CODE, Ayamara Foundation Empower 50 Girls with Digital Skills, Call for End to Child Marriage


Connected Development (CODE), in collaboration with Ayamara Foundation on last friday called for abolition of harmful practices against girls as they empowered the girls with digital skills and other skills.

CODE, Ayamara Foundation Empower 50 Girls with Digital Skills, Call for End to Child Marriage

The civil society organisations at a two-day capacity building for 50 girls in FCT said the move was to promote the inclusion of girls in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) academic discipline in Nigeria.

This, according to them is to ensure that the girl-child is not left behind in fulfilling sustainable development goal (SDG) 4 – Education.

Mr Hamzat Lawal, A Malala Fund Global Education Champion and the Chief Executive Officer of Connected Development (CODE) said it was important to continue to engage girls to transfer knowledge and equip girls to become advocates.

Lawal said beyond that, there was need to give the girls knowledge around STEM, where we can have the next astronauts, the scientist, the next innovative ideas come from the girl –child.

“Education is a right and I want to hope that this kind of engagement will inspire the governments to one, increase budget allocation to the education sector, but also release these resources and use it judiciously.

“Today we have over 20 million out of school children, which over 50 per cent are girls, particularly in northern Nigeria, Nigeria cannot attain her full potentials if girls do not go to school and roam around the streets.

“It takes a minute to inspire a generation; I hope that this will inspire them and this memory and the moment we spent today will continue to push them to remain resilient, go to school, but most importantly, become a shining light of our country.

“Let girls be girls, let them not be housewives, my biggest challenge and the threat to our society is the fact that we are giving girls out in marriage; this is wrong.”

Lawal said although the country was faced with challenges of poverty, girls were not meant to be brides and citizens should desist from such acts.

“The fabric of society is demeaning, if girls continue to be brides ,then it means our children would end up in the streets, so let us allow girls to be girls so they can flourish and grow and in meet their full potential,” he said.

Lawal said that his work with Malala was focused on the grassroots, adding that the work started in the Northeast to end early child marriage, accelerate girl-child education and ensure that no girl was on the streets in the zone.

He expressed hope that this would be scaled up across the country though collaboration with other stakeholders especially the private sector because they have the immediate resources.

He said the group would also work with government to review existing laws and policies and advocate for the UBEC law which says compulsory nine years education to be changed to compulsory 12 years.

He said this was because most times girls in their senior secondary school dropout, but if a girl can attain senior secondary school, she would ensure that all her children would get to tertiary level.

Dr Stella Dorgu, the Chairman and Founder Ayamara Foundation, said the event was aimed at celebrating the girl-child in accordance to the UN’s directive.

Dorgu said this was because UN felt that the girl child needed to be buoyed in order for her to attain her full potential.

“That is what we are celebrating ,we are having a two-day programme, the girls are first going to have a very serious computer appreciation programme because we believe they girls should be digitally savvy.

“Then tomorrow, we are going to talk to them about something that we can never talk about enough, and that is their sexuality.

“The need for them to understand who they are, why they are and then to understand some of the early warning signs of what will happen to them if they cannot say no.

“Like we told them today, we want them to understand the power of one, that is, just by one person they can make a difference.

“Just one person will stop the predators around ,one person like Malala did will be able to say enough is enough, time is now this is our right,” she said.

Dorgu said that the girls would continue to be mentored for sustainability.

Some of the girls who spoke with newsmen, commended the CSOs for the opportunity given to them to build their capacity and career.

Miss Aisha Zubairu, an SS 2 student of Government Secondary School Tudun Wada said she was very glad to be part of the training.

“Just today I have learnt a lot, I see that we still have leaders that are ready to change our future, support us and show us the way to so many good things.

“As they said, one person can change the world, I want to be like Malala who changing the world ,I want to help in achieving the SDG goals.”

Zubairu said that girls were faced with many challenges from rape to early marriage ,abuse in school ,home or their communities and appealed fro an end to them.

“A girls life does not end in the kitchen, she can change the country, so please let’s end early child marriage and violence against girls and women.” 


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