EAI’s Peace Promotion Fellows inspire the next generation of girls in Nigeria

In northern Nigeria, Peace Promotion Fellows are leading work that is providing resources and inspiration to young women and girls to re-enroll in school.

EAI’s Peace Promotion Fellows inspire the next generation of girls 

As part of EAI’s Messaging Hub approach in northern Nigeria, over 60 leaders are part of a Peace Promotion Fellows network. These young people are proactively addressing issues in their communities to promote peace, counter violent extremism, and inspire fellow youth change-makers to improve their communities. Below we highlight four Peace Promotion Fellows who are working to support women and girls.

Empowering Young Girls through Menstrual Education

Literacy is not just the ability to read and write, but also about reawakening consciousness about certain issues that have allowed individuals especially women, to be oppressed and marginalized.”

Hannatu works on empowering women and girls living in internally displaced person (IDP) camps and rural communities in northern Nigeria by working on reproductive education and body image. Hannatu knows that the precious education she received enabled her to make empowered choices about her body and exercise agency over her life.  

“When a girl has a positive outlook of her body, she is mentally empowered to want the best for her life. She is more confident to go to school, work hard to change her narrative to a positive one; ultimately, she can make better choices that will impact the lives of others around her.”

Using rags, newspapers, and grass, most of the women in these rural communities and at the IDP camp have not received information about managing their menstruation specifically, and reproductive health in general.

To bring awareness to these topics and answer women’s questions about their bodies, Hannatu joined the launch of the Sanitary Pad Campaign. Through contributions made by family and friends, almost 700 packs of sanitary pads were distributed in Taraba, Jos, and Abuja to women and girls who did not have access or couldn’t afford them.

Hannatu is delighted to report the results.  

“Most young girls I have interacted within schools and IDP camps have begun to demonstrate a positive change in their mindsets. Many are motivated and aspiring to be like me someday. It is beyond humbling.”

To be sustainable, Hannatu is teaching the participants how to make reusable pads from affordable and easy to access materials. For the future, she hopes to form partnerships with prominent organizations, so that girls can have access to pads at affordable rates.

“When you educate a girl child you empower a nation.”

In Kano state, Hadiza Ahmad Aminu, Khadija Ahmad Abbas, and Adamu Yabagi Muhammad are passionate about educating every female child in northern Nigeria. Education is a pressing issue in the region where girls have low enrollment rates, are subjected to high rates of violence, child marriage is common, and there is an overall lack of female agency compounded by poverty.

Using the skills they acquired from EAI’s Tech Camp, the trio has been raising awareness with local communities to re-enroll young girls who have dropped out of school due to a lack of funds or displacement from conflicts — with promising results.

So far, 10 young girls have re-enrolled in school, and local communities are requesting that their outreach work be scaled. 

The challenges that lie ahead involve negotiating with the state government about how to ensure the sustainability of the intervention after the fellowship comes to an end.

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