The outreach was organised by Bays Planet Foundation in respect to the annual Create a Smile project. The 2020’s outreach was to Kogo community, Bwari area council, Abuja.
Bays Planet Foundation is an organisation established to provide a safe space for women and children in rural communities. Our vision to create a safe space includes, creating awareness on gender issues especially in rural communities where these vices are unknowingly common and overlooked due to stigmatisation, culture and religious beliefs, as well as provide basic amenities to support them due to the economic situation in Nigeria.
CREATE A SMILE was designed as an annual program held at the end of year to support communities and also teach women on the presence of gender based violence and why and how they should equip themselves with this knowledge and properly utilized this knowledge.
Create a Smile as an annual community project is aimed at reaching out to women and children in local communities. Its goal is to help reduce the burden on families during the Christmas time of the year, by providing basic amenities and also raising awareness on gender based issues.
In 2020, we engaged KOGO community at Bwari area council, Abuja reaching 40 persons, (20 women, 10 girls and 10 boys), creating awareness on gender based violence with huge focus on:
- The boy child development
- Girl child education
- Effect on early marriage and its consequences.
The reactions of the women, expressed lots of concern as they were aware of these vices but were scared of speaking up and do not know where or how to report these issues. We addressed these reactions by teaching them various reporting channels which are:
- The local police
- Bays Planet Foundation help lines.
We raised and emphasised the need for the boy child to be educated and be given as much attention as the girl child. By this, we emphasised that no child should be treated differently. We also shared insight on the need to normalise the boy child vulnerability and not to be referred to as a MAN as indeed he is a boy and should be treated as such.
Teach the boy child how to treat a woman right and other manerism. We can curb gender balance if we can train the male child and this can be achieved if we catch them and inform them about it early in life. Thus, parents are key players in ensuring that this education is taught effectively.
On the girl child who is often a victim, we sensitised them on the need to teach and normalise discussing sensitive topics like sex and other issues the girl child undergo. We ensured that we help them build an attitude which will help enhance trust and enable better communication to foster their wellbeing.
Funds raised for this project was used to:
- Provided 20 women food stuff (rice and other cooking condiments);
- 20 girls with gift packs;
- 10 boys with brand new shoes.
Fitting of the shoes
It was no surprise that our visit was really of great importance and timely as the community head appreciated our effort and hope for more sensitisation like this. He added that “with more people like your organisation we know Nigeria will be great again. Thank you for helping us, we hope to see you soon.”
The presence of the founders of two reputable organisation, Water Wide and Lola Carter for the Needy Foundation ensured the successful execution of the program this year.