IMPACT REPORT OF UNFPA SUPPORTED FGM RESCUE LINE


PROBLEM STATEMENT:

Female  genital  mutilation  (FGM)  known as “Didabe f’omobirin” (In Yoruba language) , is defined as “all procedures that involve the partial or total  removal  of  the external  female  genitalia,  or any  other  injury  to  the  female  genital  organs  for non-medical reasons.

In Nigeria, 44 million women alive today aged 15-45 years have undergone FGM procedure. Osun State is one of the states with high prevalence of FGM (76.4%- UNFPA) responsible for the high prevalence of FGM prevalence in Nigeria. 1 out of every 3 girls in Osun State has undergone FGM procedure.

Despite FGM been recognized globally as a violation of human rights, with several health, psychological, social and economic consequences, individuals and families in Osun State still indulge in FGM practice.

In Osun State, FGM procedure is usually performed on girls before age 5. It is done within communities and usually nearby households are aware when such is to be performed. Community members, families or individuals seeking help from or against FGM practice do not have a safe space or rescue contact to call for help or report other than going to law enforcement agent. This has been shown to provide little or no result as evident by zero case report in law enforcement agent offices despite high prevalence.

WORKING TO END FGM THROUGH MOBILE TECHNOLOGY AND PROVISION OF RESCUE SUPPORT.

With the support of UNFPA Nigeria, Value Female Network set-up an FGM rescue line was set-up (+234-9023227272) and popularized within Osun State using traditional and social media (radio, posters, handbills, facebook, twitter and instagram.

An expert rescue team was constituted which consists of a doctor, lawyer, police-officer, trained Anti-FGM advocate).  We also partnered the following centers as referral centers:

  • Two obstetrics and gynecology specialists’ hospitals in Osogbo, Osun State: (Demal Clinic and Ayomide specialist hospital).
  • One Skills center (Divine Favour Limited)
  • Two police stations

The rescue line provides a 24 hours FGM rescue and counseling services.  People in need of support, immediate rescue intervention and counseling call the rescue line to report or request. Beneficiaries are further linked with appropriate referral centers where further support are been provided.

 IMPACT

We have been able to provide:

  • 4 FGM rescue interventions
  • Linked 8 FGM survivors to referral centers
  • Enlightened 250 people about the harmful effects of FGM

One of such is a 14 year old girl named Orire Ayomide, who called our rescue line to notify us that her parents were planning to mutilate her 4 year old sibling. Our rescue team paid an advocacy visit to the family and used evidence based approach enlightened them on FGM effects. Ayomide’s sibling, Ruth, is still with her parents and they promised not to circumcise her.

Also, Ashabi, an 18 year old girl called to  request for help as she has been living with one of the consequences of FGM- Hypertrophic Scar, after her circumcision at age 4. She was linked to our referral hospital and she is presently been worked-up for surgery with the consent of her parents. Her parents and community members were also enlightened about FGM.

CHALLENGES:

  • Minimal referral centers: We are working to expand the numbers of our referral centers and provide FGM advocacy capacity building training for staffs/volunteers in the centers.
  • Low publicity: We are working on a grass-root publicity method to enhance publicity for the rescue line and associated services.

Kindly find pictures of our activities by clicking on the following link:

PICTURES OF ABC 3RD EDITION
https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=14TR-OgD2SvjY5MC0NU0_mpAVpcuFx5_t

PICTURES OF UNFPA SKILLS TRAINING DAY 2
https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=1O42nfnkJi-7aNba-TPi73G72vhisSTkw

PICTURES OF UNFPA SKILLS TRAINING DAY 1
https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=1vMcrTTntmrCVljwNpJa7SSMQntMIN1p2

Best regards,
Costly Aderibigbe
ED, Value Female Network.

Value Female Network With Support Of UNFPA

Value Female Network (VFN), with the support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has empowered 552 adolescent girls across the Southwest during a 3 day free boot camp held in Osun state.

