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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

Photo of Onyinye E
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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?

  • Nigeria

What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?

  • Armed conflict
  • 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.

Organizational Characteristics

  • Women-led organization
  • Youth-led organization
  • International/global organization

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.

Organization Location

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.



Join the conversation:

Photo of Ashley Tillman

Hi Onyinye, thanks for contributing to the Challenge! Would love to learn a little about the three organizations named on this project and how you intend to collaborate or work together? Looking forward to learning more!

Photo of Onyinye E

Hello Ashley. Thanks for your comment.
More information about the collaborating organizations:
Strong Enough Girls' Empowerment Initiative (SEGEI) is a registered non-profit organization dedicated to helping girls and women in low-resource settings find their voices, access resources, and use their talents to thrive. We achieve our objectives through education (formal and informal), mentorship, and life skills training. SEGEI is based in Abuja (Federal Capital) and works with government and community leaders and in junior and senior secondary schools around Nigeria to help girls practice healthy living and acquire marketable skills by educating girls on self-esteem, leadership, sexual and reproductive health, and academic success. SEGEI aims to close the economic and gender gaps in education and advance Global Goals 4&5: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all and achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Stand With A Girl (SWAG) Initiative is a registered youth led organization based in Kaduna state (Northern Nigeria) dedicated to ensuring that every girl in Nigeria no matter where she is born or found is empowered to fulfill her maximum potentials. Its goal is to promote a safe and supportive environment for the social, economic, academic and healthy development of girls in Nigeria through empowerment.
For over 3 years, SWAG Initiative has implemented activities with rural/ urban marginalized adolescent girls, parents, community members and religious and traditional leaders achieving its set out objectives; To empower girls to make informed choices on health and development; Reduce maternal and infant deaths; Increase girls’ potentials to engage in economic and political activities in adulthood; To increase the focus on adolescent health especially SRH at all levels in Nigeria; Assist members of the community in meeting the genuine and legitimate needs especially in education, health matters, empowerment and training and cooperate with similar organization in the attainment of its objectives.

The International Youth Alliance for Family Planning (IYAFP) is an alliance of young individuals, youth associations, organizations, and communities with a common mission to support the provision of comprehensive reproductive health care services with a particular focus on family planning for youth.
The IYAFP was born out of the passion and involvement of youth delegates during the International Conference on Family Planning held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in November 2013. The youth alliance was created for youths to hear each other, support each other, and to continue to learn from each other. It's work is focused mainly on five pillars - Advocacy, creating opportunities, community development, research, and capacity building.
IYAFP looks to empower young people to become global advocates with the skills, knowledge, and resources needed to scale up youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health initiatives and services. The group currently operates in 53 countries headed by country coordinators, with Nigeria being one of the active countries.

Intent for collaboration:
SEGEI will coordinate the activities of the safe spaces and engage with the TEGA team to train girls on peer-centered data collection. SEGEI team members, possessing qualifications and expertise in public health and adolescent SRHR, will train the mentors recruited from the project communities to facilitate sessions on sexual and reproductive health and self-esteem.
SWAG, because of its experience in implementing safe spaces for girls in Northern Nigeria, will provide technical guidance and provide facilitators for the sessions with female participants addressing topics including teenage pregnancy, girls' education, and child marriage.
IYAFP members from Kaduna and Bayelsa will be recruited to support the safe space activities for male participants and will also be the facilitators for sessions on youth-friendly family planning services

We're happy to respond to more specific questions. Thank you.