As a way of cushion the effects of COVID – 19 and to sensitize women on Gender Base Violence (GBV), a non – governmental organization known as Boundless Hands Africa Initiative has put together an outreach tagged “The Boundless Covid-19 end GBV Campaign and food support.”
The outreach that took place on Saturday, 27th of June, at the Kudabar Community, Odiolowo Mushin Area of Lagos State was held to support the community women and their families with food items ( Rice and Beans) to alleviate their sufferings from hunger caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. The participants were also sensitized and educated on how to access help for gender-based violence abuse encounters and empowered with the right information to encourage each other to speak up and seek help through all the available options provided.
“With the rise in the number of persons infected with corona virus in Nigeria and the partial stay at home orders, there has been a rise in the cases of domestic violence, child sexual abuse and violation of human rights, Unfortunately, women and girls are being exposed to gender-based violence encounters daily with so many young girls having to deal/stay with their abusers as the only option since schools that once escaped points are now closed.
“Boundless Hands Africa, has identified that ending violence against women and girls requires a community-based, multi-pronged approach, and multiple stakeholders and the women at Kudabar Community have committed to being a part of keeping themselves and their children safe.
“This outreach essentially was to enhance resilience against COVID -19 and raise our voice to improve response to GBV through sensitizing and educating them with the right information on how to access help for gender-based violence abuse and alleviate their sufferings with food items to feed their children.
To help curtail the further spread of the coronavirus, as the government stresses the use of preventive measures such as alcohol-based hand sanitizer, nose mask, regular washing of hands with soap and water were also provided at the venue in compliance with the authorities’ directives,” Titilayo Ogunbambi asserted.
The Team Lead, Boundless Hands Africa Initiative, Titilayo Ogunbambi while addressing the participants spoke extensively on Gender-Based Violence, the forms of GBV, and how it affects women, children, and the society at large. She also educated the women on how to access help for gender-based violence abuse cases that they are going through, 2 volunteers (women) from the community was selected by her they will be trained to receive reports of abuse.
Cases, and given relevant contact of front response organizations and authorities to reach out to. In turn, volunteers will help train other women in their communities reporting abuse appropriately. They will also help identify victims of abuse needing immediate help in their various communities, stressing the individual rights woman have and must be willing to take up responsibility of speaking up and ending the culture of silence. There’s no limitation to what you can do and your gender is no barrier to how much impact you can make, she added.
Akinpelu Olateju, a Professional Child Growth Manager later came up to speak majorly on child sexual education and how parent can address this one and for all, as the rising case of child molestation keeps being on the increase its no longer Safe to pretend not to be aware neither do we need to shy away from educating our child, children should be given appropriate information on sex education. Right in time and from both parents because if we fail to do so the child will learn through various means. She gave explicit illustrations on key aspects and answered pressing questions participants asked to further aid understanding.
Mr. Muhammed Moshood was also invited to translate in the Yoruba language since most of the women did not understand the primary language of instruction – English Language.
At the end of the programme 85 women benefited greatly from the program, who could not contain their joyful, showed appreciation upon collecting their gift packs, and asked that the team shows up again while praying for the organizers. Some beneficiaries have this to say:
“The sensitization and interactive session went a long way in informing us on useful information that can help us prevent sexual and gender base violence in the community. The food items shared to us will help reduce the hunger we and our families have been facing since the COVID-19 pandemic as we haven’t received any palliatives from the government,” Mrs. Salami Florence, a widow and one of the 2 volunteers selected to help be watchdogs in the community.
Another beneficiary, a mother of 3 who was on wheel chair known as Ruka Fadeyi expressed her gratitude for the food donation and said it will go along way in helping her feed her children as it has been difficult for them to feed since the COVID-19 pandemic.