#9jaGirls: SFH Takes Awareness Campaign, Skill Acquisition To Alimosho LGA
Report by the National Health Survey, NDHS indicates that four in ten women aged fifteen to nineteen are already mothers or pregnant with their first child.
In order to support them achieve their dreams, the Society for Family Health, SFH, took its skill acquisition programme known as 9ja Girls to Agbelekale Primary Health Care Centre in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos State, one of the identified community where teenage pregnancy is prevalent.
Hence the reason for the choice of a health centre for the training, it’s impact and how beneficial it is to the target population.
The 9ja girls initiative is a system that empowers and supports girls and their communities to improve adolescent sexual reproductive health through social and economic development centered on equipping the girls’ knowledge, skills and confidence to aspire and achieve their goals in life.
While learning the skills, they are also taken through reproductive health messages, when to say no to advances from the male counterparts and what to do in a case of sexual harassment.
When asked the reason for using PHCs as centres for the training ? The Director, A360, Hajia Fatima Mohammed said the plan was to kill two birds with one stone.
” Don’t make either your parents or us to regret spending money and allowing you to come here. Let us celebrate it after some years so that you’ll be good example to your fellow girls and even to boys to show that it is good to get involved in something good for the future “.
On her part, the Principal Nursing Officer, Mrs Olubanke Isiolaota said the centre do not select but goes on awareness campaign, educating the people in the area of the importance of acquiring skills.
” When you give them fabrics, they will decorate it in a way that you can give people. You can see girls now generating income with the little skills, they can make slippers and beads to sell “
The Counsellor, Miss Peace Anya, explained that everyone was allowed to come and they have achieved so much to last them a life time if taken seriously.
” We have two sessions, we can have about fifteen to twenty girls for the walk-in sessions a day, but for the Saturday class, we can have about thirty “.
A cross section of the youths who are already making money from the vocational skill acquired at the Health centre told Radio Nigeria that they got the backing of their parents to buy books from the proceeds.
” The first time my mum saw me made it, she was interested. Whenever she goes to parties, she will snap for me and I will make it. I sell them for as high as, 1, 500 Naira.”
” For me, there was a community party and I made the beads that the wife of the Chief wore “.
” I make soap and when I first started, I gave my mother the list of the ingredients and she bought them for me and I made it.
“She now distributes it with label. I am happy because I make up to 5,000 Naira, so I’m happy. “
The young girls are being taught bead making, and Tie and dye as well as business management to enable them contribute to their family income and raise healthy children.
Over sixty girls have so far been trained