As part of its corporate social responsibility as well as commitment to healthcare and community development, BellaNaija collaborated with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on interventions to end Gender Based Violence in Adamawa State and compliment USAID’s objectives in Nigeria.
USAID in Nigeria facilitates several public health and development interventions, one of which is the intervention against Gender Based Violence (GBV). USAID supports GBV prevention, post GBV care, and support full recovery of survivors in areas of high GBV prevalence.
USAID funded project, Reaching Impact saturation and Epidemic control (RISE) project, implemented by lead partner Jhpiego (John Hopkins University affiliate) and sub partner ICAP at Columbia University in collaboration with the State government on Tuesday April 26th, 2022, received from BellaNaija, Dignity Kits for GBV survivors in Adamawa State.
According to the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), about 3 in 10 Nigerian women have experienced a form of gender-based violence. Adamawa is amongst the top 10 states with high cases of Gender based violence (GBV) in Nigeria. Sadly, GBV survivors face stigma, discrimination, shame and even blame. This makes it difficult for people to report GBV cases or seek justice; and so GBV continues to be a menace plaguing our society.
The Dignity Kits donated by BellaNaija are a handy pack comprising about 20 personal items to help survivors take immediate care of themselves. With this, a survivor fleeing a GBV situation can have some immediate comfort when they arrive at a health facility.
Present at the Dignity kit handover event were representatives from the State Ministry of health,
Ministry of women affairs, Nigerian Police, State Chapter Rep from the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), UNICEF, RISE, USAID team and some Champions/Survivors of GBV in Adamawa state.
At the event, the Content Lead at BellaNaija, IK Nwosu expressed delight and appreciation to USAID, RISE, and Jhpiego team for the opportunity to be part of GBV interventions. He noted that BellaNaija has been particular about social impact, reaching the underserved in the society across programs such as education, health, poverty alleviation and others as part of their contribution to development in Nigeria.
In addition to the contribution of dignity kits, BellaNaija will be leveraging their digital platform and large audiences to create awareness, support several initiatives across health and support interventions on GBV.
The USAID HIV and Tuberculosis Office Director, Rachel Goldstein highlights that the diverse mix of stakeholders at the handover event further reiterates that GBV is not just a health or social issue but cuts across all sectors that needs to be addressed by experts in the entertainment, social media, government and with USAID support.
“This event draws attention to the critical issues of GBV and also recognizes the unique partnership with the private sector. The private sector plays a critical role in informing the public and brings on board specialized competencies that address development goals in Nigeria. USAID is delighted to collaborate with BellaNaija one of Africa’s largest and leading lifestyle, advocacy/digital media brands through PEPFAR-USAID funded Jhpiego-RISE project to respond to the needs of GBV survivors. RISE has a global goal to achieve HIV epidemic control across USAID supported countries, this campaign will further strengthen our efforts to reach even more vulnerable populations including girls and women. USAID applauds BellaNaija for providing Dignity Kits for survivors of GBV as part of their social corporate responsibilities; the kits will provide hope to survivors in the darkest of time. USAID is further thrilled that BellaNaija will collaborate with RISE in an eight week media campaign to boast public awareness, address harmful effect of GBV, importance of client centric care, promote use of Preexposure prophylaxis (PreP) critical for GBV survivors, link the public to a call center that provide information to GBV survivors and other health services,” Goldstein noted.
USAID commended and appreciated the enormous support of Adamawa State Government through the Ministry of Health, Women Affairs, as well as the State Command of the Nigeria Police Force for efforts to end GBV and for creating an enabling environment for collaborations to end GBV. USAID assured GBV survivors of their commitment to continue to support this life saving work, survivors are champions and they continue to give other hope.
“With these items, the women I see in our hospital who need them will be well taken care of” are words from a health care worker as she received Dignity Kits donated by BellaNaija to USAID-RISE.
Representatives from the state Ministry of Health, Ministry of women affairs, FIDA, Nigeria Police Force and other agencies applauded the gesture of BellaNaija in partnership with USAID – RISE. USAID through RISE will continue to scale up provision of more Dignity kits, support GBV prevention, support post GBV care (clinical and psychosocial care), work with survivors to discourage every form of GBV across the communities and continue to sustain collaborations and partnerships.