GPI, Uyo centre has not relented effort in bringing up the adolescent girls and preparing them for womanhood through safe space weekly meetings at the Centre, such as sharing of ideas and experiences, gaining knowledge on diverse sexual and reproductive health issues and sexuality education as a whole. The key indicators of these are seen in their experience sharing on how they apply the lessons they learned during the weekly meetings and progressive increase of girls in attendance.
92% of girls who attend the weekly meeting have experienced behavioural change as against risk behavioural living. These are shown in some of the experiences shared by some of the girls in the Centre.
Abasiekeme O. 15 years old, …the driver was surprised that I as a small girl could express myself
It was on Sunday after the GPI lessons, my sister and I boarded a taxi back home. In the taxi, the taxi driver asked us where we were coming from. I told him that we were coming from GPI meeting. He then asked of the meaning of GPI which I told him; Girls’ Power Initiative. After sometime he asked, what do they do there? I then told him that there, girls are being taught their responsibility as a girl, their values in the community, and the world at large.
After that brief explanation he said that it is a lie that, that is not what they do there, instead they teach girls how to have sex with somebody and how to have boyfriends. I got angry and spoke sense into his head. I told him that, that is not what they do there. I then brought the topic of “Adolescent mothers” a very critical issue in the society today. I told him that all these girls that are carrying unwanted pregnancies could also be as a result of rape, their desire is not for them to have babies that they can’t take good care of, but it happens because of ignorance. I also told him that if these girls had the knowledge about unwanted pregnancy and its consequences they would have done their possible best to make sure that they stay away from it. The driver was surprised that I as a small girl could express myself. I was also happy that I could boldly talk to him and tell him the things he does not know. I thank GPI for making me alive, alert, awake and enthusiastic.
Promise O. 16 years old, The turning point in my life came when I started attending GPI’s meeting.
As a girl child growing up was not easy, I remember when I just got into the stage of puberty, my parents and some of my relatives started behaving harsh towards me. Anytime I did something wrong they will tell me “Ehn I know it is because you have started developing breast, that is why you are stubborn but very soon we will beat that stubbornness out of you” whenever my parents talked to me this way, I always feel bad about it because even at that age (10 years) I did not understand what was happening to me.
I discovered one morning that my breast was stiff and painful, as a child I told my parents about it not knowing that I was bringing trouble upon myself. But today am very happy, and also thank God and my neighbour who introduced me to GPI. The turning point in my life came when I started attending GPI’s meeting. Whenever I got back home every Sunday evening, my parents will ask me about what I was taught. And I will give it to them verbatim. They discovered their mistake and now treat me differently.
In all I say thank you to GPI for what you have done in my life and I pray that the good Lord will continue to keep this organization and take it to a greater height in Jesus Name – Amen.
Linda M. 13 years old …I was not surprised because I was taught in GPI
On the first day of my menstruation, I noticed that there was blood stain on my pant when I went to take my bath. When I saw this I was not surprised because I was taught in GPI. As soon as I finished taking my bath, I went inside and use pad that was given to me in school. When my mother came back I told her everything and she advised me to always use pad whenever I see my menses. I would have been scared but for the fact that I was taught, I was not. I say thank you to GPI for making me who I am today.
Blessing A. Aged 15, shared this: He told me I should have sex with him…
There was one Saturday that I went to help my uncle do some house chores. After I had finished, he told me to come into his bedroom and I went. He locked the door behind me and he started saying unnecessary things. He told me I should have sex with him, that if I do, he will buy phone for me and give me money and anything I want. I told him the disadvantages of what he was trying to do as I am told in GPI about incest and consequences of premarital sex. He now told me not to tell anybody that, he will not have sex with me. After that I left the house and since then I have not gone to his house again. Thanks to GPI.
Aniebietabasi E. Aged 13, shared this: …thank you to GPI for…giving me lessons on public speaking skills
On the 3rd of December, 2014 in my school, I gave a speech on the topic “Teenage Shoplifting” I prepared my speech very well. I gave the speech and emerged the winner. Best of all, I had an “A” in my grade because my speech affected everyone.
At the end of the day, I was presented with prizes and the other speakers were given consolation prizes. I want to say thank you to GPI for making me assertive, for enlightening me and giving me lessons on public speaking skills.
