UNICEF Trains 1080 Out-of-School Adolescent Girls in Kaduna

UNICEF Trains 1080 Out-of-School Adolescent Girls in Kaduna

The United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Field Office in Kaduna,  has trained 1080  out of school adolescent girls in tailoring and hairdressing skills in Sabon Tasha community, Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna state.
The training was done in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency (NOA).
Speaking in an interview at the graduation ceremony of the girls which held in Atyap Community Hall,  Sabon Tasha, Dr. Wilfred Mamah, UNICEF’s Child Protection Specialist, said the programme was initiated to help young girls who dropped out of school  acquire life long skills.
Mamah noted that ” Covid 19 pandemic brought to the fore the many vulnerabilities of Almajiri and out-of- school Adolescent Girls in Kaduna,” pointing out that the   children are often exposed to sexual, physical and psychological violence.
He said, “The girls, especially, are often forced into early marriages, other harmful cultural practices and some are also driven into prostitution out of frustration.
“These girls are often silenced by people who abuse them because of their lack of means and exposure.”
According to him, 5,000 adolescent girls were targeted in Chikun LGA, but 2931 were eventually registered.
He explained that needs assessment involving all the girls revealed that they share certain things in common: skill acquisition, livelihood and re-enrolment into schools.
He said, in furtherance of community-based Child Protection strategy, UNICEF, in collaboration with NOA launched this pilot project in Chikun.
According to him, Chikun was chosen because of its strong community structures that had already been empowered to provide safe spaces for adolescent girls.
“Today we are celebrating multiple results: a strengthened community based CP structure, skill empowerment of 1080 adolescent girls who in the course of training have also been made aware of their rights and how to speak up and as a group against all forms of violence and abuse.
“The graduation,  modelling and exhibition of today are great testimonies of what adolescent girls can achieve under a supportive environment”, Mamah said.
He added that, “The most effective way to address early/forced marriages which is currently driving the Almajiri crises and other child protection challenges,  is to empower young girls with skills and amplify their voices to say No and report all forms of abuse and neglect to relevant authorities.”
In his remarks at the occasion, Hamisu Mayere, NOA director in Kaduna state, said his agency was funded by the Kaduna Field Office of UNICEF and  in compliance with agreed criteria, selected Sabon Tasha community to conduct the training of 1080 young girls in tailoring and hairstyling.
He commended UNICEF for ensuring  that the project is a success and also lauded the community for embracing the  intervention.

By John Shiklam in Kaduna

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