As one of the SPEAK champions 2019 and considering the great opportunity it offers to dealt with issues of priority, Girls Education Mission International hosted an event on the theme “SPEAK #I am Possible against Gender Violence”. This event brought 77 participants comprising grassroot girls, mentors, boys, civil society actors as well elected leaders and the media. In a safe and comfortable environment, the girls got to share their concerns, burdens, fears and hopes for the future as well as how the elected leaders and their male counterparts (the boys) can be part of their successful future by ensuring girls rights are been protected, defended and promoted. Issues affecting girl-child such as child marriage, school dropout, teenage pregnancy, sexual assault among many others were discussed with possible solutions recommended. The girls were inspired by the event speakers to SPEAK Possibilities for their conscious against any form of gender-based barriers that stand as threat to their future while the boys were challenged to support girls in their endeavors. There was a unanimous agreement for all to work together to ensure the future of girls is possible and sustainable.
Towards planning for a sustainable future for girls, it was proposed that “I AM POSSIBLE” be launched as a campaign. SPEAK Campaign T-shirts were provided for each participant for use during and after the campaign. For 93% of participants who attended such an event for the first time in their lifetime, it was a life changing experience that they can’t afford sharing it with others. To some, wearing the campaign t-shirt alone they said, is an advocacy itself as it attracts attention of the public to know more about SPEAK.
Building on the resolution during SPEAK campaign to launch “I AM POSSIBLE Campaign against Gender Violence” and based on the recommendation for community outreach against gender violence, GEM have sent out call for volunteers, produced customized T-shirts and printed campaign material such as the Posters, stickers and fliers to aid the awareness. In commemoration of Day of No Violence which marks the beginning of global 16days of activism against gender Violence. The I AM POSSIBLE campaign was launched with activities ranging from formal unveiling of the campaign t-shirts, featuring one of GEM founding girl to share her possibility story as well as the #OrangeTheWorld activity. 48 participants went round the event premises on a practical advocacy walk with their campaign T- shirts and orange balloons decorating offices, cars and distributing the balloons, Purple ribbon, stickers and posters while creating awareness about Gender violence and how together we can work towards eliminating it.
Towards maximizing the #16days of activism period, GEM have mobilized, inspired and accelerated public awareness about Gender Violence by creating the most Impactful 16days community outreach ever. With over 12,000 people reached by 28 Volunteers across 16 states of Nigeria including the FCT and in Freetown Region, Sierra Leone, we have worked hard to bring value to the campaign volunteers for their passion, interest and hard work to carry out the I am Possible community outreach against gender violence. We:
- Provided them with introductory letters to schools and community leaders.
- Orientations and training both virtual and physical.
- Produced campaign materials and manuals (customized T-shirts, Posters, Stickers, Fliers).
- We created an effective volunteer management platform on GivingWay where volunteers got enrolled and managed.
- Awarded Certificate of appreciation for the Volunteers. The momentum was huge that it build basis of what we do in 2020.
From Sierra Leone, Yusif Kamara said:
“This campaign was able to help identify the prevalence of child marriage and teenage pregnancy in the communities we visited, for instance, Kamada Farm community in Black Hall Road Freetown, about 40% of the girls between 14-18 years have experienced teenage pregnancy, we were also able to ascertain the level of awareness on the barriers that make the dreams of young girls go unfulfilled and developed innovative strategies for continuous support to those concerned”