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Friday, June 21, 2024

UNICEF, NOA train 1,080 adolescent girls in Kaduna

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UNICEF, in collaboration with the National Orientation Agency (NOA), trained no fewer than 1,080 adolescent girls in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State in tailoring and hairdressing.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training was funded by UNICEF.

The UNICEF Chief of Field Office in Kaduna, Gerida Birukila, said during the graduation ceremony in Kaduna on Wednesday that the girls were exposed to violence, abuse and neglect, which prompted the idea to empower them with the training.

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Birukila, who was represented by the UNICEF Child Protection Specialist, Dr Wilfred Mamah, added that “the advent of COVID-19 brought the reality to light, where UNICEF found out that a lot of Almajiri and adolescent girls were on the streets.”

She said that the programme was conceptualised by UNICEF to know the number of children that are out of school in Kaduna, where a primary research revealed a lot of numbers.

“We are able to document 107,000 adolescent girls out of school and have nothing to do. They were exposed to physical, sexual and emotional violence.

“We went around asking questions on what the girls really want, and many of them were asking for skills acquisition. They said if they will be trained in tailoring and hairdressing, it will give them opportunity to perform.”

Birukila said it was based on that UNICEF came up with the programme to work with communities to train adolescent girls.

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“In the course of the training, we used the opportunity to educate the girls about their rights. We educated them on what to do if they are abused sexually or physically,” she said.

The state Director of NOA in Kaduna, Malam Hamisu Abubakar, said that in November/December 2023, 50 community leaders were selected from five area councils and trained in strengthening community structures to provide child protection services at the community level.

At the end of the training, he said, it was agreed that two pilot community-based centres be equipped with child-friendly safe space and life skills training for out of school adolescent girls.

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As a follow up, Abubakar said, the NOA, funded by UNICEF Kaduna Field Office in compliance with agreed criteria selected Sabon Tasha community in Chikun Local Government Area to conduct the training of 1,080 young girls in tailoring and hairstyling.

He explained that among the many communities visited, Sabon Tasha met the requirements of having a standard community centre where it could serve as a child friendly safe space and also serve as a place to learn skills.

“We met a community that is highly organised and enjoys the leadership of its leaders who accepted the idea of providing a place to conduct the training for the young girls.

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“This is a deliberate attempt to strengthen community structures for child protection services at the community level. Two months down the line, we are here today to witness the graduation
ceremony of dedicated young girls who are now equipped with skills in tailoring and hairstyling for survival.”

He thanked UNICEF for the support in ensuring the project became successful, while also appreciating the host community for embracing the intervention, particularly the governance team of eight selected community leaders.

He also commended the master trainers, stressing that they played commendable roles throughout the two months of training.

Also, Chairman of Chikun, Mr Salasi Nuhu, commended UNICEF for the gesture, saying it would go a long way in enhancing the girl’s livelihood.

Some of the beneficiaries, Exceptional Abel and Sarah Solomon, also thanked UNICEF for the gesture, while pledging to use the skills to earn a living.

NAN reports that highpoints of the event were traditional dances, fashion parade and issuance of certificates to the adolescent girls.(NAN)

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