The lend a voice project on School Related Gender Based Violence (SRGBV) which held at the proposed schools was supported by Ford foundation. The training began with the singing of the national anthem on both days followed by a brief introduction on the School Related Gender Based Violence on the first day, and a recap on the second day. Facilitators and students got to know one another through short introductions. The pupils were taught topics such as Sex Organs and Their Functions, School Related Gender Based Violence, Bullying, The Rights of School Children, and Assertiveness.
Each day training lasted for 3 hours, pupils were provided with training manuals, writing materials, nose masks and were also awarded ambassadorial badges at the end of the training. Facilitators were able to maintain pupils’ interests and vastly inform and enlighten them on the all things concerning School Related Gender Based Violence: the definition, forms and manner in which it occurs, signs, effects and ways to prevent and overcome SRGBV, by adopting creative methods of engaging the children such as singing memorable songs, telling interesting stories, playing invigorating games, language mixing, interactive sessions and helpful advice that will leave a permanent impact on the lives of the children. Pupils were also given the opportunity to ask questions during each session.
In support of the pupils and teachers’ extensive training, teachers and pupils training manual on School Related Gender Based Violence was presented to the school. The pupils training manual contained interesting, colorful illustrations which easily catch the eye of a pupils, therefore explaining the SRGBV in an even more fun and exciting way. The book discussed a wide range of important topics from sexual organs and their functions; what sex puberty and menstruation are and how to care, respect and protect sexual organs; what students should do when they or other fellow students are being bullied, the examples and effects of bullying in schools and how to prevent it; a discussion on the rights of school children, the effects of denying children their rights and how to protect and prevent the abuse and or denial of children rights; all the way to an introduction to SRGBV; the types, forms, causes, where and when it occurs, how to prevent it, and finally how to be assertive and confident enough to say no to any treatment or action that doesn’t sit well with them.
The content of the book majorly aimed at enlightening the students on the forms and intensity with which SRGBV can come and empowering them with the confidence of not being alone and the knowledge to protect themselves against any advances or form of violence when or if they occur. While the parents and teachers’ training manual dealt mainly with the ways and methods of spotting signs of SRGBV in both the victims and perpetrators, teaching the pupils against bullying and telling them how to prevent and avoid gender based violence and violators, and counseling anyone who may have fallen victim of any form of violence be it at home or in school. It provided the adult with tips on how to be more approachable, reliable, understanding, and caring enough for the child to trust. The manuals were essential to the continuous training and awareness of SRGBV in the respective schools.
Eight copies of the training manual were donated to the school and a copy to each of the two teachers on duty. Pupils were also given light refreshments during the short break and a pack of food at the end. Group pictures were then taken at the end of the training. The following were the facilitators: Dr Adefunke Ekine, Mrs Toyin Adebayo, Mr Timothy Oni, Mrs Oyeteju Odufuwa and Mrs Oyebola Oni.
The pupils training program started from the 11th of February through to the 26th of March, during which six schools were visited twice weekly, Thursdays and Fridays, for both months. The following were the schools the Lend a voice project held:
- I.D. C. Model School, Akobo. (11th&12th of April)
- Saint Paul Anglican Primary School, Yanbule (18th&19 of April).
- Community Primary School, Ikolaba (4th &5th of March).
- Saint Stephen’s Primary School, Alegongo, Akobo (11th &12th of March).
- Abadina Primary School, UI, (18th&19th of March).
- Saint Cyprians Primary School, Oluyoro, (25th &26th of March).
In conclusion, a total of 302 pupils in primary 4, 5 & 6 were trained. A billboard was erected in all the six schools the project was carried out, this was to further create awareness and a reminder to the pupils and teachers on the effects, prevention, and protection against School Related Gender Based Violence in schools.