WARIF tasks NCE to intensify sexual education in schools
As part of efforts to reduce cases of sexual abuse among children, the Founder of Women At Risk International Foundation (WARIF), Kemi DaSilva-Ibru, has called on the National Council on Education (NCE) to expand sexual education in the school curriculum.
She said this would help in giving students prompt awareness on the implications of immorality and improve their knowledge of sexual abuse at early stage.
DaSilva-Ibru, who said this at a media parley yesterday, disclosed that the Foundation, under WARIF Educational School Program (WESP), with the approval of the Lagos State Ministry of Education, had visited 10 public secondary schools under District IV, where over 1000 questionnaires were distributed to the children.
She said: “When we visited some of these schools in Lagos State, the students wanted sexual education to be given more attention in their curriculum. Lots of children are not aware about so many issues.
“It is our collective responsibility, especially adults, to protect the child, to give them the information they need in order to be empowered. We want the children to know that there is help available for them in this Foundation.”
She noted that baseline survey from the schools has been analysed and assisted in the implementation of an intervention strategy.
The WESP initiative Phase 11, she stated, consisting of activities and tutorials tackling gender-based violence and issues that surround it, was introduced into the selected schools in the district, adding: “The ongoing four-week programme specifically designed was carried out by trained WARIF facilitators, with sessions arranged with the school children, teachers and parents/caregivers at the selected schools.
She observed that the awareness, knowledge and behavioural change achieved by the intervention would help in reducing the gender inequality that currently exists as a result of the cultural, social and political norms in the environment and would lead to a decrease in the incidence of gender-based violence, which is very likely to occur as these adolescents reach adulthood.
“The Foundation serves as the prototype for a warm, friendly safe haven for women at risk. It provides, through qualified fulltime staff, medical treatment and forensic examinations needed, especially within the first 72 hours of an assault; psychosocial counseling is carried out by trained social workers, who obtained specialised training by staff from the Washington DC Rape Crisis Centre in Washington DC (one of the organisations in partnership with WARIF).
“A 24-hour confidential help line is also available at the centre to address the needs of those who call for assistance or to report an assault,” she added.
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