High-Level Delegation from Office of the Vice President Visits Yobe State Women and Girls Dignity Centre

High-Level Delegation from Office of the Vice President Visits Yobe State Women and Girls Dignity Centre

The humanitarian crisis in Nigeria’s north-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe over the last 15 years has affected millions of people and subjected women and girls to the threat of violence, abduction, and rape. Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), including forced and child marriages, continues to be reported and is attributed to the conflict, insecurity, and poor living conditions in IDP camps and informal settlements.

To prevent and respond to these high rates of SGBV, a minimum set of activities is required. The Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria specifies three key objectives that should guide actions to address this menace:

  1. Improved access to quality life-saving and well-coordinated GBV multi-sectoral response services for survivors and individuals at risk.
  2. Enhanced well-being among survivors and vulnerable individuals through survivor-centered service provision and GBV risk mitigation efforts.
  3. Strengthened community resilience and systems or institutions that prevent and respond to gender-based violence, including harmful practices.

In 2021, working in line with the Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), with funding from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) engaged Action Health Incorporated (AHl) as an implementing partner to collaborate with the Yobe State Ministry of Women Affairs to establish a Multi-Service Centre and Safe Shelter to advance the health and well-being of women and girls in Yobe State.

AHI constructed and retrofitted the Women and Girls Dignity Centre in Damaturu, the state capital. With UNFPA’s support, we equipped it with essential items needed to operate a world-class facility that provides multi-sectoral SGBV response services, including psychosocial support, skills acquisition, and residential shelter facilities.

The Safe Space and Service Provision component has a Reception and Administrative Office, Conference and Meeting room, Psychological Counseling room, Gender-Based Violence Management room, Clinical Observation Unit, and skills acquisition facilities. The residential safe shelter component has bedrooms with adjacent toilets and bathrooms accommodating 12 persons, a Children’s room, a Residents’ lounge, kitchen facilities, a recreational courtyard, and an en-suite duty room for staff.

With additional funding support from UNFPA, AHI has also coordinated the capacity building of Health and Social workers from the State on Clinical Management of Rape, GBV Case Management, and mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) to enhance service provision at this centre. This Women and Girls Dignity Center has continued to enhance the access of SGBV survivors to quality health and social services and simultaneously provides training in income generation for women and girls in the state.

Representatives from the Office of the Vice President made a high-level visit to the Women and Girls Dignity Centre on May 17, 2024, led by Madam Inna Binta Audu, Special Adviser, Office of the Vice President. She was accompanied by Ballama Mustapha (UNOCHA), Dr. Jalo Ibrahim (Director, Rescue, SEMA), Aisha Wali (Director, Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Affairs), Florence Onah (UNHCR), David Lominyo (Head of UNOCHA), Valentine Ezulu (Director, Humanitarian Affairs, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation) and Mr. Kaku Jawi Bizi, Director of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management in Damaturu, Yobe State.

With support from Dr. Mukthar Abubakar, Humanitarian Analyst/State Program Officer, Yobe State at UNFPA, AHI’s program staff conducted the team around the Women and Girls Dignity Center to show the work being done. AHI Health Worker Hajara Suleiman provided an overview of the services and activities offered at the facility, which includes GBV Case management, Psychosocial support counseling, Skill acquisition programs (tailoring, makeup, Henna design, and cap making), Medical services, Referrals to Sexual Assault Referral Centers, Housing for survivors of gender-based violence and Safe space sessions for adolescent girls and young women.

The delegation was very impressed with the activities and services provided at the facility. They commended UNFPA, AHI, and the Ministry of Women Affairs for their remarkable work and encouraged them not to relent in their efforts to uplift the lives of women and girls in Yobe State.

With your continued support, we can empower even more women and girls in Yobe State. Consider donating to help us expand our services and reach more survivors. You can also partner with us to replicate this successful model in other conflict-affected areas. To learn more and get involved, please contact us at info@actionhealthinc.org or call us at +234 812 344 5837.

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