Gender Studies, Disability, Social Development

Gender Studies, Disability, Social Development

ACIEDafrica recognizes that disadvantage takes multiple forms of inequalities, and women and girls across the continent are disproportionately affected by deeply rooted social injustice and gender inequalities and a number of structural barriers to sociopolitical and economic empowerment. The obstacles that marginalized people or excluded groups in semi-urban and rural communities especially girls, children, young women, widows, people with disabilities, older persons and non-binary youth often face the most discrimination.
Keeping gender, equity and inclusion is at the heart of everything we do, ACIEDafrica develops and test scalable innovations that enhance opportunities for young lives, particularly girls and young women from poor and vulnerable communities, to succeed in life and contribute to society with the conviction that women and men together are transformative agents of economic and social change in African economies. We are committed to approaching our work through intersectional and gender lens.
Towards achieving the gender equality and inclusion goal, ACIEDafrica adopts a multi-sectoral approach, as more inclusive public policies are essential if Nigeria or Africa is to achieve its poverty reduction targets and achieve sustainable economic growth. ACIEDafrica’s strategy to mainstream gender and inclusion perspectives in policymaking is to engage government partners and stakeholders to integrate principles and practices that promote gender and inclusion in research and policy dialogue. Through such partnership, ACIEDafrica provides technical support to mainstream gender and inclusion perspectives and produce gender-sensitive policy recommendation.
ACIEDafrica is committed to improving women’ and girls’ leadership, informing and empowering adolescents and young people with the right information to demand adequate information and services and advocate for government duty bearers to establish strong policies and programs that respond to their demands.

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We focus on three core elements highlighted below as priority impact areas that all young people need to thrive to transition to a safe and productive adulthood;

• Inclusive Learning or Education;
• Economic Well-being and;
• Safe Healthy Lives – Promoting Effective Inclusive Primary Healthcare system and Disability Inclusion in Health and Social Services.

ACIEDafrica’s key objectives and activities on Gender and Inclusion are;

• To promote gender and inclusion as priority concern in development planning, implementation and monitoring;
• To identify gender based priorities in different sectors of rural development and financing, and effectively integrating gender and inclusion considerations in health, nutrition, education, social enterprises, entrepreneurship, employment etc.;
• Development of knowledge hub in gender and social inclusion related areas by facilitating trainings, skills development, policies research and advocacy;
• To promote disability-inclusive skills development in order to ensure that persons with disabilities and older persons have the skills as demanded by the labour market;
• To undertake studies related to social and economic empowerment of women and various other areas through gender lens.
• To support in strengthening health systems in providing gender and adolescent-responsive, inclusive, integrated and innovative mental health and protection services for women, children and adolescent girls as well as older people in the society.
• To provide training and workshops for persons with disabilities on disability-inclusive development to ensure meaningful participation and enable better feedback and recommendations to policy makers.

ACIEDafrica’s Disability Inclusion and Resilience Activities (IDRA)

specially support new initiatives promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities in health, education, workplaces and economic activities and governance. Consequently, The Centre engages in policy, empirical disability-related research and advocacy to the rights of people with disabilities, who are often not consulted about decisions that relate to or affect their lives. Rooted in the belief that all people have value, the Centre continuously strives to promote full community participation for the people with disabilities, and continue to engage Nigeria government on advocacy for disability-friendly infrastructure, access to justice, social services. ACIEDafrica deploys innovative approach to address inclusion of the people with disabilities or vulnerable groups, particularly, strengthening their voice through programmatic interventions, and ensuring that they are specifically included in citizen engagement activities, in order to advocate for themselves and better meet their needs.

ACIEDafrica Social Innovation Programmes in Health and Education Sectors

Behavioral Health Equity Promotion – ACIEDafrica’s effort is focused on advancing health equity, ensuring that everyone (including children, adolescents and older people) has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. The rights to access high-quality and affordable health care services and support for all populations, including people living in the underserved communities, ethnic minority, persons with disabilities, persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality as well as low income earners.

