The joint EU-UN Spotlight Initiative has trained and economically empowered about 150 Gender Based Violence survivors across the spotlight states through the Spotlight Initiative Livelihood Pathway Programme under United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in vocational training on culinary arts, fashion design, make-up, event planning, decoration, and baking.
The beneficiaries include women who are living with disabilities and female sex workers, to ensure the inclusion of marginalised groups facing intersecting forms of discrimination.
This was disclosed at the graduation ceremony of the beneficiaries in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The Livelihood Pathway Programme for Gender Based Violence survivors and vulnerable women and girls is a sustained and proactive intervention to empower women and girls to eliminate poverty and violence against women and girls in Nigeria.
The graduation ceremony is an output of the livelihood pathway programme in commemoration of 16 Days of Activism, which places a strong emphasis on human rights and the need to empower women and girls thereby providing a platform for them to thrive in all ramifications and eliminating violence against women and girls.
According to the Programme Manager, FRED- EU Spotlight Initiative, Helen Netugu William, the programme is to bridge the gap created by lack of economic resources makes women and young girls vulnerable to violence.
“With support from Spotlight Initiative and UNDP, they felt it is important to give seed grant to the beneficiaries instead of cash to enable them set up a business for themselves and uplift themselves from poverty.
Different items were given to them according to their skills areas.
We are giving sewing machines to fashion designers, gas cookers to caterers, hairdryers to hair stylists and make up kits to those that learnt make up”.
Netugu William, explained that “the women were selected by partner agencies such as Ministry of Women Affairs, through a set committee that was put together to assess who are the most vulnerable women that need the empowerment are.
During the assessment the women were given the opportunity to select which skill they want to learn”.
A Director from one of the Partnering Agency NAPTIP, Mrs.
Theresa Mgagaji, has this to say about the gesture, “We are happy with spotlight initiative for bringing these girls together and giving them hope, those that have suffered one form of abuse or the other, they brought them together and empowered them”.
Spotlight initiative, UNDP and FRED, has empowered the women and girls through series of skills, they will no longer suffer but go back to help themselves and the society as well.
One of the beneficiaries of the programme, Roseline Joseph shares here experience.
“Before now it has not been easy financially and other wise I was losing hope but spotlight initiative through this lively hood programme gave me hope.
I really appreciate EU, Spotlight, UNDP and FRED for this great empowerment, what I have gotten here I will definitely use it in a right way, I don’t plan to disappoint Spotlight and also myself.
They really did help a lot.
Also whatever I get, I will help other children that are going through what I went through”.
The Livelihood pathway programme has become necessary to confront underlying causes and factors related to poverty, economic inequalities, and control over resources that contribute to GBV.
Recovery from the impact of Covid-19 to further promote gender equality and eliminate violence against women and girls, women’s empowerment has become crucial.
The programme is implemented by UNDP, through the Foundation for Resilient Empowerment and Development in two spotlight Initiative states namely; FCT and Lagos State.
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