Equipping Adolescent Girls and Boys to Identify and Address SRHR Needs through Technology and Sports-Enabled Safe Spaces
This program will provide adolescent boys and girls with information and skills to address their SRHR needs in Kaduna and Bayelsa states
Participants at the end of a safe space session in Zaria, Kaduna
What specific problem(s) are you trying to address?
Kaduna and Bayelsa states experience occasional violent uprisings due to competition for inadequate resources. During these times, adolescent girls are at higher risk of sexual assault, often perpetuated by young men. This program aims to address the following challenges:
1) Idleness among adolescents (which can trigger unhealthy sexual practices and abuse)
2) Lack of community role models talking to adolescents about their health and well-being
3) Silence around abuse due to fear, social norms and stigma
4) Information gap for adolescents on sexual and reproductive health and rights
5) Low self-esteem and poor sense of identity among adolescents
6) Girls' vulnerabilities to sexual violence/abuse, unintended pregnancies & infections
What are some of your unanswered questions about the problem(s) you are working to address?
1) What are the contextual triggers for sexual violence in conflict-prone areas of Kaduna and Bayelsa states?
2) How can adolescent boys be empowered to resist unhealthy sexual practices and speak out against sexual violence and abuse?
3) How do we create an enabling community environment for adolescent girls to be able to speak out about abuse, without fear or stigma?
4) What are the best ways of reaching young adolescent boys with SRH information and services?
Explain Your Idea
Our idea is to bring youth-friendly SRHR information to girls and boys living in conflict-prone communities of Kaduna and Bayelsa using the tested safe space model with an innovative use of technology to collect peer-centered information. We will train older male and female youths from the community to provide ASRH information and services and lead the safe space sessions. The girls and boys will meet in separate spaces within the community twice a week for two hours. In the safe spaces for girls, participants will be trained to use the TEGA (Technology-Enabled Girl Ambassadors) device created by Girl Effect to gather and share their SRH stories. TEGA is a mobile based, peer-to-peer research methodology that has been used in some of the hardest-to-reach communities in Nigeria and empowers adolescent girls to conduct research, via innovative girl-operated mobile technology, providing safer, faster, more scalable and authentic research. The stories gathered will be used to advocate for community support of SRHR services to adolescents. Through sports activities, the boys will be educated on SRHR and encouraged to discuss their SRH challenges & needs. The safe spaces will be separated for married, unmarried, and younger adolescents. Both genders will be brought together occasionally to discuss and develop workplans to address identified SRH issues. Curriculum would emphasize positive self esteem, SRH, drug/substance abuse, child rights, life skills, advocacy against sexual abuse
Name the three most important ways that your idea will address your identified problem(s).
This idea will address the aforementioned problems by:
1) Educating married and unmarried adolescent girls on their rights (using the child rights act) and engaging married and unmarried adolescent boys to be active participants in bringing an end to sexual abuse and violence
2) Enabling boys to be their "sister's keeper" by empowering them with information and skills to resist sexual violence and speak out against abuse
3) Providing age-appropriate information to adolescents about seeking and utilizing SRHR information, services, and commodities
How is your idea unique?
This idea builds on the global success of safe space programs. Safe spaces have been proven to be effective at allowing girls to express themselves and discuss their challenges in a safe environment without fear or judgment or punishment, as evidenced by our collaborating organization SWAG. Our idea is unique because we are adapting the safe space model (with sports and conversation) for boys who are often neglected & need to be engaged proactively to understand and take positive control of their sexuality. By engaging boys in safe conversations about their feelings and health needs, we will empower them to cope with the developmental changes they experience during adolescence and be protectors of girls' health and well being. We will leverage the expertise of IYAFP members in Kaduna and Bayelsa states to train youth male and female mentors (aged 19 and 35 years) who will facilitate the safe space sessions. We will be successful because of our intentional and strategic partnerships.
What are some outstanding concerns or questions that you have regarding your idea?
1) What kind of safe space model adaptation would be most acceptable and effective for adolescent boys?
2) How best can we empower adolescent boys and girls to seek out and utilize SRH services?
3) How do we break the non-chalant spirit of most adolescents to sexual and reproductive health?
Who are your end users?
The end users for this program are boys and girls living in conflict-prone Jema’a and Kaura local governments in Kaduna and in Kolokuma/Opokuma & Southern Ijaw in Bayelsa. When adolescents are empowered with information and resources to address their SRH needs, they will avoid unintended pregnancies & STIs and be empowered to avoid high risk situations that can lead to abuse. We expect to reach 10000 adolescents aged 10-19 in one year.
Direct benefits: create healthy spaces for boys and girls to discuss the challenges they face when it comes to their sexual and reproductive health; empower adolescents to take charge of their sexual and reproductive health by gathering data on needs and developing workplans to address the issues, advocacy
Where will your idea be implemented?
What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?
Community at risk of disaster
Tell us more about the emergency setting that you intend to implement in
Early this year, Southern Kaduna was affected by the socio-cultural violence by herdsmen under the guise of protecting their cattle-grazing areas. Many human and animal lives were lost in the clash. Abductions in Bayelsa and herdsmen and tribal clashes have increased the prevalence of sexual abuse especially rape and pose serious risks to adolescent sexual and reproductive health and access to services. To establish safe spaces, we will need to ensure adequate and safe community infrastructure.
What is your organization's name?
Strong Enough Girls' Empowerment Initiative (SEGEI)
Stand With a Girl (SWAG)
International Youth Alliance on Family Planning (IYAFP)
Tell us more about you.
SEGEI is a registered women-led non-profit that works with government, community leaders and in secondary schools around Nigeria to help girls practice healthy living and acquire marketable skills.
Stand With A Girl (SWAG) Initiative is a youth led organization dedicated to ensuring that every girl in Nigeria no matter where she is born or found is empowered to fulfill her maximum potentials through safe and supportive environment for the social, economic, academic and healthy development of girls in Nigeria.
International Youth Alliance for Family Planning (IYAFP) is an alliance of young individuals, youth associations and communities with a mission to support the provision of comprehensive reproductive health care services for youths.
What is the current scale of your proposed innovation?
Still in planning phase and does not exist yet
Experience in Implementation Country(ies)
Yes, for more than one year.
Expertise in Sector
Yes, for more than a year.
SEGEI- Abuja, Nigeria
SWAG- Kaduna, Nigeria
IYAFP- All over Nigeria
What is your organizational status?
Registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.
What is the maturity of your innovation?
Early Stage Innovation: exploring my innovation, refining, researching, and gathering inspiration.