By Eferebo Henry
Community Educators (CEs) on Gender Based Violence (GBV) met at Isiokpo, Rivers East Senatorial District on January 11, 2021 a part of activities to deepen campaign against gender based violence in communities in Rivers State.
Mr. Tombari D. Kote, Cengos program officer who facilitated the meeting commended the head of the working team and asked to know if there are challenges being encountered by the CEs in the course of carrying out the community sensitization programme. He encouraged them to always report on their sensitization visit to the appropriate platform.
The CEs expressed happiness over the visit and assured the leadership of CENGOS of their determination and readiness to work to curb gender based violence, which will help advance humanity.
According to them, successes recorded so far include the acceptance and interest shown by targeted community members, the trust and subsequent opening up on GBV issues, willingness of community based clubs and organizations to receive the CEs on their meeting days and ongoing plans to visit the schools, since it has been identified that most parents intentionally avoid discussing gender based violence and sexual reproductive health related issues with their children either due to ignorance, religious belief or fear of exposing them.
The community educators stressed that reaching out to engage the children will help them to set boundaries and know when the lines are being crossed.
They listed as challenges, lack of access to and full understanding of the recently domesticated Rivers State Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law 2020 and the Rivers State Harmful Traditional Practices and Related Offences (Amendment) Law 2020 as community members are anxious to know the provisions of the two law.
They also highlighted the need for CENGOS hotlines for reporting GBV cases.
Responding, Mr. Tombari D. Kote advised the public to always reach CENGOS hotline on 09025764565 in the event of observed cases of gender based violence and assured that every information passed on will be treated with utmost confidentiality.
He explained that the interest of the non- governmental organization is to restore the health of the victims adding that referral treatment from CENGOS is free. He charged the CEs to do their best in order to save victims and keep communities free, peaceful and save for all.
Community educator are also sensitizing community members in Khana and Ogba/Egbema local government areas to widen understanding on gender abuses and guide on how to assist victims in accessing proper medical care and justice.