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Press release: More than 2 billion FCFA to protect and educate Tillaberi and Tahoua girls.

The Minister of Spatial Planning and Community Development, His Excellency Maman Ibrahim Mahaman, officially launched the NRK Telethon Enfant pas marie project, which will be implemented by the non-governmental organization Plan International Niger with funding from the contributions of the people of the Kingdom of Norway in the Tahoua and Tillaberi regions.

The event brought together representatives of the Ministry of Women’s Support and Child Protection, the Ministry of National Education, the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and Disaster Management, representatives of the governors of the Tahoua, Tillaberi and Niamey regions, the heads of the cantons of Bambey, Dessa, Kalfou and Anzourou, national non-governmental organizations implementing the Tlthon project , as well as youth structures.

In Niger, approximately 76% of women marry at age 18, 28% before their 15th birthday, making Niger the country with the highest rate of married girls under 18 in the world (source Unicef). Girls, especially those living in rural areas, are the most vulnerable. In fact, they face violence and sexual abuse by their husbands, the risk of complications related to pregnancy, childbirth, obstetric fistula, and the risk of being exposed to sexually transmitted diseases. Moreover, when they get married, they are considered adults, their husbands take care of them, and they can no longer go to school. A key factor in ending child marriage is keeping girls in school, especially at the secondary level.

The Telethon project, Child Unmarried, lasting 4 years and amounting to more than 2 billion FCFA, aims to prevent the occurrence of early and forced child marriages in 36 villages in the municipalities of Afala, Bambey, Barmou and Kalfou (Tahoua department), 24 villages in the municipality of Ayorou (Tillaberi Department) and support obstetric fistula victims through psychosocial and health support at the Niamey Fistula Victim Care Center. This project includes several activities, such as keeping girls in primary and secondary schools, registering dropouts and out-of-school students into the formal education system through the creation of drop-in centers, strengthening secondary school youth’s knowledge of sexual health and reproduction, providing health and psychosocial services to women with disabilities. obstetric fistula, reducing the social and economic vulnerability of out-of-school girls in intervention areas, etc. In total, it will target 6,500 children and youth, 60 primary schools and 15 colleges, 2,700 students in fast-track education, 2,400 girls out of school for income-generating activities, 100 female fistula victims and 519 displaced persons , refugees and host communities who will receive assistance in cash, nutrition and protection.

In his speech, the Minister of Spatial Planning and Community Development praised the relevance of the Telethon project: Our satisfaction is all the greater that this important project, the relevance of which has not been proven, because it addresses a sensitive segment of our Knowing Children population, focuses on meeting the priority needs of the most vulnerable people. The Telethon project is therefore a hope for Niger because it will contribute to the prevention of premature and forced marriages of our children in the Tahoua and Tillaberi regions. This shows how much this project is in line with JE Bazoum Mohamed’s commitment to education and vulnerable groups. On behalf of the Government of Niger and the beneficiaries of the project, I would like to thank the Government of the Kingdom of Norway and Plan International Niger for their multiple commitments together with the Government of Niger in the implementation of its education policy regarding education. for a young lady. I would also like to assure all the partners and actors of this project of the continuous support of the government in general and my ministry to bring this project to a successful conclusion. I hereby declare the Telethon project, Child Not bride, officially launched.

According to the local representative of Plan International Niger, Mr. Mohamed Bah, the NRK Telethon project is an unmarried child in line with the educational policy of Niger State, which places special emphasis on the education of young girls. It will focus on the areas of education, health, income generating activities as well as women who have become victims of fistula. We chose the Tahoua and Tillabri regions because they are among the most populous regions of the country and have high marriage rates, such as the Maradi region, where Plan International Niger is already implementing projects funded by NORAD and other donors. As you know, Plan International Niger works for a just world, promoting children’s rights and equality for girls, whose new global strategy is to see ALL GIRLS STAY STRONG AND CREATE GLOBAL CHANGE. It is precisely in this logic and to reduce the incidence of early and forced marriage of Nigerian children that the Child Not Married project was developed.

The NRK Telethon project the child is not married implements an innovative approach based on three key principles: 1) makes girls the main driving force of change; 2) solving systemic problems and 3) promoting change through broad community participation. By involving girls as actors, they will be more aware of their rights and empowered.

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