In the last four (4) years, GCC has had a strong focus on meeting the educational and social needs of young girls affected by Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East especially Borno State; giving these girls education, life skills, sexual and reproductive health education and mentoring. GCC has also been involved in supporting women living in IDP camps affected by Boko Haram insurgency with a means of livelihood by setting them up in viable economic activities which is giving them dignity and providing them a sense of belonging, thus reducing their chances of trading sex for livelihood, which is commonly seen in internally displaced camps.
By implementing various strategy interventions in the North-East, GCC has in the last three (3) years equally empowered over 1000 women in IDP camps in Borno State with start-up capital and tools to start trade and economic activities. The project is a revolving scheme aimed at reintegrating women in IDP camps back to normal life by empowering and financially supporting as many of them as resources permit in cap knitting and other trades. To ensure others benefit, GCC created and activated a market chain to ensure the end products are sold at competitive prices and the sales proceeds are used to support other women, by encouraging them in various forms of economic empowerment. The goal is aimed at supporting women affected by insurgency begin the process of rebuilding their lives in dignity.
Also through our Community Mobilization and Advocacy Partnerships, GCC sensitizes citizens on issues of human rights, gender equality, the setbacks of corruption in economic growth and other areas of governance that are applicable to their everyday lives. By setting up activities that educate them and giving them access to information about service entitlements especially in areas of health, education and other standards prescribed by the law, providing them with the various strategies and access to demand accountability from service providers e.g. third party monitoring, public hearings, social audits and other demand for good governance activities.
Under our scholarship scheme, GCC has been empowering and promoting girl-child education and providing educational support to young people through its Female Students Scholarships Scheme, Safe Spaces and Life Skills Development Campaigns. Through our comprehensive approach, the scholarship scheme empowers the girl-child not only with formal education but equips her with general life skills, sexuality education and in the process the age of marriage is delayed. Over 500 girls have graduated from secondary school under the scholarship scheme and we have over 100 presently placed in various girls boarding schools in Kaduna and Borno, with over 80 per cent of them from Yobe and the IDP Camps in Borno. It is our ambition to enrol 100 girls every year under the scheme. In 2017, 75 beneficiaries graduated from secondary school, 42 of which are the Chibok schoolgirls that escaped from their abductors in 2014.
Our organization has unique expertise in the design and implementation of interventions that improve girls’ educational attainment, building girls’ support, voice, and future vocational aspirations, and this has brought about numerous effects by maximizing their economic and health outcomes.
Another key initiative is our Safe Spaces platform, which GCC has been able to build strong competence in empowering adolescent girls to understand the choices they have, how to envision self-defined goals, improve literacy and numeracy, and build social networks and relationships of trust. Our safe spaces also target victims of child marriage otherwise known as a married adolescent and we utilize these sessions in educating them in our health space sessions.
To further strengthen our engagement in Borno State, GCC is establishing a Girls’ Academy in the state with learning activities taking off in the next school academic year. The academy is aimed at reintegrating vulnerable adolescent girls affected by the insurgency from the North-East (which has the highest indices of out of school children with girls constituting a higher percentage) back to normal life by enrolling them into secondary schools within the Borno metropolis so that they can complete their secondary education. The project will adopt the India Kahn Academy concept which empowers learners to study at their own pace in and outside the classroom through class lessons, practical exercises, instructional videos and a personalized learning dashboard.