Hope For The Village Child, a Kaduna-based NGO, on Tuesday met with 100 adolescent girls, preparatory to an advocacy visit to Kaduna State Government, over creation of Safe Space for them.
The Nigeria News Agency (NAN), reports that the Safe Space initiative is a programme designed to empower vulnerable girls delay child marriage and prevent adolescent pregnancy.
According to the NGO, the event is aimed at finding ways to equip adolescent girls with the capacity to make informed decisions about their sexuality and reproductive health.
Speaking at the meeting, the Programme Manager of the organisation Ruth Barrera, said the group was advocating for the creation of safe spaces at local government health facilities.
“We are hoping this advocacy would lead to the creation of these safe spaces like it did for persons living with HIV/AIDS, who got Heart to Heart centres.
“This will ensure government closes the gap in the implementation of the 2010 National Reproductive Health Policy on healthy sexual development and sexuality of adolescent girls.
“We hope for this to be piloted at the local government health facilities to reduce increasing incidences of unplanned pregnancies, child birth complications, early marriage, sexually transmitted diseases, unsafe abortions and dropping out of school,’’ Barrera said.
Also speaking, a clergy Jonathan Peter, said a great percentage of adolescent girls often acquired information on sexual and reproductive health from their peers, who are themselves children, thus getting wrong advice.
Peter described inadequate information available to adolescent girls as a cancer that was gradually eating up the society.
He reiterated the commitment of religious and traditional leaders towards achieving success in the planned advocacy.
“We will also create awareness starting from our homes on sexual matters and also give more teaching about sex.
He commended the NGO for convening the meeting, noting that its efforts would go a long way in complementing others. (NAN)
Edited by Nyisom Fiyigon Dore