A Day at INCRESE is often marked with experience-sharing mingled with sighs and laughter. For us at INCRESE, it is the diversity of experiences that young people have outside our premises, either in their communities, work places or schools that excite us and spur us on.
Their courage to take our feminist activism to the conservative nooks and crannies of Niger State more than equal ours. We have hope that our society will be redefined and gradual power relations are configured by these young people.
Read their testimonies below and share in our hope for a good future for Niger State especially as these young ones take on leadership roles.
Vivian sharing her experience.
VIVAN (age 20); I had the opportunity to educate a woman in my community on the use of contraception. This woman has been giving birth every year without spacing and no knowledge on family planning until I met her, I gave her information on family planning and referred her to health institution where she can get further information on family planning and also get counselled on what to do. The woman in return appreciated the information and encouraged her daughter to join INCRESE GLP session so that she will be well informed like me. I brought her daughter to INCRESE during GLP mobilization and she was admitted.
EGO (age 29); I was able to help a friend living with HIV. With the knowledge I got from INCRESE sessions on HIV care and support I was able to help him understand that people need to show care for persons living with HIV/AIDS. He faced discrimination and stigmatization from friends and community members. I was the only friend that was always close and caring. When he died some community members were insinuating that I was taking care of him because I was infected with the virus. To address this issue I had to start educating family members, friends and community members on HIV and how to care and support people living with HIV/AIDS in the community.
Charity telling her story.
CHARITY (age 19); I had the opportunity to educate an okada rider (a person who provides transport services with a motorcycle) on early and forced marriage. I had stopped the bike man on my way to the market and he had mentioned to me that I was due for marriage. According to him , girls from his place (village), at the age of 13 girls are married off. He then mentioned that by age 16 I’m supposed to be in “my husband’s house”. As a peer educator I was able to educate him on the effects of early marriage for young girls which include VVF. I also told him that other consequences of early marriage are domestic violence, maternal death, high level of illiteracy, and other complications during and after child birth. It took time to get him convinced that early marriage is wrong. The bike man later appreciated the information and promised not to marry out his daughters at early age.
L.O.V. (age 29); I almost lost my teaching job because I gave my students comprehensive information on anatomy and physiology of male and female reproductive organs. This was misinterpreted by the school management. A parent reported me, saying “he is teaching the students how to get pregnant”. I was able to address the situation by presenting the school lesson manual, in which anatomy and physiology was included.