By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A leading consumer goods company, Procter & Gamble (P&G) Nigeria, has partnered with the Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF) to facilitate the educational programs (WARIF Educational School Programme.
This is part of its efforts to address the issues affecting girls confidence and empowerment and with the collaboration, P&G will facilitate the educational programs around gender-based violence and support WARIF with the acquisition of personal protective equipment (PPE) for its frontline healthcare, which supports its “protect our heroes” interventions while promoting both its Education and Gender Equality Citizenship Pillars.
The partnership is driven by P&G Employees through the P&G Employee Covid-19 Support Fund where employees made voluntary contributions to sponsor identified NGO (WARIF) as part of giving back to the community.
P&G as an organisation matched 100 per cent of total Employee contributions to reiterate its corporate commitment to Education and Gender Equality Citizenship Pillars.
The mandated lockdown in 2020 and stay at home directive due to the COVID – 19 pandemic resulted in an increased number of cases of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) as well as child abuse cases reported to WARIF as more women and children were in quarantine with their abusers.
The WESP Initiative, which started on March 10 at Oregun High School, was a four-week program themed “Identifying the Signs and Preventing School-Related Gender-Based Violence.” The program included P&G’s “Always Menstrual Hygiene Session.”
Commenting on the initiative, the P&G Senior Director for Africa, Global Government Relations & Public Policy, Mrs Temitope Iluyemi, reiterated P&G’s dedication to gender-based issues.
She said: “At P&G, we are always inspired by initiatives like this. Beyond this, we have a target to educate more than 50,000 adolescent girls on puberty and menstrual hygiene over the next three years in Nigeria through our Always Keeping Girls in School (AKGIS) program which will also provide a year supply of sanitary pads so that they can commit to their education and their future.”
“These trainings and sensitisation will play a pivotal role in creating the necessary education and awareness in girls on social issues that impact their confidence around puberty. That is why P&G is happy to partner with WARIF to evoke a change in the prevailing mindset of the community and a create greater awareness about the issue of violence against women and resources available to affected girls”. Temitope revealed.
Commenting on the program, Founder of WARIF, Dr Kemi DaSilva Ibru stated that “With the increasing number of cases of rape and sexual violence in our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become more critical now to engage the most vulnerable age group in our society – young girls between the ages of 12 and 18, creating awareness by educating them and providing the necessary essential services to address the issue.
“We are thankful to the P&G Team for their support and partnership with the WARIF Educational School Program; WESP an initiative specifically designed to empower and equip young adolescent schoolgirls with a tool kit in successfully tackling gender-based violence. We remain committed to ensuring that all girls can live in a society free from rape and sexual violence.”
P&G also enabled the procurement of PPEs for the WARIF frontline Healthcare staff to facilitate their sustained engagement with the increasing number of affected persons.
The WARIF Rape Crisis Centre has so far treated 2204 beneficiaries who have benefited from medical treatment, forensic testing, psychosocial therapy, and social welfare programs. Survivors from various parts of Lagos State were given care protocols (internationally accepted protocols).
Over the years through proactive leadership and collaboration, P&G has tailored efforts to grow the reach and impact of positive action for communities, equality, and the environment in Nigeria.
LG Polls: Ogun Imposes Movement Restriction
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Ogun State Government has announced a statewide restriction of movement between 7 am and 4 pm on Saturday, July 24, 2021, to allow for the conduct of local government elections.
The State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Abdulwaheed Odusile, said the restriction was at the instance of the Ogun State Independent Electoral Commission (OGSIEC), which is conducting the councilorship and chairmanship elections in all the 236 wards across the 20 local government areas in the state.
However, during the period of the restriction, voters will be free to move to their polling centres within their neighbourhood and cast their votes for the candidates of their choice.
The statement urged the electorate to be peaceful and avoid any act that could tarnish the hard-earned reputation of Ogun State as one of the most peaceful states in the country.
This is coming after the Lagos State Government restricted movement between 8 am and 3 pm on Saturday for the same purpose.
Mr Gbenga Omotoso, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, had said in a statement Thursday that the restriction will enable the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) to conduct hitch-free elections across the 57 local government areas and local council development areas in the state.
“The restriction will facilitate the ease of movement of the electorate, election materials and LASIEC officials for the sanctity of the election, effective monitoring and enhanced security,” Mr Omotoso said.
Everybody Needs PR—Yomi Badejo-Okusanya
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The Group Managing Director of CMC Connect BCW, Mr Yomi Badejo-Okusanya (YBO), has emphasised the importance of Public Relations to organisations and individuals, saying everybody needs PR.
Mr Badejo-Okusanya, who doubles as the president of the African Public Relations Association (APPA), therefore, submitted that efforts should be made to have a better understanding of the profession, noting that PR is different from journalism but both work together to achieve great results.
He called on organisations, leaders, nations, policy and decision-makers to never overlook the value that PR brings to the table.
“Many still bear in mind that PR is only about press releases and organising events whilst those with an understanding of the weight PR professionals pull as a result of their expertise have yielded great results for themselves,” he said.
Mr Badejo-Okusanya, while speaking on the first-ever World PR Day held on July 16, 2021, charged practitioners to push forward the agenda of PR in their daily dealings, stressing that “PR needs PR.”
The APRA leader said the decision to set aside a day for PR and a unified global agenda was indeed a welcome development, stressing that, for the past 33 years, APPA has been able to gather PR Practitioners in Africa and recently across the globe under one roof to push forward the agenda of PR, the profession itself and discuss issues, trends and solutions to PR needs.
“I am delighted because this day speaks to the fact that our effort is yielding results in ways that will take the profession to the level where it belongs and better utilized by organisations, businesses, nations, brands, individuals, decision and policymakers.
“Truth is, everybody needs PR. It is part of our daily lives and PR is about telling a compelling story! This call for unity on a day such as this will bring about great opportunities and collaborations that will be beneficial to our profession in the long run,” he said.
MIIVOC to Train FIRS Officials on FOI Act
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A group known as the Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIIVOC) is taking steps to improve the knowledge of government officials in the implementation of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act of 2011.
Already, it has concluded arrangements with the management of the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) to train key personnel on the provisions and application of the law.
“Knowledge and capacity on the FOI Act are still very low in the country. There is a need for training and retraining of representatives of public institutions on the provisions and applications of the Act.
“Poor understanding of the provisions of the FOI Act is one of the reasons for its poor implementation in Nigeria, particularly, among state actors,” the Executive Director of MIIVOC, Mr Walter Duru, said.
“Section 13 of the FOI Act makes it mandatory for public institutions to ensure the provision of appropriate training for its officials on the public’s right to access information or records held by the government or public institutions, as provided for in this Act,” he added.
“Pursuant to section 13 of the FOI Act, the present management of FIRS approved the training for relevant officials of the Service on the FOI Act, with the view to ensuring increased compliance. The training is to be held on Thursday and Friday this week in Abuja,” Mr Duru also stated.
The MIIVOC chief, who also chairs the board of the Freedom of Information Coalition, Nigeria called on other public institutions in the country to take steps towards enhancing the capacity of their officials through regular training and retraining on the provisions of the Act.
He also called on Nigerian citizens to take advantage of the FOI Act to hold governments at all levels accountable.
Mr Duru, an Assistant Professor of Communication and Multimedia Design at the American University of Nigeria, Yola is the leader of the non-state actors drive on FOI Implementation in Nigeria – Chairman of Freedom of Information Coalition in Nigeria.
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