In November 2017 some volunteers from the Hidden In His Strength team went on to do a short anonymous survey/research at a small school in a small village in south western Nigeria. It was a group of 96 young girls with ages between 10-20years old. Here is what we gathered 27 out of these girls claimed they have been sexually touched inappropriately and abused at some point or the other 3 of these girls were sexually abused by their own brother, some by their family friends, some by their classmates at school (Mostly boys in higher classes than they are), lastly a select few by Corp members who came to serve at the school. Out of all 27 girls only one of the girls reported the incidence to their mum. When asked why in the questionnaire a lot of them was out of fear of being further harassed, outcast, being threatened by members of the society or family or out of shame. We visited the same village in 2018 and conducted a 4 day outreach programme which was well received by members of this community. We taught them and gave them Valuable advise and information and by the end of the outreach the whole community was super receptive and had learned so much in a very short space of time. The girls were happy and felt loved and remembered. The boys learned the power of consent and were happy to look after themselves and respect each other’s bodies. I realised all they needed was that information. This is a group of people who had no access to media, for the period that I was their my phone was out of service as their was no network connection at this place. It almost felt like these kids are in a lost world with access to nothing. Some of the girls as old as 20 could not use a sanitary towel as they have never used one before. The closest town to them was about 2hr Walk and some of them couldn’t either afford to buy one or couldn’t even be bothered to walk the journey hence they relied on tissue paper and recycle clothes to help with their menstrual cycle. There are so many groups of people like this in Africa young girls who have almost have no hope and no future. These girls are the reason why I started The survivors Walk... To let them know that they aren’t forgotten. We remember them To support and empower them To help fight the culture of shame and silence which comes with territorial behaviour of abusers. We are going back this year to Ekiti, Abeokuta and Osogbo and a little detour to Ghana. I can’t do it without your help. A little donation here and there will really help.
- Eunice Onyema
- Abi Opall
- Aisha Craig
Broughton, South East England, United Kingdom