• Ajibola Ayomide

United we stand.

Written by~ Mbah Chinwendu Inioluwa, Girl Advocate.

I was opportune to be chosen for the Girl voice initiative program (GVI). It was an impactful and amazing experience. I was very happy when I realized I was chosen.

My journey in this workshop was very interesting, fun, and most of all educative. Sixty girls were camped for a week where we learned a lot of things from the best facilitators who made learning fun. We were asked to give ourselves a workshop name, I was so happy that I came up with International Ini, it was funny though but with time I became used to it. We played games and learned a lot of things, I enjoyed the leadership class where we watched short clips of girl leaders in other parts of the world helping and fighting for their rights and their fellow young girls. We were really taken care of from the beginning of the program to this very day.

The facilitators were really friendly and interactive, they really made learning much easier and interesting. We were shared in two groups and at the end of the day's activities we come together to share whatever we had learned in our various groups, we didn't only focus on our advocacy work which I thought would be the only thing, we had other fun activities like morning exercises, storytelling at night and so on which bonded us all together. We were taught how group work is fun and faster " United we stand, divided we fall".

Our coordinator Miss Bukoye has been the best especially when she's calling us to order. My worst moment in this wonderful journey was when I gave my friend my plate and she forgot it at the rooftop and I was punished.

We were shared into six groups and I was placed in group 3 for our advocacy project, my group's aim was to reduce poor menstrual hygiene in schools on the Island, we went to schools in district 3 and spoke to the principals and girls of the schools we visited, then we realized that 80 percent of the schools we visited had a bad toilet, with dirty or no water at all in them, we also got to know that the schools don't provide sanitary pads for the girls in school.

We then sat together as a group after identifying the problem to get our advocacy strategy and plan on how to achieve and create change, our target audience, and stakeholders. We got our goals and objectives to be a guide on our advocacy journey,

During the course of our ongoing projects, we also attended classes on photography and the power of social media in our advocacy. My best moment was the movie night of the camp where we watched a movie which made me cry.

This program has really helped my family, friends, and my community at large. I have really improved in my communication skills, remembering years back I was a shy and timid young girl but now I have the courage to stand up for myself and other young girls out there who need help, I have learned how to use my voice create change and make impact.

I would like to say a big thank you to all the sponsors, RISE UP, Action Health Incorporated, Cummins and other sponsors of the Girls' Voice Initiative. As the adage says if you train a girl, you train a nation.

In conclusion, I'm very happy our project has been completed successfully and we created the change, I look forward to hearing more girls' voices heard. My family and I are very grateful for such an opportunity and privilege to create a girl leader in me and all the financial, material, and social support. I can boldly say I'm a girl leader and a female advocate.

Thank you.

©2020 by Girls Voices Lagos.