• VPEC

Creating a New Shift in Gender-Based Violence Programs in Nigeria.

Updated: Nov 30, 2020

Today, as the next stop on our virtual tour in honor of Orange the World, we are visiting Nigeria, where ESD Global trainee Obi Peter is making huge strides in providing violence prevention education to the members of his community (and beyond).


Welcome, Obi. Thank you for being here today.


Q. Please tell us a bit about your professional background, and your organization, Youths for Peacebuilding & Development in Africa (YOUPEDA).

A. Since 2009, I have been working in the development sector as a director, trainer, social activist, and gender advocate, especially with youth and women. I provide skills training for both men and women, girls and boys, on gender-based education, advocacy, community mobilization, and engagement strategies, and dealing with stereotypes. My efforts in abating gender-based violence largely started between the years 2010 to 2014, when I directed and implemented an Oxfam Novib project funded by UN Women via a local youth organization in Nigeria. I created local gender-based violence prevention programs such as "Women We Dey," which means “Women Are Here."


Youths for Peacebuilding & Development in Africa is a non-profit organization based in Nigeria. We believe that Empowerment Self Defense (ESD) training plays a significant role in preventing sexual and gender-based violence against women and girls.


Due to cultural, religious, and traditional systems, engaging and empowering women and girls and men boys through violence prevention education has been one of the greatest challenges within the communities we work with.


We are committed to creating a new narrative and a new shift in gender-based violence programs in Nigeria.

But we are committed to creating a new narrative and a new shift in gender-based violence programs in Nigeria.


Q. How did you hear about the first Violence Education Conference? What inspired you to attend?


A. As a matter of fact, I was supposed to participate in the ESD Global Men's Incubator program in New York in 2019. I was unable to get a visa, but I was connected with some of the attendees and we stayed in touch. Also, I connected to the ESD Global website and other resources.


So through friends like Eden Fuchs, I received information about the conference. Once I got to know about VPEC, I quickly applied and submitted my abstract.


I like speaking to the public about my research findings and thoughts, sharing ideas, and networking.


My inspiration is the drive to transform masculinities and create gender-friendly, safer communities that revolve around equality, and social justice.

My inspiration is the drive to transform masculinities and create gender-friendly, safer communities that revolve around equality, and social justice.



Q. At VPEC2020, you took the stage. What did you speak about? What was it like to address the audience?


A. Yes I spoke about The Campaign to Scale-Up Community Men Engagement Peer Groups (COMEPEG) to fight gender-based violence in Nigeria.


Audience engagement and speaking gives me joy because it is solution-driven and people-based. I was excited to share my ideas about how we can all work together as both men and women, boys and girls, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, policymakers and citizens, to reduce violence and create a safer world for women and every girl, born and unborn.


Q. What have you been working on since VPEC? What are your goals?


A. Since VPEC 2020, we at YOUPEDA have been providing ESD training to girls, women, boys, and men in Nigeria, both physically and online. I can tell you that we have worked with

more than 30 individuals. And if not for COVID 19, we would have reached more.

We have also been participating in a series of online discussions, seminars, and trainings through ESD Global. Our goal is to see ESD become a fully-formed strategy, used as a tool to reduce and address GBV in Nigeria by 2025.


Also, I hope to work with some very important personalities in Nigeria who will hopefully attend VPEC 2021, including Alex Otti of Abia State Nigeria - a private sector philanthropist, and his wife. Both have done so much for gender education, justice, and development. I’m also hoping to involve the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Nigeria.


Q. Why do you feel it’s important to provide violence prevention education to the members of your community? In addition to Empowerment Self Defense, what types of educational programs would you like to see offered?


A. ESD is like a vaccine against violence. We want to train not only the girls and young women of our community, but our boys and men too. We believe that we can build on ESD with components of basic, vocational, and peacebuilding education.


Q. What are you looking forward to most about VPEC 2021? What do you hope to learn?


I’m looking forward to a super and COVID-free VPEC2021! I’m eager to learn more about feminism, intersectionality, transforming masculinities, and empowering women.


I’m eager to learn more about feminism, intersectionality, transforming masculinities, and empowering women.

I hope to coordinate and speak at different sessions. I’m also hoping for the opportunity to be part of creating a global village.


Q. Is there anything else you’d like us to know?


A. For us at YOUPEDA, joining ESD Global movement and El HaLev has tremendously contributed to the community response and intervention success we are experiencing at the moment. And with it, we at YOUPEDA are focused on teaching our beneficiaries to set important boundaries, have confidence, be assertive, and take charge of their lives so that they can live life in safety and confidence.


Thank you, Obi! You are truly an inspiration.


https://youtu.be/EaFuyVy0diQ

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