AmplifyChange Network Grants to CIRDDOC in collaboration with CENGOS
Building Bridges to End GBV & Increase Young People’s Access to SRH Information and Services & Strengthening Campaign to End FGM/C
The Amplify Change is a fund which aims to empower young people, men and women to realise their sexual and reproductive rights. It supports civil society and grassroots organisations working in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia that advocate for and promote respect for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of women and adolescents. Amplify Change has four grant types, Opportunity Grant, Strengthening Grant, Network Grant and Strategic Grant covering five thematic areas
The Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC), a human rights organisation is implementing two Amplify Change Network Grants in collaboration with the Coalition of Eastern NGOs (CENGOS) – an umbrella organisation of over 100 NGOs. CENGOS is present in 9 states of the former Eastern Region – Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Rivers, Cross River, Ebonyi, Akwa Ibom, Abia, and Bayelsa states.
The first project titled Building Bridges to End GBV & Increase Young People’s Access to SRH Information and Services started with six states (Anambra, Enugu, Imo, Rivers, Cross River, Ebonyi) in 2015; two other states (Abia & Akwa Ibom) were added in the second phase in 2017 and Baylesa joined in the third phase that commenced in 2020.
The project is focused on three of the five Amplify Change thematic areas namely: Gender-Based Violence, Access to Comprehensive Reproductive Health Services and Sexual Health of Young People and Girls with the objectives of building a movement to end Gender Based Violence (GBV) and promoting SRHR, as well as creating an enabling environment for marginalised groups to access quality reproductive health information and services. It also aims to increase young people’s awareness on GBV and SRHR through opening greater space for discussion of often silenced issues of sexuality and reproduction and to build capacity of CSOs to develop skills to advance the SRHR agenda.
Problems the grants seek to address include:
- Violence against women and girls.
- Longstanding social and cultural norms that reinforce acceptability of GBV in the society.
- Rape including marital rape, which creates a risk of trauma and could lead to unwanted pregnancy and/or HIV/AIDS.
- Limited capacity of women and girls to negotiate the terms and conditions of sex.
- High maternal and child mortality and morbidity ratios resulting from some of these factors.
- Harmful practices such as FGM/C, early/child marriage, which may have severe and debilitating SRH consequences.
- Social norms, religion and tradition, which exclude young people from access to reproductive health information and services.
- High rate of ignorance on SRHR – the general belief that exposing young girls to sexuality education encourages them to engage in sexual relations early in life.
- Unwanted pregnancies resulting to risky and unsafe abortions.
- Limited capacity of NGOs in SRHRs.
- Culture of silence on GBV and SRHR.
The second project titled Strengthening Campaign to End FGM/C is implemented in two states, Ebonyi and Imo state. The choice of the states was informed by their high prevalence of FGM/C practice in those states as revealed by the study carried out by development organisations including the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The project seeks to overcome numerous health risks as well as psychological, social, and sexual consequences associated with FGM/C practice through strengthening the capacity and effectiveness of grassroots and civil society organisations working on FGM/C; creating stronger and more inclusive movements; and transforming social norms surrounding knowledge, attitudes, and practices of FGM/C.
Four (4) Key Areas for Action of the AmplifyChange Network Grants
- Capacity Building: It provides capacity building support in technical and organisational areas to civil society organisations and groups – to increase their knowledge of GBV and SRHR and enhance their advocacy skills to hold government accountable on their commitments to gender equality, SRHR, social inclusion and freedom from violence. This includes support to recipients of Amplify Change Strengthening and Opportunity grants
- Evidence Gathering: This involves use of hotline, social media platforms and field work to gather or build evidence for advocacy, policy and accountability in SRHR, including collecting and analysing data and information; and conducting research, and development of tools and methods. It also includes mapping and creating awareness of existing laws on GBV and Reproductive health and Rights.
- Communications: This is about enhancing communication to strengthen advocacy including the creation of or support to existing communication platforms which are open to CSOs and decision makers for the promotion of SRHR and condemnation of GBV. It is a platform of several multichannel communication components including radio and television dramas in the mass media. Communication activities include On line Essay Competition, Social Media Conference, IEC Materials (T-Shirts, Newsletter), Airing of radio jingles and TV Drama on SRHR and GBV.
- Networking: It is about strengthening coalitions like CENGOS and engaging new actors in the field of SRHR to generate and share knowledge, through convening regional meetings, lesson learning sessions and fostering communities of practice and networking. It provides a platform for members to exchange ideas, information and personal experiences on SRHR and GBV in a way that builds understanding and insight.
The intervention activities adopted by the projects to realise their objectives include training of key stakeholders and project delivery partners including traditional and religious leaders, health workers, legal aid providers, security agencies; research on access to information and services; advocacy engagement with policymakers for transformation of social norms; formal and informal meeting; legal assistance; media events; publications; essay competitions; compound meetings and household discussions, and sexuality education sessions in schools among others.