Education and outreach activities
- To promote adoption of positive SRH behaviour among in-school young persons with disability and youth corps members in project states through implementation of FLHE for in-school young persons with disability, increased awareness and access to appropriate BCC/IEC materials and SRH services
ARFH will be training teachers on Family Life and HIV Education to reach students with factual information on Adolescent Reproductive Health and Gender issues. Trained teachers will be expected to train peer educators who will be responsible for reaching their peers with information and referral services for VAWG/SGBV and SRH at health facilities and other service delivery sites.
The Honourable Commissioner, while thanking the EU and Resident United Nation Agencies for the Spotlight Initiative, appreciated ARFH for focusing on In-school young people. He noted that the selection of Ebonyin State is not political as health indices point to the state of things in the state.
He stressed that cases of Female circumcision, Period poverty, Wife beating, Violence against the girl child, Poor reproductive health knowledge, Teenage Pregnancy, and consequent School dropout among others are still reported in some quarters.
The Commissioner hopes that the intervention of ARFH will make a lot of impact in the lives of students in the state. He stressed the need to delineate Family Life and Health Education, which is a Federal Government approved curriculum for sexual and reproductive health among young people from Moral Instruction.
He concluded by expressing the willingness of the state to partner with any group that is ready to key into the developmental vision of the Executive Governor of the State.
Earlier, the leader of the team, Mr. Oladeji Adeyemi who is the Project Coordinator also stated that the project will be implemented in six schools in each of the LGAs, and health facilities will be identified for the purpose of referral.
Association for Reproductive and Family Health will be collaborating with the Safe Motherhood Ladies Association to implement the project in the state.