Fellow: Ruth Asabe Barrera
Grant Year: 2019
Location: Chikun Local Government Area, Kaduna State, Nigeria
Organization: Hope for the Village Child Foundation (HVCF)
Project title: Safe Space for Sexual and Reproductive Health Information for Adolescent Girls
Project summary: In Kaduna State, 21% of teenage girls aged 15 to 19 years had been pregnant according to a February 2019 report by Daily Trust. Hope for the Village Child Foundation (HVCF) aims to improve the sexual and reproductive health of adolescent girls and prevent unplanned pregnancy by increasing access to services, safe spaces, and tools so they can lead safer and healthier lives. While there is a National Reproductive Health Policy, it is not being implemented by the Kaduna State Government, and in Chikun Local Government Area incidences of unplanned pregnancies, complications during childbirth, school dropout, early marriage, sexually transmitted diseases, and complications from unprofessional abortions among adolescent girls are increasing. HVCF aims to hold the Kaduna State government accountable for implementing the national policy. To do this, HVCF will advocate with the State Commissioner of Health to require the Director of Hospital Services, Chief Medical Director, and Heads of PHC centers in three communities to create and provide youth-friendly spaces by May 2020 for adolescent girls 14-19 years of age so they can access information on sexual and reproductive health. To ensure that these safe spaces are effective and sustainable, HVCF will mobilize the Kaduna State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, community leaders, and women and adolescent girls themselves to advocate for girls and women and to raise awareness about the cultural and ethnic barriers adolescent girls face in accessing sexual and reproductive health services. After the first year of the project’s implementation, more than 5,000 adolescent girls in these three communities will have access to sexual and reproductive health information, safe spaces to access services, and tools to lead safer and healthier lives.