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A hiking programme in Nigeria aims to educate individuals about their responsibilities towards creating a safer environment for women, and also help raise funds to aid in rape victims' rehabilitation.

Rape is a social disease that has unfortunately damaged many girls and women physically, psychologically, mentally and even mortally. In the first five months of 2020, about 717 cases of rape were reported in Nigeria, according to the Nigerian Police Force. “Hiking Against Rape” is a programme organised by ‘Playit Dreamit,’ a FAME Foundation initiative, using sports as a tool for making positive changes in the society. It was aimed at campaigning against rape incidents that tripled in number since the COVID-19 lockdown.

It was also an opportunity to raise the awareness of people, and gear them into action towards ending rape. Among the speakers was the Chairman of FCT Football Association, Adam Mouktar Mohammed. He urged parents and guardians to be more vigilant and make their children’s safety paramount, as many cases of rape occur within the victim’s circle.

Angela Muruli, Junior Program Analyst with UN Women Nigeria says, "We should all push on the state governors to pass the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPPA) bill. If we have it passed, we will be able to provide compensation for rape victims. The VAPP act will enable rape victims to access mental health therapy and financial compensation, which they often lose when seeking legal aid. Advocacy is also one of the ways to fight it, especially when it comes to breaking the barriers of speaking about it.”

The Executive Director of FAME Foundation, Aderonke Ogunleye-Bello, said, “as we are unable to do much more at this time than to campaign against rape, through means that will be safe and also accessible to everyone to hear our voices at this time, we decided to hike with few people, observing social distancing rules for outdoor events. Rape is a crime; it is traumatizing and we called for stricter measures against rapists in Nigeria”.

‘Hiking Against Rape’ seeks to advocate against rape, educate hikers on their individual responsibilities towards reducing rape, and raise funds for rape victims to help them get access to psychological counselling, and medical and financial assistance, to reduce any and every after-rape effect.

Playit Dreamit is an initiative of FAME Foundation in conjunction with the US Department of State, ESPN and University of Tennessee, using sports for gender equality and for social change in Nigeria

Authors

Sport Writer and Sports for Development Enthusiast

Tags

Country
Nigeria
Region
Africa
Target Group
Adults
People with Disabilities
Girls and women

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