Posted by Peace Direct on
Image credit: A young girl tosses Ofada rice, Nigeria. Stephen Olatunde via Unsplash
Since 2020, we have been working with LEGASI (the Ladies Empowerment Goals and Support Initiative), a local organisation in Nigeria. Their goal is to raise a generation of informed, empowered, educated and financially independent women.
Through their Women Empowerment for Equitable Development project, they are raising awareness around education, reproductive health and poverty alleviation for young women and girls.
The women’s empowerment project was inspired by a community mapping exercise used to investigate why young girls were skipping school in the Ungwan Kudu community.
In many of these communities, farming is the major source of income. High levels of poverty were only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This led to increased hardship among many young women, and a spike in menstrual poverty, causing many girls to skip school when they had their periods.
LEGASI is currently running the women empowerment project in the state of Kaduna. The programme educates women and girls on menstrual hygiene management, and promotes healthy and safe menstrual periods.
“Empowering women and girls with livelihood skills is key to them achieving financial freedom to support their families, gain an education, and have access to healthcare” said the team.
LEGASI conducted visits in the community to engage local leaders and raise awareness. They selected 20 (young girls and women) participants to be trained to promote the values of the project.
“In our efforts to reduce period poverty among women and girls in grassroots communities, we have purchased ten sewing machines, sewing kits with 20 bundles of cotton materials, towels and napkins to teach women and girls how to make reusable sanitary pads.”
In areas affected by conflict and poverty, women and young girls often bear the brunt of the suffering.
“Often the reality in our society puts women and girls as the core victims in various forms of violent conflict. Our mission is to improve the livelihoods of women and build financial independence through education and adopted entrepreneurial skills. This will in turn also contribute to reducing land pollution caused by synthetic materials, and conflict that is often sparked by high levels of poverty.”
LEGASI supports women with practical ways to get out of poverty, create their own income, and contribute to peace in their communities. Through their projects to empower women, they have seen a drastic reduction in the number of gender-based violence cases and supported women to claim their independence once more.
Photos by LEGASI.
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