Maureen and Chinasa held the penultimate personal CAD of the cycle, centred on the issues affecting a girl child, on Friday, 25th August at the Town hall. Inspired by Maureen’s conversations within the community and her understanding the need for young girls to be protected and recognised, she decided alongside Chinasa to hold a seminar which highlighted the typical issues a girl child faces in Nigeria. Earlier in the week, Maureen had asked community actors to create a short film illustrating the issues affecting young girls, and this was premiered at the event.
The seminar began at 3 pm, with the first guest speaker, ISD’s Nicholas taking to the stage. The VSO volunteers know Nicholas very well as he works in the same office as them, and it was nice to get the partner organisation involved within a CAD. Nicholas began his speech by highlighting the importance of education for young women and that this should not be a privilege, rather a right. He also appealed to policy makers to continue to protect women’s rights and challenge tired stereotypes about women’s rights and roles in the community.
Following Nicholas’ fine speech it was time for the video to be played to the audience. With almost all the volunteers involved in the production, it was all nice to see ourselves on the silver screen. The video was a real success and put together brilliantly. Following the premiere, Maureen spoke about the dangers of child marriage and highlighted other forms of gender-based violence such as domestic abuse and sexual abuse. Maureen delivered the speech passionately, handling a tricky topic well.
Chinasa was the third speaker, broadly covering the major health dangers of early marriage faced by a girl child. She discussed a young girl’s health, touching on pelvic inflammatory diseases (PIDs) and sexually transmitted diseases and how it can be prevented with better parental care including sex education. The event ended with a touching speech from Zainab titled ‘because I’m a girl child’, which talked about the power to say no to the abuses and pressures on young girls like child marriages and trafficking.
Maureen and Chinasa’s CAD left the community with food for thought and highlighted the issues in a compelling and interesting manner. When we secure our girls and women, we secure our future, and this message shone through the entire event. Special thanks must go to ISD, our partner organisation. The duo put on a great show and produced a brilliant video, well-done girls!