#Impact365: You probably don’t know this NGO but it’s changing lives in Edo

Braveheart Initiative is an Edo state non-governmental organization that provides support services and leadership training for young secondary school girls and young girls in the state.

In this interview with YNaija’s #Impact365, Priscilla Ikos Usiobaifo, the founder of the NGO, tells us more about the organization.

Could you tell us about how the NGO started

I started it as a youth development club, then I should be like 18 year in 2002. I have been around for more than a decade. I started it as a faith based organization to encourage virginity among girls. One of the things that actually triggered me was as a boarding student; I had come home and learnt that one a neighbour’s daughter that I am very close to died having an abortion. Then I started thinking about talking to young people, to get them busy, talk to them about leadership.

Right now, you focus on young people, in what aspect, is it in education…..

I have always focused on young people, in 2007 specifically on the 7th of April we transformed into a youth led, youth focused non-governmental organization and two years later, we registered with the CAC.

What kind of programme do you organize for young people?

Now we are just dedicated to development and empowerment of young people, then we have this age range of 10 – 25 years, we basically work on issues of information, give training to those young people because our own idea is to empower them to make informed choices. We also focus on conceptualizing and implementing community based projects.

What kind of community project are you doing right now?

Our activity area is in three major category, first is sexual reproductive health right under which we have sexuality education; comprehensive sexuality education, for this one we have in school, and out of school outreaches, we visit schools, we have about six to seven curriculum. We also do HIV test screening services which are for the general population, anybody can walk into our office to do HIV testing, not only that, we also do referral. We also do primary health system strengthening, we support the primary health care centres, and we assist them in training young people. Lastly under sexual reproductive health is the support service for survivors of sexual abuse, we give a comprehensive service to these survivors which are in three fold, medical support, psycho-social support and lastly we give them legal aid.

Is there any way you train your trainees to have certain skills of job so that they won’t go back, you know these are rural girls

Most of our focus are in school girls, what we do is that we have a pool of them working for us also, having trained them for certain years, they can volunteer or even intern with us while they wait for the next stage of their education. The second thematic area we work on is youth empowerment, under this we have mentoring, the second thing we do under empowerment for young people is volunteer training, we expend a lot of resources on building people’s capacity to volunteer, we teach people to also give community service, selfless service, we also do leadership training, we also do IGA (income generating activities). The last thematic area is gender and human right advocacy.

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