MACARTHUR PROJECT

MACARTHUR PROJECT

NATIONAL HOME GROWN FEEDING PROGRAMME

PROMOTING ACCOUNTABILITY & TRANSPARENCY IN THE NATIONAL HOME GROWN SCHOOL FEEDING PROGRAM IN KADUNA STATE

Girl Child Concerns (GCC) is implementing an accountability and transparency project which is aimed at promoting accountability in the educational sector in Kaduna State through active monitoring of the Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSFP) in the state. The HGSFP is a joint social protection program of the federal government and State Governments. The HGSFP outcome of the tracking exercise will be shared with the leadership of Kaduna state and used to canvass improvement in transparency and accountability. This is particularly important in the current fiscal situation in the country and the Kaduna state government’s open acclamation of transparency and good governance

GOAL

The overall goal of the project is to promote accountability practices and transparency in resource allocation, distribution and management in the home grown school feeding program in Kaduna State

OBJECTIVE

To facilitate active participation of citizens and oversight of duty bearers and gatekeepers in ensuring the National Home Grown School Feeding program is properly executed and funds channeled to the program are judiciously utilized in Kaduna state.
To sensitize citizens about their service rights and responsibilities in education sector and provide them with strategy and access to demand accountability and good governance from service providers for the HGSFP.
To ensure provision of hygienic and healthy food in the schools in Kaduna state using home grown food by local farmers that will improve child nutrition.
Provide data and evidence to Kaduna state government to support them in improving monitoring and accountability in the use of public funds.
GCC is implementing the project in 70 primary schools under 6 LGAs (zaria, soba, kaduna north, kauru, chikun, kachia). It is a 3 year project 2018-2020

KEKE COMMUNITY PROJECT

KEKE IS A COMMUNITY UNDER CHIKUN LGEA OF KADUNA STATE. &NBSP

The absence of a Health Care Centre within Keke community aggravates the challenges the women face in terms of accessing health facilities and commodities. Keke community is on the outskirts of the state with limited health care facilities and poor or most times absence of government infrastructure like schools, pipe-borne water, roads and electricity. To this end a demand creation approach was adopted by Girl Child Concerns to conduct advocacy to the local government to provide a health care centre and to sensitize the community on the need to advocate for and make use of a health centre.

 

Specific activities of the project included; advocacy visits to the local government officials, community and ward leaders;  community awareness programs for adolescent women on the importance of availing health services during pregnancy and other services for themselves and children, other services rendered by health centers;  Advocacy visits to the village head to champion a community initiative that will compel husbands to allow young mothers to access RMNCH services; Sensitizing older women (mother in-laws) and local mid-wives on the importance of encouraging younger women to avail the RMNCH services in the health centre and ANC. The project goal was to Increase access to RMNCH services for adolescent mothers in Keke B community of Chikun Local Government of Kaduna State.

 

Almost a year of unrelented Advocacy has finally started yielding positive results as the village Head of Keke donated part of his palace to be reconstructed, renovated and used as a clinic for the community. On her part the chairperson of Chikun Local Government Hajia Hadiza Ladi Yahuza during a visit to the community with GCC officials, supported in the renovation of the facility. She commended Girl Child Concerns for sustained advocacy and health awareness/ sensitization and health spaces offered to the people. She said she had also submitted the sample of polluted water from Keke which was reported to her office by Girl Child Concerns to the commissioner of water resources for analysis. Based on the report of water challenges she received from GCC, The Chairperson further pledged the sinking of an additional borehole to address the water shortage and poor water sources faced by the community. Already work has started on that. The Chairperson was optimistic that the Community will get a permanent Primary Health Care Center and also pledged to post medical personnel that will provideprofessional RMNCAH services at the clinic to the people of keke community.

SAVING THE GIRL CHILD

Living in a very safe environment where there is no fear, our lives and properties are secured is the wish of every individual. According to late Nelson Mandela, “safety and security don’t just happen; they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear”. That should be the utmost priority of every leader and government. In Nigeria, the girl child lives in fear of the unknown as she is faced with many challenges which include: child trafficking, rape, gender discrimination, illiteracy, early marriage, prostitution, unwanted pregnancies, abduction, domestic violence and so many others.

Most countries in the world see education as a basic human need and in Nigeria also, education is a basic human right that has been recognized since the 1948 adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Education is one of the fundamental rights of individuals. Unfortunately, so many young girls in most parts of the world are deprived of this opportunity, especially in Nigeria. The rate at which young girls drop out of school is worrisome and calls for concern. According to the Director-General of the National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration, NIEPA, Prof. Lilian Salami, one third of all girls are out of school in Nigeria, amounting to over 5.5 million school age girls. The North is the worst hit as it has the highest number of female school dropouts.  Regrettably, the government’s investment in education is still low despite the significant impact of both national and international intervention in the sector to forestall this menace.

 

To this end, I implore the government to save the Nigerian girl child by providing free education for them because education bestows on women a disposition for a lifelong acquisition of knowledge, values, standards, attitudes, competence and skills. Let’s say no to illiteracy, no to early child marriage, no to prostitution, no to poverty, no to gender inequality and no to anything that has held women down. The young girls should be made to understand that they can be whatever they want to be.

Deborah Phillips is of the  Department of Mass Communication, Bayero University, Kano.