The wife of the Ondo State Governor, Betty Akeredolu, has unveiled an initiative ”Yellow Card” to identify early warning signs of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in schools.
Speaking at the unveiling and the training workshop organised for Counselors in Oke-Agbe in Akoko North West Local Government Area, Akeredolu, said that the yellow card initiative into schools and develop a plan for the next step to build prevention.
The governor’s wife, represented by Mr Austin Otabor, the Coordinator, ”Betty Anyawu Akeredolu Foundation, (BAAF)” said the objective of the training is to understand ethical issues related to GBV and bring out qualities of a good councelor, possible challenges and how to address them.
She said that the training would enable school councelors to identify early warning signs of abuse among school children and how to report GBV cases promptly.
”Children in public schools die in silence over SGB-related cases without speaking out and thereby causing more hardship for them.
”We are building the capacity of the counselors to identify early warning of abuse among school children and to retain them on every component of sexual-based violence-related cases.
“More than 250,000 yellow cards will be distributed to the young girls, at 500 per school, the yellow card will bring out the boldness in them when such cases arise.
“We will establish 50 anti-gender base violence clubs in public secondary schools across the state as a means of effective dissemination of relevant information on sexual, gender-based violence among the students.
“We are using counselors in schools as medium for dissemination of the yellow card and to pass more awareness to the young girls.
“We want to stop that idea of counselors hearing about cases and sweeping it under the carpet, we are building their knowledge and setting them on track,” She said.
The governor’s wife said the yellow card would also serve as an awareness card and to enable the children to report promptly by calling the toll-free lines in the card or approach the school Counselors who will take the matter up for appropriate action.
Also speaking, a participant, Mr. Ominawa Thomas from Ajuta Comprehensive High School, Ogbagi Akoko in Akoko North West Local Government Area of the state, lauded the governor’s wife for the initiative.
Thomas promised to fight against any sexual gender-based violence and related cases among his students.
The State Chairperson of the Federation of Female Lawyers (FIDA), Mrs. Bola Ogundadegbe, said the training would afford the counselors the opportunity to seek early warning sign before GBV occurs in schools and to prevent it.
The program was organized by BAAF, a Non-Governmental Organization and sponsored by the lawmaker representing Akoko North East/West, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.