Northern Nigerian Breaking News

UN begins mobile-counselling hub to address GBV in Katsina

The women’s wing of the United Nations (UN women), says it is planning to establish a mobile counselling hub to address Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Katsina State.

Mr Jonah Yahaya, the programme Coordinator of the Bridge That Gap (BTG) initiative, an NGO implementing for the UN-women under the Peace Building Fund (PBF) project, disclosed this in Katsina on Friday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme coordinator unveiled this during  the training of Lay Counsellors from Kaita Local Government Area of the state.

NAN also reports that hub means  counselling on-the-go.

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Yahaya said: “If you have an issue that you are dealing with, like you are depressed, you have insomnia, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of experience, you don’t have to seek help elsewhere.

“People within your community should be able to address such issues and provide help for you. That’s what we are trying to do here, bringing solutions down to the grassroots.”

Yahaya further explained that most of the facilities they always spend money on, are within the urban areas, often neglect the rural communities, but they are creating a mid-shift to be able to bring it down to the community levels. 

The programme coordinator said: “Through the PBF, I think it’s a very big innovation and initiative that the UN has thought of, especially through the UN-women.

“We should be able to look at these issues that the women experience, particularly in these communities, and be able to address it down to the beares minimum.”

According to him, they embarked on sensitisation regarding the GBV issue, for both men and women separately, thereafter, it will be followed with the combined exercise, observing that to resolve an issue or a conflict, both parties must be involved.

“The exercise is a pilot project being carried out in Kaduna and Katsina, where Kaita and Faskari Local Government Areas were selected from Katsina, hoping to scale to other LGAs in the nearest future,” Yahaya noted.

He pointed out that the training and sensitisation was on providing Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) to GBV survivors, in order to address some of the co-issues that happened as a result of conflict.

“We know that many amongst them are GBV, and that has to do with all its categories, either in the form of sexual, physical, emotional, phycological, or economical abuses.

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“So, BTG is here to address some of the aftermath of these violence that women experience. Our target is essentially women, because very often, they’re the ones at the forefront of these issues, and don’t get as much care as they are supposed to, even when intervention is being provided.

“We want to ensure that gender mainstreaming is critical in the provision of MHPS, especially for the survivors of GBV,” he said.

He further pointed out that the training is important for two reasons, trying to mobilise the resources within the communities, leading to identifying lay Counsellors who have been working around this issue within the communities, and also to assess their capability on MHPSS.

“We are hoping that at the end of the training they will be able to get more knowledge to address this issue within their communities as soon as they come, before referring it to the nearest facility, and follow up until the survivor acquires justice,” he said.



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