Value Female Network Adolescent Boot Camp (VFN ABC) is one of the organization’s initiatives envisioned to inspire and equip adolescent girls with the right information and skills needed to shape their decisions and become positive disruptive forces. 

It is a three day free boot camp for girls between 13 – 19 years that seeks to bring together girls (in-School and Out-of-School) from different communities and background (Rural and Urban) under a controlled and conducive atmosphere for behavioral change information, mentoring, networking and skills (life and vocational) acquisition. 

The VFNABC empower teenagers with the right information on issues surrounding leadership and their health and wellbeing which includes: Female Genital Mutilation, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Talks on Teenage Pregnancy, Girl Child Education, Gender Equality and other global goals.

The 3rd edition supported by UNFPA had an attendance of 552 participants and 50 volunteers (Ages 18-30) drawn from every part of Osun state as well as some from Lagos, Oyo and Ogun State. This is an improvement on the first edition (2017) which had 100 participants and the second (2018) which had 350 participants. 

Activities like lectures and presentations on reproductive and sexual health, female genital mutilation and other gender based violence advocacy training,  life and vocational skills training, panel and parallel sessions and self defense training were lined up for the event. It also had other attractions such as stage drama, poetry, and dance by the participants.

This year’s edition was held at Kunike International School, Osogbo between December 18 to 20 and tagged GIRL-HERO. On day 1, after the arrival of the participants, the Executive Director of VFN, Dr Costly Aderibigbe welcomed everyone and charged the participants to utilise every opportunity the boot camp offered for their benefits.

Addressing the participants on Gender Based Violence, Mrs. Obelawo Fatimah, a consultant at the UNFPA, educated the girls on their role in ending gender-based violence. During this presentation, she talked about how inappropriate relationship can lead to death. 

She further emphasised on how the non-practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) helps to keep the female body intact. 

The UNFPA official informed the audience about the fact that Nigeria is a patriarchal society, where male dominate, but still, it is everyone’s duty to kill the culture of silence, break the silence and speak out. At the end of the presentation, she encouraged participants to learn all they can and be able to mobilize their peer group to create awareness on FGM.

Speaking on Gender Equality: Role of a Girl Hero in Promoting its Values, Alhaji Lateef Kehinde, Coordinator of an NGO, Child Protection Advocate, encouraged the girls to get involved in politics, and start that by being active from the very beginning. He talked extensively about how females should be able to go for whatever they want, without making their gender a barrier. 

On the second day, a health expert, Dr Damilola Ogundina engaged the participants on various aspects of Sexual & Reproductive Health Right (SRHR). Ogundina emphasized on how much everyone should stand up for the right to sexual education, as it prevents unwanted pregnancy. She ended on the note that people should have sex at the right time, at the right place, and in the presence of the right people.


Mrs. Adeola Durodola, the second panelist who works as a programme officer  with Action Health Incorporated, Lagos also went further to discuss how many can have access to SHRH and the damages teenage pregnancy can cause for young people. Of great  Of great importance, she mentioned, is economic empowerment, for it aids SHRH in its own way. 

Speaking on Roles of Girls/Women in Governance, Hon. Olubukola Olaboopo, the Commissioner for Women and Children affairs, who represented the Deputy Governor, Osun State, Mr Benedict Alabi, encouraged participants to ensure they do the right things at the right time. 

The commissioner further admonished participants that whatever decisions they make today will impact their future. She also assured participants of the State’s support and reeled out numbers to call in case of help related to gender based violence

The participants asked varying questions on the issues discussed and other matters agitating their minds of which answers were supplied by the panelists.

Other activities held on camp included film show, bon fire, skills acquisitions on how to make Adire, soap, cake, hair, shoes and bags among others.

Participants were given their Hero’s Pack (containing tooth paste, tooth brush, sanitary pad, and a bathing soap with barrier contraceptive option) alongside a clear bag which contains a jotter, pen, tag and SRHR IEC materials.