In commemoration of The International Day of the Girl, Save the Children International, SCI, Nigeria has called on government at all levels, federal, states and local governments, to
put girls’ education at the center of development planning, financing and delivery.
This was made known when SCI
unveiled a music video and audio clip that promotes the power of education in transforming the lives of girls.
The International Day of the Girl 2020 is celebrated with the theme, “My Voice, Our Equal Future”.
“Girls in Nigeria and around the world are demanding that local, states and Federal Government respect, protect and fulfil their human rights, including to live free from gender-based violence, harmful practices and have access to quality, free, safe, and uninterrupted education.
Save the Children International Nigeria launches a music video, titled, “Shooting Star”, performed by our Youth Ambassador, Maryam Ahmad; Girl Champion, Purity Oriaifo; and members of Child Rights Advocacy Club. This music is one of the ways girls are speaking out and demanding their rights on the eve of the International Day of the Girl.
According to a release signed by Mr. Amanuel Mamo, Director of Advocacy and Campaigns, Save the Children International Nigeria, the “Shooting Star” video clip is now LIVE on our social media channels on https://www.facebook.com/SavetheChildrenNigeria and https://www.youtube.com/c/SavetheChildrenNigeriaNG/ for a free download, distribution, and transmission.
Maryam Ahmed, Youth Ambassador, Save the Children International Nigeria, said, “I wrote ‘Shooting Star’ because I want children to listen to the song and feel confident and empowered. It’s a song that emphasizes the value of education in a child’s life and how they can reach their full potential when educated.
“The International Day of the Girl is the perfect day for this music to be heard because girls are mostly the ones being prevented from going to school. Some parents would rather invest in a boy child’s education rather than both, because they believe there is no use for a girl to be educated.”
“This needs to stop because every child has the right to be educated and that gives them a chance to contribute meaningfully in their communities and country at large.”
“My message to all girls on the International Day of the Girl is for the girls to continue to raise their voices and demand an equal future. Ensure that they participate at all platforms and forum where decisions that affect their lives will be made. I encourage the girls to delay their marriages and do whatever it takes to fulfil their dreams.
I implore policy and decision makers to give the girls an opportunity to strive”, Maryam said.
Amanuel Mamo, Director of Advocacy and Campaigns, Save the Children International Nigeria said, “this year’s International Day of Girl brings us another opportunity to amplify the voices of girls through music.”
According to Mamo, SCI’s campaign focuses on girls because they are the most vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and early marriage, especially during the time of crisis, pandemic or armed conflict. “However, the music clip tells the story of millions of Nigerian girls who believe in their potential and dream to shoot like the stars, but seek favourable opportunities to live up to their own ambitions.”
Hadiza Idris*, 15-year-old girl in the North East Nigeria is one of those millions of girls with a dream. She said, “when I grow up, I want to be a teacher because I want to help the children in my community. The major challenge in my community is lack of education.
“There are many children who have an intention to go to school, but could not make it because we do not have enough teachers and functional schools in my community. As a result, more children stay at home to fetch water and firewood and others go out on the streets for petty trading. In both cases, children are exposed to exploitation or abuse. I feel sad for them.”
Amanuel Mamo added that “an attack on education is a war on children, particularly on girls. A study conducted by Save the Children previously revealed that child marriage is both the cause and a result of poor education outcome in Nigeria. It is estimated that over 60% of the 10.2 million out of school children are girls.
The research confirms that the longer a girl stays in education, the more likely it is that she grows up healthy, secures a livelihood and has healthy and educated children of her own. Therefore, education is the smartest investment on girls.”
Save the Children International Nigeria believes that girls’ education is an indisputable guarantee to secure survival, protection and development for all children in future. Education empowers girls and helps them to make informed decision on issues that affect them – including child and early marriage.
“Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In Nigeria and around the world, we work every day to give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. When crisis strikes, and children are most vulnerable, we are always among the first to respond and the last to leave.”
“We ensure children’s unique needs are met and their voices are heard. We deliver lasting results for millions of children, including those hardest to reach. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.
Save the Children has been working in Nigeria since 2001, and currently present in 12 States.” He concluded.