Keynote Address by Ejiogu Vitus Chibueze, Executive Director of Rosana Empowerment Foundation (REF), During the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence in Shira LGA, Bauchi State

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning,

With heartfelt gratitude and unwavering determination, I stand before you today as we unite during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence in Shira LGA, Bauchi State. Our commitment to combat gender-based violence extends beyond a mere cause; it echoes through the principles of justice, equality, and the fundamental rights of every woman and girl.

In collaboration with the African Hub for Community Progress Initiative in Nigeria (AfriHub), Rosana Empowerment Foundation (REF) embarked on a multifaceted project during these 16 Days of Activism in 2023. Our mission was crystal clear: to combat gender-based violence in Shira LGA and significantly contribute to its prevention and elimination.

Through targeted awareness campaigns, we persistently disseminate the powerful theme, “Invest to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls.” Our messages are designed to echo through diverse channels, touching the hearts and minds of our community members in community meetings and educational workshops. Collaborating with local experts, we recognize that knowledge is the most potent weapon against the scourge of gender-based violence.

In this educational workshop, it is paramount to emphasize the critical role of awareness, underscoring that education is the cornerstone of violence prevention. Knowledge empowers individuals, and empowered individuals create resilient communities. Our community engagement events, including this impactful Government Day Junior Secondary School campaign, deserve recognition from esteemed community leaders and stakeholders. Their acknowledgment reflects the shared commitment of our community to address and eradicate gender-based violence.

We won’t halt our efforts here. Our intent is to leverage the power of the media to broaden our reach, pledging advocacy for a society free from violence. Collaboration becomes our mantra as we encourage partnerships with stakeholders, recognizing that collective efforts are the bedrock of lasting change. We not only express our dedication but also commit to ongoing monitoring and evaluation, understanding the importance of continuous improvement and impact assessment.

Our approach has been comprehensive because the challenge we face demands nothing less. Gender-based violence is a complex issue deeply rooted in societal norms and attitudes. Effectively tackling it requires addressing it from multiple angles, weaving a tapestry of awareness, education, collaboration, and sustained effort.

As we navigate these 16 Days of Activism, let us remember that our collective actions possess the power to reshape narratives, dismantle oppressive structures, and create a society where every woman and girl can thrive without fear. Together, let us invest in a future where violence against women and girls is not just prevented but becomes unthinkable.

Thank you for your commitment, and let us stand united against gender-based violence.

Thank you for effort and time.

Ejiogu Vitus Chibueze,

Executive Director,Rosana Empowerment Foundation (REF).

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