ActionAid Interventions Mitigate Against Mrsows’ Plight, Harmful Traditional Practices – Facilitators

By Wale Ibrahim, Lokoja

A Non Governmental Organisation, ActionAid Women Peer-Education Facilitators in Kogi has  said that their interventions have covered gender gaps and addressed harmful traditional practices on widows, the girl-child and education in 12 communities.

This was disclosed at a bi-annual meeting of the facilitators organized by ActionAid in collaboration with Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID) in Lokoja.

The women said they had positively impacted their communities especially, women, through step-down of the trainings received.

The programme was aimed at building the capacity of facilitators to respond to obvious gaps and needs of women at community levels and also mobilize/organise women around issues that affect them politically, socially and economically.

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Mrs Enemi Alih from Ofuloko said her cycle (group) had succeeded in reducing widows’ burdens by addressing some of the unwholesome traditional practices which the widows were hitherto subjected to.

Prior to the intervention, she said, “They were subjected to six-month mourning period in addition to paying some levies before regaining their freedom” adding that while the solitary confinement had been abolished, efforts were being made to reduce the period.

Mrs One Awa from Ugbedemagwu lauded ActionAid for introducing the peer education which she noted had promoted good parenting and enhanced the girl-child enrolment in schools in her community.

According to Mrs Faith Mattaga from Osisi, through her cycle’s (group’s) sensitisation, some couples in her community had embraced child-spacing.

For Hajia Hajaratu Momoh from Osara I, through the programme, women in her area had realised how to maintain moderate weight, rest after work to be re-energised and virtues of good neighbourliness for peace and development.

Mrs Hajara Adamu, ActionAid Advisor on Partnership and Local Rights Programmes, in her welcome remarks said the essence of the meeting was to review the facilitators’ activities in their respective communities.

She noted that ActionAid was working in excluded communities, against injustice and poverty, stressing that the women peer facilitators comprised organised women of like-minds, out to better the lot of the womenfolk.

Mrs Gift Owonipa, ActionAid Programme Manager in the state and Executive Director of PIBCID, in her overview of the women peer education programme said it commenced operation in Nigeria in 2012.

She said that refresher training was organized for facilitators from seven communities in Kogi in September 2017 adding that aside responding to gaps and needs of women, it also aimed to create a society that placed equal value on all, irrespective of gender.

Belikisu Yakubu, Vice Chairman, People Living with Disabilities, Kogi chapter, said some opportunists had previously used people with disabilities to make money for themselves, “but today, through peer education, we make money for ourselves.”

The facilitators were drawn from Ofuloko, Ugbedemagwu, Ujagba and Okpakpata communities in Igalamela-Odolu LGA as well as Osisi, Osara I and Osaragada communities in Adavi LGA.

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