My Voice, Our Equal Future
The International Day of the Girl is commemorated on the 11th of October annually in a bid to highlight the challenges facing the girl-child and proffer solutions towards an equal future. On this day, Project Asha organized an educational
program for young girls (ages 6 -18 years) of Ajegunle Ikorodu community in Lagos, where we amplified the need for their voices to be heard through various mediums available to them.
The program commenced at 1:00 pm with about 60 young girls from within the community. Our Volunteer Coordinator, Waribugo Joseph launched into the event of the day by introducing Project Asha to the participants, and the aim of our outreach, which is to amplify the voice of the girl-child in underserved communities through empowerment programs and mentoring. He addressed the need for the celebration of girls around the world and how valuable girls are in the community.
Waribugo Joseph, Volunteer Coordinator with ProjectASHA and the community girls Coordinators
He shared video stories of young impactful girls across the world, who despite their obvious disadvantages have made great changes through their voices. This inspired some of the girls to boldly share personal stories of self-development during the Pandemic. Some of the girls had acquired entrepreneurial skills during the pandemic and were able to share their experiences and the challenges faced.
BolaFunmi, Activity Coordinator for Asha handled the career talk session where she encouraged the girls to dream big and not be limited by their social or financial status. Many of the girls shared their brilliant dreams and ambitions, of which they were encouraged to create a close knit network of friendship to help develop their individual talents in the community. She also talked about personal hygiene and period myths while highlighting the need for girls to be each other’s support especially in time of need, with a slogan “Girls for girls; Becoming great together”
BolaFunmi, Activity Coordinator With ProjectASHA
Afterwards, Tolulope Oguntoyinbo, a volunteer for ASHA shared her personal story as a multi-talented entrepreneur who started her career from nothing, thus encouraging the girls to aim for greatness. She addressed the issue of self-esteem and self-image being a limiting factor that is more often personal and encouraged the girls to look beyond their personal limitations and focus on greater exploits. David Uchendu, another Asha volunteer, who is a successful entrepreneur and capacity building trainer handled the session for safety and cyberbullying. 60% of the participants confirmed to have a presence on social media and a number of them admitted that bullying was present online. David reiterated the need to surf the internet safely, ensuring that passwords are protected. He also encouraged the girls to seize the numerous opportunities on social media and to use their internet for positive and rewarding purposes.
There was a high rate of participation encouraged with songs, dancing and face painting. As part of the theme of the day, ASHA exposed the older teenage girls to the endless opportunities the social media offers and Joseph Waribugo taught them the art of craft making from waste materials, using recycled papers to make beautiful decorations with start off kits provided to them.
At the end of the program, the girls had learnt the theme of the International day of the girl, and the need for their impact in
the community to be felt. They were charged to contribute to the development of their community through their active participation in decision making exercises.
Project Asha Team
- Waribugo Joseph – Volunteer Coordinator
- BolaFunmi – Activity Coordinator
- Jome Chadwick – Volunteer
- David Uchendu – Volunteer
- Tolulope Oguntoyinbo – Volunteer
From L-R; Waribugo Joseph, Tolulope Oguntoyinbo, Bolafunmi, Community Representative, Onajome Chadwick, and David Echendu