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The Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dr. (Mrs) Ipalibo Harry Banigo says investing in our adolescent girls remains an utmost priority to her.

Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Ipalibo Harry Banigo (5th Left), with her Senior Special Assistant/Coordinator, Protect the Girl Child Initiative, Barr. Inegogo Fubara (4th Left), the Facilitator, Peer Educators Training on Sexual Violence Concerns, Onyinye Ananaba (5th Right) and others shortly after the Training Workshop at the Government House, Port Harcourt on the 25th Jan. 2022.

Dr. Banigo made this assertion during a Three-Day Peer Education Training on Sexual Violence Concerns organized, by the Protect the Girl Child Initiative in the Office of the Deputy Governor, on Tuesday, 25th January 2022, at the Government House in Port Harcourt.

Dr. Banigo said the Peer Education Training, and the setting up of the Protect the Girl Child initiative Clubs in Secondary Schools was necessitated by the fact that issues of sexual violence had become a real hot topic not only in Nigeria, but everywhere, stressing that people that are most hit are adolescent girls.

“We felt there was a need for us to do a structured programme, where we can actually mentor them and create awareness, where they can talk about it amongst themselves, and the best way to do it is to set up Peer Clubs at the Secondary School level. We need to train educators who will now join the school children Federal Government College Port Harcourt, have already signed up about 60 children for the Protect the Child Initiative Peer Club”. Dr. Banigo stressed.

The Deputy Governor who disclosed that adolescents constitutes about 23% of the population nationwide, said they are a key group that could be touched positively, noting that she has had programmes with them in the past where survivors of sexual violence were brought out and sponsored in the Universities.

In her remarks the co-ordinator of the Protect the Child Initiative and Senior Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor on General Duties, Barr.  Inegogo Fubara, said   during the intensive training, participants would be equipped with the information and tools they need to be able to address all issues on sexual abuse, mentor and educate children, on how to identify sexual abuse when, it is happening and how it should be reported as well as all other antecedent issues pertaining to sexual abuse or violence on our young girls and boys.

In her presentation, the facilitator of the Training Programme Onyiye Ananaba had said the workshop would address the misconceptions and myths of sexual violence, barriers and consequences of sexual violence and how to identify survivors, adding that issues of trauma reaction, psychological first aid for those who have suffered sexual violence and how to communicate effectively with children who have had sexual violence would be tackled.

She also said the Peer Educators would be equally trained on how to work with adolescents, talk about confidentiality, including, how to handle social responses as well as giving care to caregivers.


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