By Ikeugonna Eleke
The Nigerian Girl Guides Association(NGGA) Anambra State Chapter, has expressed worry over increased cases of rape, child trafficking and domestic violence against girls and women in the country.
The NGGA National Commissioner (Training),Dr Helen Obi, expressed the worry in Awka, the Anambra State capital, on Monday, during a press briefing on the activities lined up to mark the association’s 100 Years Anniversary in the state.
As a consequence, Obi said NGGA had taken steps to seek partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to curb such vices and general insecurity against girls and women in the country.
Obi said the NGGA was concerned with the increasing rate of violence against women and girls in the world, particularly in Nigeria and other African countries.
She said, ‘Girl children are still faced with problems of rape, child marriage, domestic violence, child labour, child trafficking, and other socio-cultural norms, which have moved us to seek partnership with UNICEF to end the menace.
‘The development of the girl child occupies the central point in global discourse, seeing the unlimited level of capacity a girl can explore, given the opportunity.
‘Girl guiding is one important way girls and young women are given great opportunities to develop their potentials for the benefit of adding value to society.
‘The Nigerian Girl Guides Association is the largest all-female, international and voluntary organization in Nigeria appropriately motivating and raising the “girl child” to discover her fullest potential and become a responsible citizen.
‘NGGA empowers girls (as young as 5years) and young women to speak out and take action to influence others through leadership development, community action, peer education and advocacy to bring about positive change in their communities.
‘We provide informal education programmes to older women in partnership with government ministries, agencies and departments; also provide entrepreneurial skill development opportunities.
‘Our programmes reach out to girls and young women in rural hard-to-reach communities, girls with special needs, Internally Displaced Persons and girls in refugee camps.The Nigerian Girl Guides Association (NGGA) has a robust curriculum comprising diverse activities.
She said no fewer than 300 girls and women from the South-East and South-South Geopolitical Zones would be trained on various skills to mark the centenary celebration of the Nigeria Girl Guides in Anambra State.
She said the training would take place at St. Kizito Umudioka, in Dunukofia Local Government Area of the state from August 23 to August 27, 2023.
She noted that the association, which began in the United Kingdom in 1909, came to Nigeria in 1919 and was established at St Monica’s College, Ogbunike, Anambra State, in 1923.
Flanked by the State Commissioner of the association, Mrs Charity Ezeakunne, the State Adviser, Mrs Uche Arakute, and other members of the three-four guides and red cap chiefs, Obi said participants would, during 100 Years Anniversary, be taught different skills.
She added, ‘The participants are expected from all the states of the South-East and South-South Geo-Political Zones, and they will camp at St. Kizito Umudioka, Dunukofia Local Government Area, where they will be trained in 16 different activities. The vision of the association is to position the girl child towards tackling challenges in society.
‘We have vision 2023, and our aim is to seek opportunities for our girls to achieve their potential in life.’
She maintained that the association had impacted on the lives of girls and women, especially through education, skills, and mentorship.
Obi, who used the medium to call on parents and teachers to do more in the upbringing of the girl child, said a lot of challenges faced the girl child.
She commended the former governors of Anambra State, Peter Obi and Willie Obiano, for their support to NGGA in Anambra, stating that the two ex-governors donated to the association a bus each, and rendered other sundry support.
Obi called on the incumbent governor of the state, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, to come to their assistance.