A non-governmental organization based in Ado-Ekiti, Balm in Gilead Foundation for Sustainable Development (BIGIF) in partnership with the Kids and Teens Resource Centre, a nonprofit based in Akure has trained new local counselors in Ondo State. The participants were drawn from a pool of NGO workers, business leaders, students and individuals who had earlier registered to participated in the two-day training workshop held at the Trinity Education Centre in Akure.
The program officer of BIGIF, Mr. Nelson Akerele in his welcome address explained that the program was designed to train local counselors to provide advocacy and respond to cases of sexual and gender-based violence which is gaining new trend recently in Nigeria with cases reported in Ondo. He further explained that his organization is championing advocacy against the menace and appealed to stakeholders to provide support and funding for the program to capture more participants and raise advocacy dialogue and awareness on how best to combat social and economic problems in Nigeria.
Mr. Martin-Mary Falana who facilitated the two-day counseling training, in a chat with our correspondent noted that there were a lot of social issues most especially sexual and gender-based violence that must be dealt with in order to reduce occurrences to the lowest minimum in our society. Falana also noted that on the need to empower local counselors who are closer to the grassroots where these issues are taking place almost on a daily basis.
Participants were exposed to practical, workgroups and presentation sessions. At the end of the two-day training, participants expressed the fulfillment of their expectations on the outcomes of the training. Speaking on behalf of participants, Mrs. Bola Iyang of Speaking Voice commended the organizers of the program while she expressed that the new knowledge gained on counseling would influence improved results in handling cases of victims and clients in need of counseling services. Also, Mr. Oludaisi Omokungbe of Technocrat Media Africa praised the organizers for responding to what the society needs right now as more young people are becoming victims and losing their lives in most of the unfortunate violence.
While closing the program, Mr. Akerele gave an account that his organization has trained participants in Ekiti, Osun, Ondo and now moving to Ogun for broader impacts. He called on government and donor agencies to support the program as the organization seeks to train and lead advocacy on sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria.
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