NGO empowers over 3000 vulnerable children, youths, women

Funmi Lawrence


The Grassroots Entrepreneurship Skills Acquisition Initiative (GESA) says it has so far empowered over 3,000 vulnerable children, youths and women in Nigeria given them education, health and helping them to develop their skills to optimise their potential.

Mrs Cynthia Obazee, National Coordinator of the organisation made this known in Abuja at a Stakeholders Meeting on the Acceleration of Second Chance Education for Women and Girls.

According to her, the organisation started in 2015 and was formally registered in 2016 with all the government agencies. So far we have trained over 3000 young women, children in rural communities across the 36 states of the federation.

“We work at the IDP camps, we help to build up their capacity then we empower vulnerable children we give them education, access to education, the orphans and vulnerable children are our target audience.

“We look out for them in the communities, we ensure they have access to education and we provide school kits for them, pay their PTA levies and all necessary thing needed for schools.”

She added that though it had been challenging but with support from people who caught the vision of what it entails and businesses, the initiative had been moving on saying that it is now open to so many people.

Also, Hajia Fatima Binta Abdullrahman, Director, FCT Department of Mass Education said they were in partnership with the organisation to leverage on facilities and structure to implement the UN and Europe initiative.

Abdullrahman, who was represented by Mrs Victoria Nwaorgu, Head of Department, Vocational Education, said it was partnering to engage and help to train out-of-school children mostly girls and women.

“The programme we do is both adult and youth at every age as long as you don’t have education we are ready to bring you back to school to acquire education.

“This collaboration entails provision of materials to get our services across to those who need them.

Meanwhile, Mr YDO Yao, Representative of UNESCO Regional Office Abuja in a speech said the initiative was a global partnership between the United Nations (UN) and the
European Union (EU) to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.

He said the initiative It was
launched in September 2017 by the UN Secretary-General and the EU High Representative.

According to him, the implementation covers Eight African countries namely Liberia, Malawi, Mali,
Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

“In Nigeria, the intervention cuts across Adamawa, Cross River, Ebonyi, Lagos, Sokoto States
and the FCT (5+1), one per geo-political zone.

” The key implementing partners are Government and National Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). A broad-based group of civil society
networks and organisations across Nigeria have been meaningfully engaged.

“The Spotlight Initiative will address the linkages between sexual and gender-based violence
and harmful practices with related aspects of sexual and reproductive health and rights as a cross-cutting issue through interventions that will positively transform social norms, attitudes and behaviours.

“UNESCO, alongside other UN Agencies will be implementing the Initiative by working with Government and selected CSOs.

” It is in this regard that I wish to introduce the Grassroots Entrepreneurship Skill Acquisition Initiative (GESA) as one of our
implementing CSOs in the State.

‘”GESA will be working with relevant Government Agencies to provide Accelerated Second Chance Education opportunities to out-of-school girls, young women, boys and men facing intersecting marginalisation such as those living with HIV, disability, victims of Child marriage, GBV and rural poor and mainstream them back to formal education.”

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