By Adeola Ogunlade
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in collaboration with the Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN), launched a week-long enlightenment campaign in Lagos focused on ending violence against women and girls.
The President of the Christian Council of Nigeria, Monsignor Benebo Fubara-Manual, announced it during a press conference at the United Evangelical United Church, Sururlere, Lagos.
The project entitled: The role of faith-based organizations in ending violence against women and girls, will take place in Lagos from July 19 to 25, 2021. This phase of the project includes Sokoto, Adamawa, Capital Territory Federal (FCT), Lagos, Ebonyi and Cross River States as Focal States.
He said CCN joined the effort because “we realize that violence against women and girls is not what churches or faith-based organizations alone can solve; it calls for multilateral efforts and initiatives and any form of support is a step in the right direction ”.
He said, “We believe this collaboration will help many non-religious people to clearly discern how they have been trapped in the same declining culture and do all they can to stop this evil.
“We are supported in this process by the Student Christian Movement as one of our most active associate members. For us and for UNICEF, this is a continuation of our previous collective effort between 2017 and 2019 to end violence against children with the support of USAID and the European Union ”.
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Speaking further, he said: “We will engage in mass rallies in the streets and meet important political and government figures who can initiate positive changes in this regard. We will distribute flyers and stickers that will send our messages and pray to our one and only Creator and Redeemer in our churches that, by the grace of God, we see an age when violence against children will end.
“We are not convinced that the governments of the nations of our world are sufficiently addressing the challenges of violence against women and girls. Obviously, our country is not winning in this battle. But he should win, ”he said.
Fubara-Manual said: “We have what it takes to have a safe country and to end all forms of violence, especially against women and girls. Political and social systems are not biased in favor of women and girls but rather against them.
In her words, the National Coordinator, UNICEF’s National Coordinator to End Violence Against Children in Nigeria, Ms. Uzoaku Williams, said the church is making frantic efforts to create a safe space for victims of rape in parts of Nigeria.