December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child (IDGC). This was to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. Globally, the International Day of the Girl Child focuses attention on the need to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls’ empowerment and the fulfillment of girls’ rights.
The Sapphires Development Initiative, who aims to achieve equality for all gender (UN SDG 5- Gender equality) organized an information literacy outreach on digital skills. This is in line with this year’s IDGC theme: DIGITAL GENERATION, OUR GENERATION; and to commemorate the global event. The best part of this project was that it held in 3 different states of the Western part of Nigeria, 6 schools, and over 800 female students were reached out to.
The first state this project was carried out in held in Ibadan, Oyo State and on the 11th of October, 2021. Mr. Adebayo Abati spearheaded the project assisted by Miss Inioluwa Ogunkeye, Miss Oluwaferanmi Afolabi and Miss Fagbenro Busola. They reached out to over 600 girls in Apata Grammar School and Christ’s Secondary School, Apata, Ibadan.
Speaking on issues the girl-child faces when it comes digital literacy and empowerment, Miss Inioluwa, Miss Oluwaferanmi Afolabi and Miss Busola highlighted women who are known to be trailblazers both in the digital and technology world. The outreach also sensitized the females on their digital, technological and social rights.
Thereby debunking the thoughts of ladies should only cook and clean. Mr. Adebayo challenged the girls to be pace setters among their peers and join the hall of fame for female world leaders. This starts with a passion to be literate even in the digital world. At the end, pamphlets with contents of stories of women who have emerged as trailblazers in the digital world were shared just to serve as an incentive and constant reminder of the task at hand.
Replicating this vision in Ekiti state, Miss Faith Fabowale facilitated the digital literacy outreach in Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti, Nigeria. This project was co-facilitated by Miss. Funmilayo Akinbode, Miss. Rachael Fabowale, Miss. Omonike Mudasiru and Miss Damilola. Gem Secondary School, Oye-Ekiti warmly received these amazing TSDI volunteers on the 11th of October, 2021. These volunteers reached 33 female students and focused on the subject matter of inequality.
“Inequality should not be accepted. The digital space does not belong to the male gender alone. This change starts with you and how you see yourself.”
Miss Faith Fabowale said.
The other co-facilitators enlightened and encouraged these girl students on the importance of acquiring at least one digital literacy skill. They built their self esteem by reminding these girls that being female counts and is not worthless; and yes successes and accomplishments as a female even in the digital world is key.
They emphasized this by sharing the pamphlets containing female world leaders in the digital space. Receiving the students report about their experiences was thrilling as they all displayed readiness to play their part and exhibited strong beliefs in themselves with regards to thriving in the digital world today.
The strong desire to address the challenges girls face and to promote girls ‘empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights, led TSDI volunteers in Ogun state, Nigeria to join the celebration train of the IDGC. The facilitators: Miss Adeyosola Aderogba, Miss Adeyinka Teriba, Miss Odunayo Ayoola, and Miss Damilola Bank-Aluko reached out to over 100 female students in Transatlantic International Schools and Divine Life College, Shagamu, Ogun State, Nigeria.
These outreaches, however, held on the 11th and 14th of October respectively. Speaking about standing out, the facilitators enlightened the students on the competent use of mobile devices and the positive impacts of the social media. The Q/A session revealed that the female students understand the importance of digital skills, even in relation to success and identity & potential discovery.
Tasking them with the goal and vision of changing the world, the pamphlet containing stories of women who have carved a niche for themselves in the digital world was shared both to challenge them and remind them constantly that the mission is possible and achievable.
At The Sapphires Development Initiative, we believe that being male or female does not stop you from achieving greatness. Hence, our advocacy for diversity, equity and inclusion opportunities in Nigeria increases steadily. TSDI is committed to the harnessing and maximizing of vulnerable teenagers and youths in the Nigerian community.