By Eferebo Henry
Gender Based Violence has dominated media space for some years now, especially, since the increased awareness campaigns by Non- Government Organizations (NGOs) and the buy- in by the public, security agencies and the traditional rulers. Several members of the public, mainly women and girls has been killed, raped, abused and their rights denied because of some traditional beliefs while many others are stigmatized and others demoralized as a result of such abuses.
The Coalition of Eastern Non- Governmental Organizations (CENGOS) in collaboration with Civil Research Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC) with the support of AMPLIFY CHANGE has intensified efforts to educate community members on the dangers of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and make them understand the importance of Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) through the trained community educators as further measures to address gender rights abuses.
In order for the community Educators to commence sensitization of their communities, CENGOS, through its state program officer (SPO) inaugurated and introduced the community educators (CEs) to the community stakeholders in three local government areas- Okwuizi in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Kono in Khana and Isiokpo in Ikwerri local government areas of Rivers State.
The Okwuzi Inauguration took place November 22, 2020 at the community square. The SPO during inauguration explained what CENGOS stands for, reasons for the project with a deeper explanation of SGBV and SRHR including the roles and duties of the community educators.
The community Educators were introduced to the community members at the event and reporting guidelines and template were handed over to the CEs .
Chief Sunny Epelle on behalf of the community thanked CENGOS and its funders, and promised the support and cooperation of the community towards to project.
The inaugural meeting also held in Kono community in Khana LGA November 28, 2020 at the community town hall. The SPO briefed the CEs of their roles in the presence of the community stakeholders. He further explained the meaning of SGBV and SRHR, and formally introduced the CEs to the stakeholders while calling on the stakeholders to support the project. Chief Jacob Nwneedam thanked CENGOS and pledged the support of the community.
It was the turn of Isiokpo community educators November 30, 2020. They were also inaugurated and introduced to their community stakeholders at the instance of Chief Charles Nsirim. As with the others, the SPO educated them on SGBV and SRHR. He called on the community educators to sensitize the community as he handed over the reporting guidelines and template to them.