By Bashir Hassan Abubakar
A Bauchi based NGO Aid Connect for Development (AIDCODE) in collaboration with Actionaid Nigeria have mobilize women in two communities, Wuntin Dada and Miri to lead in a peaceful walk, to recreate more awareness on the need for community members to be vigilant and report early warning signs associated with Sexual and Gender Base Violence (SGBV) in their respective communities.
The Walk which saw women in their numbers, with placards chanting slogans like “We don’t agree to SGBV”, “Parents, be vigilant over your children, “We don’t agree to sodomy” et al, was carried out in all the nooks and crannies of Wuntin Dada and Miri communities, terminating in the market squares of the respective communities.
Addressing the marmot crowd on Wednesday in Miri market after the Match, representative of the women in the community, Hajiya Salamatu Ibrahim disclosed that , as a result of their consistent engagement with AIDCODE, the women in the community have been adequately sensitised on the dangers of SGBV and the need to be proactive in mitigating the SGBV in their communities.
“This Walk is just a fraction of what we have been doing to open the eyes of our people on the dangers associated with rape, sodomy and other forms of SGBV in our communities.
“We also take such campaigns in a door to door manner, consistently re-sensitising household heads and their spouses on the need to protect their children against sexual predators.
“All the methods we adopt in carrying out such campaigns were in tune with what Aid Connect and their partners taught us on the dangers of allowing such crimes to thrive, or hiding it from the public domain for fear of stigmatising the victims”, said Salamatu.
According to her , being mentored by the NGO has equipped them to competently raise awareness on SGBV in their immediate environment.
She thanked AIDCODE for the engaging and building their capacity stressing that, “I made bold to say that, Allah has been protecting this community as a result of our consistent campaign against SGBV”.
In an interview with the Executive Director of Aid Connect for Development, Mrs. Habiba Ajifor said the aim of rally was to recreate awareness in the communities so that they don’t let their guard in their vigilance.
Ajifor said that the women in the community are taking lead in such campaigns pointing out, “this will ensure sustainability even when there are no partners support”.
Also speaking to our correspondent, the program manager of AIDCODE Ms. Abigail Hardo said the mentoring of of the women was carefully done using an all inclusive approach that cut across women, men, boys and girls.
“It really gladdens my heart to see that the communities are taking ownership of such campaigns without prompting. It goes to show that sustainability of such activities is assured”, said Hardo.
Some of the women who participated at the match all agreed that such campaigns has had a tremendous impact in galvanizing their communities into paying attention to issues around SGBV.
Our correspondent reports that the match was facilitated under the Canada funded intervention tagged, ‘Women Voice and Leadership’ (WSL) in collaboration with Actionaid Nigeria and Aid Connect for Development (AIDCODE).