We intend to achieve this through the following five (5) key strategies:

i) Data strategy - utilizes state and community data to identify, monitor, and respond to behavioral health disparities;
ii) Policy strategy - promotes policy initiatives that strengthen the impact of national programs in advancing good health and well-being of all population;
iii) Community partnership: Promotes local partnership and awareness for creating healthy environment through community-based policies and practices.
iv) Quality practice and workforce development strategy –expands the behavioral health workforce capacity to improve outreach, engagement, and quality of healthcare for minority and underserved populations;
v) Communication strategy – increases awareness and access to information about behavioral health disparities and strategies to promote behavioral health equity.

Social Inclusion and Well-being of Senior Citizens/Older Persons Through Intergenerational Programs – Senior citizens or older persons play a vital role in our society, and their well-being and inclusion are crucial for a thriving community. ACIEDafrica programs aims to address the challenges faced by senior citizens by implementing intergenerational programs that foster social inclusion and enhance their overall well-being.

Drug Abuse and Tobacco Free-Kids Campaign Programs – Our “Drug Abuse and Tobacco Free-kids” campaign and awareness programs are aimed to eliminate illicit drug use and substance abuse in our homes, communities and workplaces, and especially tobacco smoking amongst underage people. Together, we help transform Nigeria to a drug free and tobacco free-kids nation. In partnership with local communities, we strive to reduce substance use among young adults and create healthy environment through community-based policies and practices.

Inclusive Education for the Disabled, and Children at Risk Program – – By confronting poverty, lacking infrastructure and socio-cultural discrimination, we strive to provide a quality education and a brighter future for the under-privileged child who might otherwise have no education. ACIEDafrica works in indigenous communities to increase access to quality primary education to some of the most disadvantaged out of school children (OOSC). We pursuit inclusive education for the Disabled and Poor Children through innovative interventions, facilitation, capacity building, strengthening and initiation of community approach for sustainable development. We support friendly and caring teaching methods to impart education to the disabled children or at risk children without giving extra mental pressure or burden and extend their education in a meaningful constructive way.

Our programme strategy centres on these objectives:

1. To identify the need for and to provide appropriate therapeutic services in the area of speech and hearing by trained and certified Special Teachers.
2. To provide proper care management of the child.
3. To engage parents and families through counseling as an integral part of the preparatory intervention and ensure their participation in every stage of our child developmental programmes.
4. To ensure implementation of adequate measure for Disabled child education in the targeted area.
5. To improve the quality and effectiveness of the educational, social and economic growth of the disabled child and children from the economically and socially backward background.
6. Community sensitization

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Education for Schools and Communities– ACIEDafrica is supporting effective Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programming and education in schools and communities. Our strategy focuses on four major elements – i. child friendly innovative WASH facilities/infrastructure; ii. hygiene and sanitation best practices through training for school children and teachers; iii. outreach in communities to raise awareness on severity of “period poverty” as a public health, human rightsand socio-economic issues; iv. advocacy for better mensural health education and policies.

Our activities include;

 The provision of innovative water, sanitation and handwashing facilities and materials in public schools and disadvantaged communities;
 Training on good practices in hygiene and sanitation in public schools, communities and societies, as well as public campaign against open defecation;
 Advocacy and sensitization for better menstrual hygiene/health education and policies especially in rural areas,
 Programmes to encourage children and young adults to act as agents of change as hygiene advocates in their homes and communities.

Our school-based activities are specifically focused on improving children’ enrolment and retention rates in schools through provision of cleanwater and good sanitation system, and offer training on how to maintain healthy environment. ACIEDafrica strongly promotes girl or woman- friendly sanitation facilities – toilets that are equipped with facilities for menstrual hygiene. We also provide special training to female students in public schools on menstrual hygiene management and support girls with free sanitary products to prevent them from infections.