Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF), a non-profit organisation, is worried by the rising incidence of violence against women.
Taking stock of its activities one yaer it was founded, the founder, Dr. Kemi DaSilva-Ibru, said: “Since we opened our doors one year ago, we are delighted with the number of lives we have been able to impact through the services we provide. We have recorded over 360 beneficiaries who have either visited our centres or sought help through our 24/7 helplines.
“However, we still have a long way to go as our objective is to reach out to every young girl or woman who has faced any form of sexual violence across all communities in Nigeria. Through the wonderful support from private organisations and well-meaning individuals, we have been able to achieve all these in our first year.”
In the emerging year, the NGO hopes to do much more, “we call on all stakeholders and friends of WARIF to support our initiatives, to enable us expand and reach out to more women and girls who have been affected in one way or the other by acts of gender-based violence. Our aim is to create a society free of rape and sexual abuse and empower all survivors to become fully recovered strong productive members of their communities. The potential of the girl-child is limitless, and we are working hard to ensure that each girl-child reaches and even surpasses this potential,” she added.
Dr DaSilva-Ibru recalled that since its inception last year, the foundation has fought to create a safe haven for survivors of rape and sexual violence by providing medical, emotional, psychological and social welfare support through the WARIF Centre.
The organisation has established itself as the front runners in the fight against gender-based violence in partnership with existing government and non-governmental agencies such as international organisations like the Washington DC Rape Crisis Centre in the United States and as an official member of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team. The organisation is also a strong advocate with its participation in campaigns such as the Men for WARIF online campaign and recently joined in the celebration of the UN 16 Days Activism against Gender based Violence Campaign which began last month, to show its solidarity towards the cause and to highlight the importance of tackling the challenges that young girls and women face in the society.
Some of the initiatives by WARIF include: the WARIF Educational School Programme (WESP), which addresses child sexual abuse and rape in secondary schools across the country with the introduction of a curriculum to educate and change the existing mindset of children and parents towards this abuse and the WARIF Gate Keepers project which in partnership with the ACT Foundation, is an initiative established to address gender- based violence in the peri-rural communities of Nigeria. Five hundred Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) from selected Local Government Areas across Lagos State are being sensitised and trained on the early recognition of the signs and the prevention of gender-based violence that occurs frequently in their communities.
The initiative which involves educating pregnancy and childbirth care specialists in primary maternity care centres in rural areas, while also aiding the treatment and prevention of gender-based violence that occurs frequently in those communities.
Source: The Nation News