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Group educates teenage girls on sexual health, rights

By Ngozi Egenuka
10 September 2022   |   2:17 am
A non-governmental organisation, Hacey Health Initiative, has empowered 134 teenage girls between ages 14 to 19 with knowledge on their sexual health and rights.

A non-governmental organisation, Hacey Health Initiative, has empowered 134 teenage girls between ages 14 to 19 with knowledge on their sexual health and rights.

The organisation carried out the empowerment at a five-day project it organised through the Platform for Amplifying the Voice and Empowerment of Girls (PAVE) held at Ikorodu and Ibeju-Lekki local council areas of Lagos State.

The training is one of Hacey’s safe space programme supported by EmpowerUK. Project Lead at Hacey, Chioma Osakwe, explained that the project was aimed at supporting and equipping young girls with the knowledge, skills and resources to make informed decisions regarding their health, finances, career and personal development.

“This programme has brought together over 100 girls in Ibeju Lekki and Ikorodu local council areas to build their capacity on areas in mental health, life skills, career mentorship, sexual and reproductive health. It is equipping them with the right knowledge to be able to make better and informed decisions about their lives.

“The project is a one-year programme for young girls that entails different activities such as training, community based safe space programme, outreaches and community projects,” she explained.

Project Facilitator, Deborah Adewale, said the first day of the programme was aimed at teaching participants to understand their physical and emotional health and changes related to puberty and the functions of the reproductive organs.

“Puberty is the period in everyone’s life when a boy or girl becomes sexually mature. The time when puberty begins varies significantly among individuals. Typically, girls reach puberty between the ages of 10 and 14 and boys between the ages of 12 and 16, although some young people start puberty earlier or later.

“During puberty, a girl becomes physically able to become pregnant, and a boy becomes physically able to father a child. Although the physical ability to have a baby is there, it does not mean she is ready to have a baby or that he is prepared to be a father, only that they are physically capable of creating and having a baby,” Adewale said.

Commenting on the project, the chairman of Ibeju-Lekki local council, Abdulahi Olowa, applauded Hacey for its support towards the community and for providing mentorship for girls, which he said would equip them with self-awareness skills.

“For us at Ibeju Lekki under this administration, we are ready to partner with all organisations interested in the development of our people. Our vision is to connect our people with the resources available here for socio-economic prosperity.

“I see the students coming out from this mentorship programme better in terms of knowledge and also in terms of their self-awareness. A lot of people are not aware that as a girl-child there are so many challenges to face. With programmes like this, they are more aware of vices and will be able to prepare themselves,” he noted.