UNICEF and BIGIF Join Forces: Trains Community Facilitators to End FGM in Ekiti.

Ekiti State’s Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hon. Mrs. Peju Babafemi, has reaffirmed the government’s unwavering commitment to eradicating Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and other harmful practices affecting the rights of women and girls within the state.


This resounding declaration was made during the closing ceremony of a comprehensive three-day program designed for community facilitators hailing from non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations. The program, funded by the Balm In Gilead Foundation for Sustainable Development (BIGIF) in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), took place in Ado Ekiti.

The primary objective of this initiative was to equip participants with the knowledge and skills necessary for conducting sensitization, awareness campaigns, and actions against Female Genital Mutilation. It also aimed to provide support for survivors of FGM within the state. These trained community facilitators will now take up the mantle of facilitating Adolescent Circles on Ending FGM (ENDFGM) in Ekiti State, commencing their vital work in the Oye and Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Government areas.

Commissioner Babafemi underlined the collaborative efforts between her ministry and the Office of the First Lady, Dr. Olayemi Oyebanji, in tackling harmful practices and violence targeting women and children within Ekiti State’s communities.

She emphasized that FGM must become a practice consigned to history in Ekiti State, urging all community leaders to unite with the government and civil society organizations in this endeavor.


Hon. Mrs. Babafemi called upon the participants to utilize the knowledge acquired during the training to achieve their intended outcomes. She affirmed that the Ministry will continue to collaborate with civil society organizations (CSOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in alignment with the Oyebanji-led administration’s zero-tolerance policy toward harmful practices and violence in the state. She also issued a stern warning to those still perpetrating such acts, emphasizing that anyone caught would face the full consequences of the law.


Tunmininu Akerele, Executive Director of the Balm in Gilead Foundation (BIGIF), described the three-day training as impactful. It equipped participants with the competencies required for effective grassroots advocacy against FGM.


Representatives from various organizations dedicated to ending FGM in the state, including the Foundation for Excellent Living and Development for Youths and Women, Abiola Abike Initiative, MAI Initiative Foundation, Bibi Grace Foundation, and SODEF, expressed their satisfaction with the training. They found it enriching and empowering, enabling them to further their practical facilitation work toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the state.

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