By Stanley Onyekwere
In line with this year’s theme of the International Day of the Girl Child, “My Voice Our Equal Future” Abuja based Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Helpline Foundation for the Needy, has concluded plans to launch a book titled; “My COVID-19 Story – Voice of Hope and Resilience”.
Also, members of the Helpline Voice of the Girls Parliament, Paid advocacy visits to major stakeholders saddled with the responsibility to shape the future of girls in Nigeria.
Addressing a world press conference as part of activities to mark 2020 Day of the Girl Child, President of Helpline Foundation , Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, said the book would be officially unveiled today (Monday), to further boost understanding of what goes on in the minds of girls.
She noted that due to the high reports of child rights abuse recorded during the COVID-19 lockdown, the foundation has tasked girls to write down their experiences, challenges and aspirations, stressing that these stories have been compiled into a book.
According to her: “The International Day of the Girl Child is here. We have looked forward with excitement to this day, as Helpline Foundation Launches one of the most important books this year, “My Covid-19 Story – Voice of Hope and Resilience”.
“I asked girls to write down their experiences, challenges and aspirations, these stories have been compiled into a book, which will be launched. Everyone can get a copy and read to really know what goes on in the minds of girls”.
Similarly, members of the Helpline Voice of the Girls Parliament, paid advocacy visits to FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, and Hon. Taiwo Oluga, the Chairman, Women in Parliament Committee of the Federal House of Representatives respectively.
While receiving the Helpine parliamentarians, the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, appreciated the girls and promised to continue to support every project that would improve the lives and education of girls in the territory.
The Minister noted that the Social Development Secretariat of the FCT under her purview was working assiduously towards the protection, education of the girl child and skills aquisition.
On her part, Chairman, Women in Parliament Committee of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Taiwo Oluga, also appreciated the girls and promised to support them in every way she could.
Oluga also noted that the House of Representatives under the leadership of the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, was more commited than ever to making policies that would improve the lives of the girl child.
She added that the speaker has been having discussions with the leadership of every state assembly in Nigeria to ensure they domesticate the Child Rights Act.
She revealed that the speaker ensured that all female representatives are part of the constitution ammendment committee, noting that this was a strategic decision that would increase the votes in favour of ammending sections of the constitution that had to do with women and girls.
Oluga also informed members of the Voice of the Girls Parliament that deapite the low number of female National Assembly members, they are working very hard to ensure more gender friendly bills are passed.
The highpoint of the advocacy initiative was the presentation of advocacy poems to each stakeholder during their visits