United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO in partnership with Always, the leading feminine care protection brand of Procter & Gamble has announced the extension of the UNESCO-Always Literacy Empowerment Program, aiming to provide educational support to a total of 110,000 Nigerian girls and women by the end of 2019.
The event which held on May 5th, 2016 in Abuja, saw the graduation ceremony of the first 7,500 Non-formal Education learners who have completed their Basic Literacy program under the UNESCO-Always program. These learners are part of the 15,000 non-formal learners targeted in FCT and part of the total 60,000 girls and women from FCT and Rivers State, that benefited from the first phase of the program.
The day started with the certificate presentations to the graduates, and was rounded off with visits to some of the literacy and vocational centres in Abuja.
Speaking at the ceremony about the collaboration, Nada Dugas, Director, Always Communications at P&G said that the collaboration with UNESCO was a natural fit with the brands mission which emphasises the empowerment of girls through education.
According to her:
At Always, we believe that education is key and that girls should not miss out school because of menstruation or for any other reason. Always is there for the Nigerian girls for almost 25 years, providing great feminine protection products that help them stay in school during their period and bringing puberty education lessons in schools, to 1 million girls aged 11-13 every year, for the past 5 years. Additional, we have partnered with UNESCO on this initiative to help 110,000 Nigerian girls and women acquire basic literacy, numeracy, life and vocational skills.
According to the UNESCO’s Regional Director, Benoit Sossou, “‘UNESCO/UIL Global Monitoring Report, 2015′ have shown that nearly 60 per cent of out of school children in Nigeria, live in the northern part of the country. Of this figure, over 71% are girls and women. The report also observed that, almost one of every three primary school children are out of school, and roughly one of every four junior secondary school children are out of school”.
Delivering her address titled “Basic Education for Girls and Women, a stepping Stone for National Development”, wife of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Hajiya Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, commended the strong partnership between UNESCO and Always in their support towards improving girls and women access to education and skills in Nigeria. She reiterated that, “Lack of education limits prospects for women and girls to excel in life, decreases family income, reduces knowledge of good nutrition and health, increases their vulnerability, and puts women and girls at the risk of trafficking and exploitation”.
She however, appealed to private sectors and philanthropists to support the cause of girls and women education in Nigeria.
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