By Adebola Adegoke
A Child Rights and Gender Equality Advocate, Ms Detutu Ajibodu, has underscored the need to integrate global best practices in combating sexual and gender-based violence to enhance local impact.
Ajibodu, who was selected to represent Nigeria at the International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP) in the United States of America, said this in a statement made available to journalists on Thursday in Lagos.
The child rights advocate and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Cece Yara Foundation, a child-centred NGO, was selected by the U.S. Department of State to represent Nigeria at the programme.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some of the African countries that attended the event include Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Mauritania, Mozambique, Ghana, and South Africa.
IVLP stands as a pinnacle initiative by the U.S. Department of State facilitating profound cross-border exchanges among current and emerging leaders from diverse fields.
Ajibodu said that her aspirations after her return to Nigeria from the IVLP was to infuse the insights gained during the conference into the Cece Yara Foundation’s initiatives.
According to her, the infusion of international best practices and the local know-how would further enhance the impact made locally and create a safer environment for all vulnerable individuals.
She stated that her experience in the international space and interaction with representatives of other African countries at the event, showed that Nigeria has made significant strides in combating gender-based violence.
Ajibodu however noted that there was still room for improvement; hence, the need to fortify collaboration between governmental bodies, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and communities.
“Robust legislation, accessible support services, and comprehensive education are pivotal to expedite our response to these pressing issues,” she said.
Speaking further, the child rights expert said that the programme nurtured deep-rooted connections between international leaders and their American counterparts, enriching both parties with first-hand insights into each other’s areas of focus and expertise.
She noted that the IVLP 2023 cohort engaged wide spectrum of thematic discussions, aligning with participants’ professional passions, the foreign policy objectives of the United States, and the developmental focus of the participating countries.
Ajibodu said among the core discussions were strategies for countering gender-based violence – a subject matter that resonated deeply with Ajibodu and her role as the CEO of the Cece Yara Foundation.
NAN also reports that Ajibodu’s child rights and advocacy journey includes collaborative efforts with prominent organisations such as United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Deloitte, and a multitude of international bodies.
Her professional repertoire extends across a rich tapestry of endeavours, having consulted for the likes of Disability Rights Advocacy, the European Union, the United Nations, and the British Council. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Bayo Sekoni