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WARIF partners Ford Foundation on prevention of GBV 

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Founder and visionary of WARIF, Dr. Kemi DaSilva-Ibru

The Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), in partnership with Ford Foundation, is tackling Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the country with the community-based Gatekeepers Project, which includes training and awareness workshops for traditional birth attendants, law enforcement officers and religious leaders.

Launched in 2017, the project commenced with the training of 1,000 Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) across 15 local government areas in Lagos.

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The project was extended to include law enforcement officers and more recently, religious leaders, with large circles of influence in their respective places of worship in the bid to have a positive impact on the prevalence of gender-based violence in their various communities.

The project will expose the leaders to the importance of immediate response to cases of sexual violence, the process of reporting to law enforcement, as well as referring survivors to WARIF for further management.

Speaking on the partnership, WARIF’s founder, Dr Kemi DaSilva-Ibru, said: “With the rising rate of rape and sexual violence in communities across Nigeria, initiatives like these are necessary to sensitise individuals in both rural and urban centres about the harmful effects of sexual violence on the survivor and the community.

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“The training and sensitisation of these community-based leaders play a pivotal role in the reduction of gender-based violence. We anticipate that this project in partnership with Ford Foundation will evoke a change in the prevailing mindset of the community and a subsequent reduction in the number of cases of violence against women and girls reported.”

A total number of 700 gatekeepers will participate in the project, including 500 TBAs, 100 law enforcement officers and 100 religious leaders. These gatekeepers will be equipped with the knowledge and tools needed to raise awareness, support survivors of rape and refer these cases immediately to WARIF for treatment and to law enforcement, for the apprehension of the perpetrator and prosecution.

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