On the Path Towards Reducing the High School Drop Out and Girl-Child Marriage Among the Vulnerable

The Local2Global (L2G) Project team of Whispering Hope Africa Initiative (WHAI) continues the dialogues and discussion with the stakeholders in Ayamelum LGA, who are the driving force of the success of the project.

About 70 stakeholders from both Igbakwu and Omor communities including their President Generals (PGs) and the the traditional ruler of Omor, Igwe Chidume Oranu were present to re identify the key issues leading to school drop out and girl-child marriage; and to look into the key interventions proposed by WHAI through the L2G project and Girls Lead Club in both communities.

The discussions and dialogue facilitated ideas that will promote girls education and empowerment. The stakeholders' willingness, support and commitment to the implementation of the L2G project intervention plans were secured.

Chinyere Ezinwa, WHAI project team member played the audio message from one of the daughters of Igbakwu who is victim of child marriage for the listening of all present. In her audio message, she highlighted the challenges she faced as a result of being forced into early marriage. She stressed out the avalue of enrolling a girl-child in school, and encouraged the parents to train their girls.

The audio mesage kickstarted the discussions and Mr. Oyibo affirmed it is good to train a girl-child in school because it brings about development in the community and as well breaks the cycle of poverty in families which counts as one of the reasons why girls are not in school.

The teacher from Migrant Farmers School ( Nweke Fidelis) reminded the other stakeholders that more need to be done to strengthen the parents' mindset so as to stop sending their girls to farm only rather to school. He also asks we find ways through which the project will reach the most vulnerable in the community.

The Executive Director, WHAI spoke on the Girls Lead Club been a safe space for young girls to thrive, hence the stakeholders' commitment and motivation will be the major driving force for the success of the project.

It is expected that at the end of this project, parents will accept to educate their girl-child; community members resolve to report cases of GBV, school drop out, child marriage and community leaders concerned take legal actions against perpetrators while the mentorship and counselling will be facilitated by WHAI Africa.

The traditional ruler, Igwe Omor noted that early-child marriage is on the increase as a result of poverty and parents' mindset which the community is working on to address. He thanked WHAI Africa for bringing the project in his community and assured his strong support for the project.

The PG of Igbakwu thanked WHAI Africa on the good works and promise to organize a campaign to create awareness in the community, and sensitize the people on the harmful effects of early marriage and importance of keeping girls in school.

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