Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Nigeria, yesterday, inaugurated the Girls Act in Benue to empower girls and young women with a vision to stay healthy and thrive in both health and their chosen careers.

According to AHF’s Advocacy Manager, Steve Aborisade, the forum is one of the foundaton’s way of supporting girls and young women to prevent HIV and STI infections, and reduce unplanned pregnancies, stay  on treatment and stay in school.

He said the initiative is to foster leadership and confidence for girls and young women between the ages of 15 and 24 to support each other, strengthen fundamental life skills, and develop community activism.

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“Many of the young people have been invited by AHF to interact and learn skills as well as grant aid to some of them to further their education. We went round all AHF centres in Benue and picked out young people. We are starting off with 35 of them in Benue who were picked from our centres across the state.

“We are trying to put leadership in the hands of young people. Today is the formal inauguration for Benue chapter. So far, we only have Benue and Abuja chapters. Other chapters will soon open in other states of the federation,” he said.

Aborisade said the Girls Act is to develop the leadership capacity of the young girls to take leadership by themselves.

On her part, AHF Prevention Coordinator, Amina Iyaji-Abije, said the vision for the Girls Act is to see that young women and girls are empowered with adequate knowledge, education and skills that will make them live meaningful lives and ensure they are prevented from being infected with HIV as well as other diseases.