By Angela Atabo
Abuja, Oct. 10, 2020 Save the Children International Nigeria, a Non Govermental Organisation (NGO) has urged the three tiers of government in the country to give priority attention to the girls’ education.
Mr Amanuel Mamo, Director of Advocacy and Campaigns, of the organisation said this in a statement in Abuja on Saturday.
Mamo said that the organisation on Saturday unveiled a music video in commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child to promote the power of education in transforming the lives of girls.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the International Day of the Girl 2020 was celebrated with the theme, “My Voice, Our Equal Future”.
“Today, girls in Nigeria and around the world are demanding that states and governments respect, protect and fulfil their human rights, including to live free from gender-based violence and harmful practices.
” They are also demanding access to quality, free, safe, and uninterrupted education.
“The music video, titled, “Shooting Star”, is performed by our Youth Ambassador, Maryam Ahmad; Girl Champion, Purity Oriaifo; and members of Child Rights Advocacy Club.
“This music is one of the ways girls are speaking out and demanding their rights on the eve of the International Day of the Girl.
“The “Shooting Star” video clip is now LIVE on our social media channels on https://www.facebook.com/SavetheChildrenNigeria and https://www.youtube.com/c/SavetheChildrenNigeriaNG/ for a free download, distribution, and transmission.”
Mamo said that Ahmed wrote ‘Shooting Star’ because she wanted children to listen to the song and feel confident and empowered.
He quoted her as saying ” It’s a song that emphasises the value of education in a child’s life and how they can reach their full potential when educated.
“The International Day of the Girl is the perfect day for this music to be heard because girls are mostly the ones being prevented from going to school.
” Some parents would rather invest in a boy child’s education rather than both, because they believe there is no use for a girl to be educated.
“This needs to stop because every child has the right to be educated and that gives them a chance to contribute meaningfully in their communities and country at large.”
Mamo said the girl ambassador urged girls to continue to raise their voices and demand an equal future and ensure that they participated at all platforms where decisions that affect their lives would be made.
He said that she also encouraged girls to delay their marriages and do whatever it took to fulfil their dreams.
He said that she implored policy and decision makers to give the girls opportunities to strive.
According to Mamo , the 2020 International Day of Girl brings us another opportunity to amplify the voices of girls through music.
He said that the organisation’s campaign focused on girls because they were the most vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and early marriage, especially during the time of crisis, pandemic or armed conflict.
He, however, said that the music clip launched on Saturday told the story of millions of Nigerian girls who believed in their potential and dream to shoot like the stars, but sought favourable opportunities to live up to their own ambitions.
According to Mamo, an attack on education is a war on children, particularly on girls.
He said that a study conducted by Save the Children revealed that child marriage was both the cause and a result of poor education in Nigeria.
He said that it was estimated that over 60 per cent of the 10.2 million out of school children in Nigeria were girls.
He said that the research confirmed that the longer a girl stayed in education, the more likely it was that she would grow up healthy, secure a livelihood and had healthy and educated children of her own.
Mamo, therefore, said that education was the smartest investment on girls.
He said that Save the Children International Nigeria believed that girls’ education was an indisputable guarantee to secure survival, protection and development for all children in future.
“Therefore, Save the Children International calls upon federal, state and local government councils to deliberately put girls’ education at the center of development planning, financing and delivery.”