SUSO Activist, Ruhamah Ifere, raises 25 Peacebuilders and #RethinkingGenderViolence Ambassadors in Underserved Community
By NG YouthSDGs On Thursday, December 22, 2022
A Speak Up Stand Out (SUSO) Activist, Ruhamah Ifere, based in Lagos and working under the Peace & Security thematic area shares her experience on the Project as she highlighted raising 25 young female peacebuilders and #RethinkingGenderViolence in the underserved Lagos community of Oworo Ferry in Iyana Oworo:
It is amazing to see how you are addressing gender issues through the Peace & Security lens and we believe that informs your passion in the area. Can you describe the link between the two?
Peacebuilding is a tool that I have been deploying to addressing sexual gender based violence in the society. This is because peace is not generally the absence of war. When we can safely go a day without reports of sexual violence acts against women and girls, then peace can be said to be present and also leads to Sustainable development.
The SDG 5 Focuses on Gender Equality and provides the target indicators to measure the implementation of this goal. One aspect of this is the reduction and or total elimination of sexual gender based violence against women and girls. Research has shown that more women and girls are at the risk of being violated sexually and the Advent of COVID-19 also exacerbated these issues to the extent that it can no longer be ignored. This led to this project idea titled "Sexual offence watch observers- #Rethinkinggenderviolence. There was the need to invite behavioural and attitudinal changes amongst people in the society and this is being achieved through Peacebuilding processes- Workshops, webinars, Roundtable dialogues, Peace walks and also strategic partnerships. Through these activities, over 1500 young people have been reached.
Your SUSO project is focused on raising young ambassadors who will champion gender justice, how is this going and can you share some of your success stories?
My SUSO Project- Sexual Offence Watch observers- #Rethinkinggenderviolence focused on youth participation in the Advocacy to addressing sexual gender based Violence. The major beneficiaries are 25 young females in a Underserved Community- Oworo Ferry Community, Iyana Oworo, Lagos to become young Peacebuilders and Ambassadors in their community. Through strategic trainings on Human rights, sexual gender based Violence, Effects, ways of reporting and also defence mechanisms, they were able to gain new knowledge and skills. Through the pre and post survey, it was evident that this sgbv issue is prevalent in their community and occurs regularly. According to their Community Head, it had become overwhelming and reporting to the police force had become a chore for them. Armed with these new knowledge and skills, these young females now bridge the gap between their community and Mirabel Center, A sexual referral Health Center and this also will lead to (I) Facilitation of Justice for survivors. (2) Prevention and reduction of these violations. (3) Youths taking charge in creating changes and peace processes. (4) Survivors speaking up without fear.
In two years, where do you see these young ambassadors, and what are your expectations as regards achieving sustainable development goal 5 in Nigeria?
In two years, I see these young Ambassadors being involved in decisions processes for Peacebuilding. Because of the inclusion of young people in change processes, peace can become sustainable in the community as they come up with innovative ways of resolving issues in their community.
If there is one thing you want to tell decision-makers as regards gender justice, what would that be?
I want to tell decision makers for gender justice to rethink gender violence, include more youths in decision processes and also involve boys and men in the advocacy for the rights of women and girls. Peace Education is a powerful tool to achieve the Gender Equality (SDG5) Goals.
Through Adaezes involvement, she leverages her social media page to create awareness on sexual gender based Violence and also gave a detailed report of our activities at the Stakeholders Workshop which was organised by Lagos Peace and Security Activists at the American Corner.
Chidera continues to engage in activities that enlighten the youths on SGBV and also Speak Up
Elizabeth hosted a Peacebuilding Webinar which lasted for one week and was recently appointed as a Peace Educator by the HWPL (Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light) peace Academy at City of Peace Initiative.