By Justina Auta
Invictus Africa, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), has launched “Orange Pages Directory” to assist Nigerians access responders and service providers of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the country.
Founder and Executive Director of the organisation, Mr Bulky Shonibare, announced this during the launching of the directory on Tuesday in Abuja.
Shonibare said that the directory contains information of SGBV Responders and Service Providers in the country and would enable survivors of GBV access help anytime and anywhere they needed it.
“At the height of the pandemic, there were lots of SGBV that was happening and we thought that people needed help, there were lots of people that were been abused and did not know where to go to or get help.
“We thought it necessary to put the Orange Pages together, we keyed it on yellow pages of those days and it is basically information of responders and service providers, those who supports those who have been abused in terms of SGBV.
“What we hope to achieve is that we want people to get help, when they need help,” she said.
According her, the organisation with the support of others will consolidate their work to capture more responders and service providers, as well as ensure people without access to the internet get copies of the directory.
The wife of Ekiti State Governor, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, stressed the need to curb cases of SGBV and change the narrative for the victims to become survivors, who can fulfill their destiny.
“If you have someone you can talk to, somewhere to go to receive appropriate legal advice or support and access to justice.
“If you receive treatment and care, and psychosocial support, economic empowerment. That is what moves you from being a victim to a survivor,” Fayemi asserted.
“So the impact of this directory is supposed to be that every woman, child or the case might be man or boy, who is affected by SGBV can have somewhere to go, someone to call and receive the help that they need all over the country,” she futher asserted.
Fayemi, who spoke on behalf of the Nigeria Governor’s Wives Forum, assured that the forum will ensure that the directory is disseminated to all the states to enable victims access it.
Also speaking, Mr Udo Jude-Ilo, the Country Officer and Head of Nigeria Office of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), said the launching of the Prevention Accountability Support (PAS) Model, alongside the directory signifies a holistic approach to end SGBV.
Jude-Ilo said the PAS model, which focuses on prevention, accountability and support for survivors, would aide in curbing the menace in the country.
On his part, Mr Anthony Ojukwu, the Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), stressed the need to ensure full implementation of the PAS model to curb SGBV in the society.
“There are lot of things that we want to do and are doing that helps to create more awareness around this.
“You just heard about the public hearing of SGBV. It has never happened before. That is the first time in this country that a public hearing is been held to deal with cases of SGBV.
“And we are moving round the states and wherever we go, we make sure it is publicised and invite people to opening sessions because public hearing on GBV are a little bit confidential,” he said.
According to him, the commission has a toll free number to enable people report from every part of the country to cases of SGBV, as well as have radio and television programmes, partnering with CSOs and other stakeholders to protect the rights of the people.
Meanwhile, Tawakalit Kareem, representing Invictus Africa disclosed that the Orange Pages have over 200 easy to access responders and service providers comprising of organisations and individuals of SGBV.
“I can assure you that every single organisation listed was checked and double checked to ensure that survivors are not re-traumatised in their quest for justice and care,” she said.