Usulor Modline Chiamaka couldn’t have had a better situation until the implementation of USAID funded MCGL project in Okposhi Umuoghara. Societal norms have often been identified as one of the culprits in GBV cases. These norms are deeply ingrained in the fabric of the community. Not only do these norms normalize GBV, but they also perpetuate the culture of silence.
Okposhi Umuoghara is located at Ezza North LGA, Ebonyi state. The community has witnessed the incidence of GBV which went unreported and undetected for so long until the inception of the MCGL project that enlightened them on positive behavioral changes and best practices to avert gender-based violence.
Since the inception of the MCGL project, being implemented by Daughters of Virtue and Empowerment Initiative (DOVENET) as a local partner implementing the MCGL project in Okposhi Umuoghara community in Ezza North LGA with the primary objective of training the Young and Old Adolescents in integrated curricula-based education toolkits to challenge adolescents’ views on restrictive gender norms, Child Early and Forced Marriage (CEFM) prevention, Family planning and promote reproductive health of women, gender equality and equity as they grow into adulthood.
During this program implementation, parents of the cohorts’ members were reached, sensitized and they signed the consent forms on behalf of their children. The activity enlightened the members of the cohort on GBV, its forms, and types, how it affects their community negatively, identifying the issues facing the young, and old adolescents and youths in the community, the curriculum also enlightened the members of the cohort on their rights and best practices as girls, boys or youth.
DOVENET interviewed one of the cohort members (Usulor Modline Chiamaka) who said that the program has transformed her life in a special way likewise others. She explained that before now she used to think that any girl that has grown up or graduated from secondary school and not married out has negative issues that kept her at her parent’s home but the training has really changed her thought. She also said that they were taught how important it is for a girl to further her studies. She also learnt that if one is married, it doesn’t stop such a person from furthering his/her education. Other topics they were taught include puberty & the stages of change in puberty, expecting a new baby, and changes in the stages of life, especially for girls.
All thanks to the MCGL project, I now realize that GBV is not a good practice and it can destroy the lives of victims, and the future of the girls, while also creating an atmosphere of tension and backwardness in the community as the girls and women are constantly suppressed. Thank you, USAID! Thank you MCGL! Thank you DOVENET!