Girl Child Education, Empowerment: Mercy Corps Lifts over 3000 In Kaduna

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By; ABDULL-AZEEZ AHMED KADIR, Kaduna.

To improve the live of the less privileged girl child, enable her have access to education and translate it into economic opportunities, a Non Governmental Organisation; NGO,  Mercy Corps is currently educating and empowering over three thousand girls in Kaduna State.

Unveiling the NGO’s roadmap at an evidence based workshop in Kaduna Thursday, Educating Nigerian Girls In Enterprise, ENGINE said over eighteen thousand (18,000) girls in three states and the FCT are currently benefiting from the first phase of the programme.

One of the resource persons and ENGINE personnel, Mr Shedrack said the states are Kano, Kaduna, Lagos and the FCT.

Decrying the pitiable condition of the girl child especially in the Northern part of Nigeria, he stressed that out of 42.1 million primary school eligible girls, only 22.3 million representing 53% are in school. Out of 33.9 million eligible for secondary school, only 6.4 million representing 19% are in school, while 47% of Nigerian women become mothers before the age of 20, and a third of 16 to 19 years old in Northern Nigeria give birth without requisite medical facilities.

The workshop which had community leaders, school principals, clerics among others in attendance saw goodwill messages from stakeholders who applauded the effort of ENGINE in ensuring the Girl Child is lifted out of time-honored placing on the lower rung of the ladder in education and entrepreneurship.

Some of the beneficiaries were on ground and shared their success story with the participants.

Mercy Corps is said to be a global organization, has been in Nigeria since 2012 and has grown to a multi-sectorial country office with more than 130 staff serving over 200,000 beneficiaries.

According to the organisers “Mercy Corps leads the implementation of the Educating Nigeria Girls in New Enterprise (ENGINE) project that works to reduce financial and education barriers for marginalized Nigerian adolescent girls aged 16 to 19 years in Kano, Kaduna, FCT, and Lagos metropolis. ENGINE is funded through a grant by Coca-Cola Company as part of the UK Department for International Development’s Girls Education Challenges (GEC).

“ENGINE seeks to prove the theory of change that when marginalized girls complete a full education cycle and are supported by gatekeepers they become more skilled employees and have increased earning power and decision-making within the household. This evidence is critical to inform national strategies and policies aimed at increasing school retention & completion and creating a pathway for successful enterprise among marginalized young people in Nigeria.

“Since 2013, the project has worked with over 18,000 marginalized girls including 14,030 out-of-school girls supported to start and expand their businesses of choice and 4,654 in- school girls who have maintained passing grades in schools. In partnership with the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), 11,360 girls were registered for electronic identity cards and over 8,000 financially excluded girls now participate in the formal banking system.”

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