Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
To commemorate the 25 Years Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – the global agenda for advancing the rights and empowerment of women and girls, everywhere, in the most practical way, the Embassy of Finland in Abuja and She Forum Africa have launched #HerTuitionHerVoice Campaign for indigent Girls in Nigeria.
The education campaign was launched in Nigeria at an online event convened to mark this year’s International Day of the Girl-Child on 11th October, 2020.
In a statement signed by Founder, She Forum Africa, Inimfon Etuk, Her Tuition, Her Voice is a joint initiative of the Embassy of Finland in Abuja and She Forum Africa, aimed at supporting indigent girls from grassroots communities gain high-order thinking and quality action learning education.
She said the initiative seeks to cast the spotlight on the need to encourage and support the enrolment of more girls in school, with a focus on indigent girls.
“We want to raise and fund Secondary School Tuition for 25 indigent girls from grassroots communities in Nigeria in this initial phase. The choice of 25 is to commemorate the 25 Years Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – the global agenda for advancing the rights and empowerment of women and girls, everywhere, in the most practical way. 25 Girls out of over 10 million out-of-school children in Nigeria feels like a drop in the ocean but we have to start somewhere until we can leave no girl behind. Education is a fundamental human right which provides a foundation for growth and development. It is indispensable for the achievement of sustainable development. We are only able to empower girls, combat climate change, fight inequality and end extreme poverty if all stakeholders, including our business sectors, commit themselves to advancing the education goal.
“It is time to prioritize on this important goal and bridge identified access-to-learning gaps. To bridge this gap, it becomes imperative to address the major economic hindrance to the enrolment of more girls in school: their Tuition/Education.”
Also speaking on the initiative, the Ambassador of Finland to Nigeria, Dr. Jyrki Pulkkinen said the equality of women and girls has been a political priority for tens of years in Finland. Since the independency of Finland 103 years ago, the equal opportunities of women and right to education of girls has been a self-evident value and human right for all the Finns.
“However, we also know that for many Girls, the year 2020 in particular has not exactly been a celebration, especially in Nigeria and the rest of Africa. 25 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the progress for adolescent girls has not kept pace with the realities they face today. With over 10 million Nigerian children reportedly out of school, and the girl-child holding the shorter end of the stick, COVID-19 has additionally reinforced many of the existing gaps.
“For us at the Embassy of Finland, the International Day of the Girl-Child coincides closely with our independence day that is on 6th of December. The two months between these two dates give us the possibility to extend our joint efforts to provide schooling and learning for indigent girls in Nigeria. As the pandemic has made it very difficult for the embassies to celebrate their independence days in business as usual, we have decided to connect these two important days together with a joint campaign with She Forum Africa, to address the challenges the girls are facing in education in Nigeria.
“In the coming days, we will be knocking on your doors and provide more information on partnership possibilities to seek your buy-in and secure your commitments to this laudable campaign.
The campaign and celebration will culminate in a virtual webinar validating our joint contributions and achievements on Finland’s Independence Day Celebration on 6th of December. We commit to doing our part and call on all our friends and associates to lend their weight to the “Her Tuition, Her Voice” Campaign so that together, we can ensure that the girl-child has her voice but most importantly, that she can use that voice”.
In 2019, the Embassy of Finland partnered with She Forum Africa to deliver a mentorship programme on ICT for young students. Over 200 Students drawn from 13 Secondary Schools benefited from the programme.
To Support the “Her Tuition, Her Voice” Campaign, interested partners can subscribe to for one School Term of N66,000.00, three terms (One School Year) of N 198,000.00, three school years (to secure her Junior or Senior Secondary) of N594,000.00 and for 6 School Years (to secure her full Secondary Education) of N1,188,000.00.
Subscriptions may be multiplied along the lines of preferred number of girls and/or number of School Years/girl subject to organizational or individual preferences.
“These modest efforts will also enable us contribute to achieving SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 10 (Reduced Inequality) and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals),” the statement read.