By Okon Okon
The International Christian Organisation for Sustainable Development (ICOSD), an NGO, has pledged to donate sanitary items to schools across the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
The ICOSD President, Dr Joseph Vambe, said this at the start-up workshop on Integrated Sexual Gender Based Violence in Government Schools (I-SING) projects in Abuja.
Vambe said that the project, in collaboration with the Government of Ireland, would commence in three pilot Local Education Area (LEA) Primary schools in the FCT to promote hygiene.
The beneficiary schools are LEA Primary School Abattoir in Gwagwalada, LEA Primary School Kiyi in Kuje and LEA Primary School in Pyiakasa in Lugbe.
According to Vambe, the project is part of ICOSD’s initiative to synergies with the government to eradicate poverty, violence related activities among younger generations.
“The project is drive towards poverty eradication and we will be looking at some of the areas that results to poverty in our society.
“We noticed that sexual gender based violence is part of the reasons for poverty in the society where a girl/boy child is being defiled, bruised up with certain mentality and becomes violent in the society.
“And from there, they take into some other destructive activities like drugs abuse and all that you can think of. At that point we felt we should do something in our own way.
“And that is actually what necessitated our developing this I-SING projects especially in government schools,’’ he said.
Vambe said that the organisation was able to reach out to Government of Ireland on the project and they keyed into it which necessitated the execution of the project.
Presenting the objectives of the I-SING, Mr Wilson Ejembi, National Director Advocacy, Programmes and Partnership Lead, said the project was designed to create awareness/educates young adolescents across schools in the FCT.
“The project will create awareness on prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, basic personal hygiene and school pace sanitation.
“To make this effective, the project team shall provide one latrines each in three pilot schools, 100 dignity kits to girls child in those schools,” he said.
Speaking also, Mrs Onwuzubike Violet, Desk Officer FCT Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB), commended ICOSD’S team, adding that education of the a girl child in particular, remained a serious issue in Nigeria.
According to her, eradicating violence in schools is something that is common to the entire society hence, the need for synergy to tackle its menace.
“We thank you for coming out strong to do this with your whole heart and I want to believe that you will follow it up to a concrete implementation and not leaving it half way.
“I know that things are not too good in our schools but for you coming out like this to help us, we are very grateful,” she said.
The UBEB desk officer also assured ICOSD’S team of the commission’s approval to execute its projects.
Contributing, Mrs Grace Adekanye, Headmistress Academy LEA Primary School Abattoir, expressed joy over the gesture by the ICOSD’S team for choosing her school out of many other schools within the area.
“When this body came and met me in my school, we were very happy to accept the offer out of many schools we have in Gwagwalada Area Councils.
“To remember our own school, we really thank you so much for the gesture,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop had in attendance representatives of the Chairmen of Gwagwalada, Kuje and Abuja Municipal Area Councils, the community chiefs, pupils from the beneficiary schools among others.(NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Ismail Abdulaziz