A Non-Governmental Organization, Centre for Children’s Health, Orientation and Protection, CEE-HOPE Nigeria, has held a conference for school girls, to commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child 2021, with the theme: ‘Digital Generation – Our Generation’
The event also witnessed the launch of CEE-HOPE’s football team, ‘Carol’s Queens’ and screening of CEE-HOPE’s docu-drama titled ‘Rape of Justice’, a short movie that captures the true life account of a rape case in a community in Ogun State and how police officers denied victim of justice.
Also, CEE-HOPE’s last year documentary, “Give us this Day our Monthly Pads”, on period poverty was also screened at the conference.
While speaking at the conference, CEE-HOPE’s Executive Director, Betty Abah explained that the conference was organized to celebrate the girl child because the girl child matters anywhere in the world.
She said, “we celebrate the day of the girl child every year to draw the attention of policy makers and stakeholders to ensure safety of girls and address their plight.”
She wants every member of the society to see themselves as stakeholders in issues that concern the girl child.
In line with the theme of this year’s day of the girl child, Abah noted that, “the world is becoming more digitized and it is important that no girl-child is left behind.”
Speaking about the football team that was launched at the event, Abah explained that, “we see a lot of energies among young girls in most of the communities that we work and we believe it is important to harness the energy and channel it into something positive.”
Funke Treasure, Broadcast journalist and Girls’ rights advocate who spoke at the conference want the girls to see themselves as important and effectively utilize the opportunity to get education.
Funke Treasure, who shared her education and career experience with the girls, reiterated that girls can achieve anything once they are focused and committed.
She warned them against negative peer influence as it could disrupt their future.
Mr. Lekan Otufodunrin, Executive Director, Media career Development Network and Board Member of CEE-HOPE Nigeria advised the girls to understand that gender is not a barrier or limitation to whatever they set to achieve in life.
He urged the girls to eliminate any form of limitation on their minds, aspire and works towards what they want to become by reading and practicing it.
Mr. Otufodunrin also noted that, “as we talk about digital girls, you should know that there are positive and negative use of the internet, but you must know your limitations and use the internet positively.”
On her part, the Executive Director, Healing Heart Foundation, Mrs Sophy Mbamisi affirmed that the future is female and that girls should not see themselves as second fiddle.
As opposed to some religious beliefs that girls are not important, Mrs Mbanisi said God created girls to take charge and they should know that aspiring to be the best is in line with God’s plans for their lives.
She charged the girls to “choose your role model well, Be modest, dress well and be in company of good people around you.”
Other speakers at the event were child rights activists; Amaka Nneji, Yinka Kenny, Oluebebe James and Rhoda Olorunfemi, who spoke with the girls about self-esteem and staying safe online in a digitalized world.
Girls present at the conference were school girls from Perfect Praise schools, Champions International College, Heirs of Salvation and the African Church Model College. Also in attendance were school girls from Monkey Village in Opebi, Ikeja, and Otto-Ilogbo in Yaba, Lagos State and Agbado-Oja community in Ogun State. About 200 school girls and several guests attended the event.
All the girls in attendance were given free sanitary pads.