Community Watch: Local NGO Supports Girl-Child Education In Northern Nigeria

Many cases have been raised on how girls are often barred from school. But we will not stop talking about this issue until we see a remarkable reversal in the unhealthy trend.

Recently in Unguwan Rini, Kalambaina in Wamakko Local government area of Sokoto state, a team of Foundation for Building Tomorrow’s Woman Today (FBTWT), an NGO that seeks to fight the barriers hindering girl child education in Northern Nigeria, came in contact with six girls – age ten to fifteen years.

The six girls – Maryam, Hafsah, Aisha, Nusaiba, Hauwa and Nafisah – were seen cleaning ginger for a day wage of two hundred naira each. Their employer, Alh Muazu Mai Chitta, who buys and sells ginger, also feeds them and pays their transport fare.

When asked by FBTWT why they took on the job instead of being in school, the girls answered saying that they would have loved to be in school but their parents have no money to send them to school. They also said, they would be glad if FBTWT’s team can meet their parents and talk them into enrolling them in school.

Aisha, the youngest among them told FBTWT that a man came with money to seek for her hand in marriage. This led the team to pay an advocacy visit to Aisha’s parents. While speaking with Aisha’s father, Sadiya Nasir, the team leader politely told the him that Aisha is too young for marriage. Sadiya said Aisha’s father agreed to send her to school but on the condition that Sadiya would sponsor her.

When asked what FBTWT would do to assist these girls, Sadiya Nasir said, “we will seek for scholarship for them from government and make them beneficiaries of certain programs. We can also help them with uniforms and books and words of encouragements.”

There will be provision for skill acquisition programs for the older girls, he said.

As a young female journalist, Happiness has a keen interest in rural growth and development, as it affects the lives of children, girls and women. She currently covers grassroots stories from rural communities in Northern Nigeria. Happiness Titus Zirra ventured into Journalism as a member of the Press Club Niger State College of Education. She served as the 'Editor-in-Chief' for one academic year and also served as a reporter. She was awarded a certificate of attendance on News reporting and News writing by Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Niger state council and also a certificate by Press Club,Niger State College of Education Minna.