AGILE PROJECT IN BORNO & KEBBI STATE
Investing in girls’ education to complete at least secondary school is a “silver bullet” that can simultaneously improve maternal health, reduce maternal and child mortality and morbidity, improve women’s agency, and contribute to community and national development.
The introduction of life skills and livelihood training in school for adolescent girls further ensures girls enroll, remain, and complete secondary school, which is the minimum requirement, especially in developing countries where poverty is a significant deterrent to girls’ education. However, available data shows that in Nigeria, approximately two-thirds of women in the North-West and North-East regions have no education, which has resulted in the highest maternal and child mortality rates, low contraceptive prevalence, low immunization rates, and high rates of household poverty.
To address the identified constraints of accessing and completing secondary education facing adolescent girls in Nigeria, the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Ministry of Education, with a World Bank credit facility, introduced the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) in Borno, Ekiti, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, and Plateau.
AGILE comprises three components and seven sub-components, one of which is empowering girls with critical life skills and knowledge for navigating adolescence and adulthood.
Girl child concerns as a renowned non-governmental organization was engaged to implement the life skills sub component of AGILE in Borno and Kebbi state. The initiatives will be carried out in 100 schools in each of the states. The objective is to provide girls with an opportunity to acquire critical socio-emotional life skills to build their self-agency and confidence, which is critical in effectively navigating challenges they may encounter.
Safe-Space Handbook for agile project
The Safe Space Handbook produced by Girl Child Concerns for the AGILE project is a comprehensive guide that aims to empower adolescents with the necessary life skills to navigate the challenges of adolescence. The handbook is designed to address various aspects of adolescent development and to provide guidance on creating a supportive environment where they can develop and thrive.
The handbook recognizes that adolescence is a critical stage of development that can shape an individual’s future. It emphasizes the importance of establishing safe spaces in schools and communities facilitated by trained mentors who are carefully selected from the school and community.
One of the key focuses of the handbook is non-discrimination sensitization, which is aimed at recognizing and addressing the unique challenges faced by adolescents from marginalized communities. By providing a supportive and inclusive environment, all adolescents are better positioned to thrive.
The handbook emphasizes the importance of developing self-realization and self-agency in adolescents. This involves helping adolescents understand their strengths and weaknesses, building self-confidence, and making informed decisions that will positively impact their future.
The handbook also provides guidance on responsible behavior, such as avoiding drug and substance abuse, practicing safe sex, and avoiding risky behaviors. Adolescents who are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to make responsible decisions are better positioned to succeed in life.
Another critical focus of the handbook is adolescents’ reproductive health, including sexual and reproductive rights, menstrual hygiene management, and family planning. The handbook recognizes that adolescents need access to accurate information and services to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.
Gender-based violence is another critical issue that the Safe Space Handbook addresses. This module is focused on helping adolescents understand gender-based violence and its impact on their lives. The handbook provides guidance on how to recognize and report gender-based violence and offers support to survivors.
The handbook also provides guidance on social challenges in adolescence, including how to build healthy relationships and manage conflicts effectively. This module emphasizes the importance of respect, empathy, and communication in building positive relationships.
The leadership and mentorship module is aimed at developing essential leadership skills, such as decision-making, problem-solving, and communication. Additionally, the handbook emphasizes the importance of mentorship in helping adolescents realize their full potential.
The climate action module is focused on creating awareness among adolescents about climate change and its impact on the environment. Adolescents are taught how to take action to protect the environment and promote sustainability.
Finally, the communication module provides guidance on effective communication skills, including listening, speaking, and writing. Adolescents who are equipped with effective communication skills are better positioned to succeed in life.
In conclusion, the Safe Space Handbook is an essential resource for promoting adolescent development. The life skills training is carried out through safe spaces in schools and communities facilitated by trained mentors carefully selected from the school and community. The handbook recognizes the unique challenges faced by adolescents from marginalized communities and offers non-discrimination sensitization to ensure that all adolescents are included. By equipping adolescents with the necessary life skills, we can help them navigate the challenges of adolescence and realize their full potential.
Training of trainers for the implementation of Life skills in SECONDARY schools in KEBBI State for the ADOLESCENT GIRLS’ INITIATIVE FOR LEARNING AND EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME PROJECT (AGILE)