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WARIF, Diamond Bank partner on crusade against gender-based violence

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Founder of WARIF, Dr. Kemi DaSilva Ibru

Diamond Bank is collaborating with Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), a non-governmental organization, to execute one of the primary projects of the group targeted at secondary school girls between the ages of 13 and 16 years.

The project is known as WARIF Educational School Program (WESP).

Founder of WARIF, Dr. Kemi DaSilva Ibru, said the scheme would have 200 girls from a selected school in Surulere, Lagos participate in the prevention of gender-based violence and abuse through a specifically designed curriculum to be offered to the students, parents and teachers at the school.

According to a statement, the foundation which recently marked its first anniversary at the WARIF Centre, Yaba has continued to serve as a relief centre for survivors of gender- based violence. WARIF also propagates violence prevention initiatives, taking them to the grassroots to ensure that all women, regardless of geographical location, are educated on how to prevent the menace. The scheme also targets the most critical and vulnerable segment of the society; young children and teenagers.

DaSilva Ibru, who commended the support by the bank, noted that the WESP initiative, which was kicked off last year, had been extremely impactful, providing vital data critical to the successful reduction of gender-based violence in the country.

“We are extremely excited about our recent partnership with Diamond Bank. With their support and sponsorship, we are going back to schools in Lagos State District and will expand the WARIF Educational School Program WESP to include an additional number of affected adolescent school children.

“This will provide the necessary tool-kit that is vital in educating and re-orienting the mindset of our future generation of young men and women and will put an end to gender-based violence in our society,” she said.

Diamond Bank’s spokesperson, Chioma Afe, said: “The partnership with WARIF is an important one, as it is an opportunity to re-orientate and educate women and young students on issues around gender-based violence.

“Women’s wealth and wellbeing form a core part of the bank’s approach towards corporate sustainability and WARIF’s efforts provide a good platform through which to empower not only Nigerian women but the younger generation.”

Apart from WESP, WARIF also implements preventive initiatives such as the on-going traditional birth attendants training in collaboration with the ACT Foundation. The WARIF Centre which is the foundation’s sexual assault referral centre, has treated an average of 446 beneficiaries.

It offers free medical care, counselling, shelter and legal aid as well as 24-hour confidential helpline to all young girls and women who are in need of these services.


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