Raising more awareness in our communities is critical to the elimination of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). The Extended Hands Foundation with support from Ford Foundation has recently taken its activism to local schools and communities in Lagos state.
The community outreach took place in Agbado Oke-Odo LCDA and Shogunle LCDA of Lagos State while the school outreach took place at Greensprings Schools, Lagos in March and many more to come. Following the events in the schools and communities, advocates were appointed and trained to follow up as watchguards within their communities. They will be responsible for spreading awareness and ensuring people get help when they need it.
To effectively educate the target audience, the foundation developed awareness-raising materials, including a series of short films and brochures on SGBV. participants were addressed by experts from the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA) from the Lagos State Ministry of Justice with the emergency number to call for HELP- 08000333333.
Actress, director, and UNFPA Ambassador Stephanie Linus, who is also the founder of Extended Hands Foundation was present at these events. She noted that awareness raising is key to spreading a clear message of zero tolerance of all forms of violence within our communities. “With a rise of domestic violence cases around us, there is urgent need for engaging local communities to address the root causes of SGBV to bring effective behavior and social norms change. We also need to sensitize the younger population, to educate them and tell them consequences of violence. People need to know what to do if they or someone they know are caught in this unfortunate situation.”
The Extended Hands Foundation is committed to providing accessible information about what gender-based violence is, its different forms, possible remedies, and existing support measures. Our goal is to initiate relevant discussions about the root causes of sexual and gender based-violence and ensure people know how to prevent it.
Watch the video of the schools and community awareness tour here: