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P&G, WARIF Boost Schoolgirls’ Confidence

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A leading consumer goods company, Procter & Gamble (P&G) Nigeria, has partnered with the Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF) to facilitate the educational programs (WARIF Educational School Programme.

This is part of its efforts to address the issues affecting girls confidence and empowerment and with the collaboration, P&G will facilitate the educational programs around gender-based violence and support WARIF with the acquisition of personal protective equipment (PPE) for its frontline healthcare, which supports its “protect our heroes” interventions while promoting both its Education and Gender Equality Citizenship Pillars.

The partnership is driven by P&G Employees through the P&G Employee Covid-19 Support Fund where employees made voluntary contributions to sponsor identified NGO (WARIF) as part of giving back to the community.

P&G as an organisation matched 100 per cent of total Employee contributions to reiterate its corporate commitment to Education and Gender Equality Citizenship Pillars.

The mandated lockdown in 2020 and stay at home directive due to the COVID – 19 pandemic resulted in an increased number of cases of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) as well as child abuse cases reported to WARIF as more women and children were in quarantine with their abusers.

The WESP Initiative, which started on March 10 at Oregun High School, was a four-week program themed “Identifying the Signs and Preventing School-Related Gender-Based Violence.” The program included P&G’s “Always Menstrual Hygiene Session.”

Commenting on the initiative, the P&G Senior Director for Africa, Global Government Relations & Public Policy, Mrs Temitope Iluyemi, reiterated P&G’s dedication to gender-based issues.

She said: “At P&G, we are always inspired by initiatives like this. Beyond this, we have a target to educate more than 50,000 adolescent girls on puberty and menstrual hygiene over the next three years in Nigeria through our Always Keeping Girls in School (AKGIS) program which will also provide a year supply of sanitary pads so that they can commit to their education and their future.”

“These trainings and sensitisation will play a pivotal role in creating the necessary education and awareness in girls on social issues that impact their confidence around puberty. That is why P&G is happy to partner with WARIF to evoke a change in the prevailing mindset of the community and a create greater awareness about the issue of violence against women and resources available to affected girls”. Temitope revealed.

Commenting on the program, Founder of WARIF, Dr Kemi DaSilva Ibru stated that “With the increasing number of cases of rape and sexual violence in our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become more critical now to engage the most vulnerable age group in our society – young girls between the ages of 12 and 18, creating awareness by educating them and providing the necessary essential services to address the issue.

“We are thankful to the P&G Team for their support and partnership with the WARIF Educational School Program; WESP an initiative specifically designed to empower and equip young adolescent schoolgirls with a tool kit in successfully tackling gender-based violence. We remain committed to ensuring that all girls can live in a society free from rape and sexual violence.”

P&G also enabled the procurement of PPEs for the WARIF frontline Healthcare staff to facilitate their sustained engagement with the increasing number of affected persons.

The WARIF Rape Crisis Centre has so far treated 2204 beneficiaries who have benefited from medical treatment, forensic testing, psychosocial therapy, and social welfare programs. Survivors from various parts of Lagos State were given care protocols (internationally accepted protocols).

Over the years through proactive leadership and collaboration, P&G has tailored efforts to grow the reach and impact of positive action for communities, equality, and the environment in Nigeria.

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