Eno_Mfon 13 years old, …it might be pregnancy…
I went to buy medicine in the chemist shop one evening. There I saw one woman who told the chemist that she was feeling weak that it could be fever and she has been vomiting. So I ask the woman if she has gone for test before requesting for drugs that it might be pregnancy according to the signs and symptoms she explained to the chemist. She asks if I was pregnant before, I told her no, that I got the information from GPI. She asked me the full meaning of GPI and what GPI is all about which I told her that: they train young girls from 10 to 18 years how to take good care of themselves and know the kind of relationship that they should keep, and know certain things about their body. After some days, she came and thanked me for giving her that advice. I am very grateful to GPI for bringing out the best in me.
Blessing S. Aged 13 shared this …may force her into prostitution
A girl in my school told me that one man wanted to take her to London that he will take good care of her. That the man had informed her mother and she agreed; but when she told me I advised her not to go that, the man on getting to London may force her into prostitution or the man might even be a human trafficker. She went and told her mother all I said. The following day, when the man came to pick her, her mother refused him taking the girl. So I am saying thank you to GPI. You have done well.
Gift E. Aged 15 has this to say: I was confused…
The first day I saw my menstruation I did not know what it was all about. I showed my mother the blood stain; she then told me that it was menstruation. I was confused and wanted to ask her what it was all about but I could not.
One morning, they were talking about GPI on the television as being a place where girls who are not knowledgeable of the fact that they are girls and there are some things that the girls must know about themselves. The address of the GPI centre was showed on the television, I asked my mother if I can be going and she said yes. When I went to GPI, my first day there was very interesting. The issue of menstruation that was bothering me was discussed that day. Our facilitator told us that menstruation is a normal thing in the life of a girl child and that it is not something that we should worry about. When I went back I told my mother what I learnt and I was very happy because I then knew what menstruation was. Thanks to GPI.
Inyene-obong B. Aged 16 … I told him NO…
On my first day in my new school I came in contact with a boy who asked me to be his reading partner and I accepted it. One day at the closing of school on a Friday afternoon, he told me that I should accompany him to his house because he wants me to be coming to wait for him anytime I want to go to school. As a GPI girl, I told him no, that it won’t be possible because I knew where he was heading to. The following day he told me the same thing and I told him that I knew his trick and I ended the friendship so that it won’t lead to something else. GPI, thank you for empowering me.
Esther E. Aged 13 It was bothering me but I couldn’t say it out…
At my age I didn’t know what puberty was all about and I felt shy to ask my parents. It was bothering me but I couldn’t say it out. My friends in my class normally talked about GPI so I boldly walked up to them and ask them the full meaning of GPI and what it is all about. They told me that it means Girls’ Power Initiative and it teaches girls about what they need to know about themselves like menstruation, puberty, self-esteem, self-assurance etc and also to know their right as a girl child. I now know what puberty is all about, what it entails, and other topics since I started attending GPI’s weekly lessons. God bless Mumsy Bee, Mumsy Gee for starting GPI and all the facilitators for making me a girl I am today. Oh GPI, you are a mother indeed!
Sandra C. Aged 12 …after touching her they will give her #200
It all happened at school one faithful day. I met a girl in my class with some group of boys who were touching her breast and doing all sort of things to her. They were even kissing her. She never concentrated in the class; she was always with them in a dark place playing their nonsense play. I felt like talking to her but there was no time. The following day at school I called her to my seat and then asked her why she was defiling her body. She told me that she was not defiling her body that those boys after touching her they will give her #200. I tried to tell her that what she was doing will give her a bad result, she said it will not that the boys were not wicked and that they cannot rape her. I then told her that she did not know what she wanted to be in future. I told her to forget those boys and leave them alone and pursue her goals in life. After few hours of persuading her to change, she decided to, but she asked me if she would be able to leave them alone and I told her that on Sunday she should be prepared because I will find a way out for her. I told her that there is a place where they counsel girls on such issues and the name of the place is GPI meaning – Girls’ Power Initiative. When she went there she was being counselled and she changed her ways. Thanks to GPI for enlightening me.
Lovina B. Aged 12 …I gained the knowledge from GPI
It was on Friday afternoon, a seminar was held at Ibom Hall and I was selected to represent the school. At the seminar, they taught us about teenage pregnancy and its effects. At the end of the seminar, questions were asked and I answered all. The facilitator said that I was a very bright girl and I didn’t pretend whereas others knew it but were pretending. I then told her that I gained the knowledge from GPI. A very big thanks to GPI.
Inemesit E. 13 years …she didn’t know that she could be raped
When I went to school one day I had this urge to talk to young girls about sexual harassment. I went to Junior Classes and talked about it. After the session, a girl walked up to me and said “I adore you” I then asked her why, she said because all I said in her class were for her and that she promised me that she will change. She said that she is the type of girl that likes exposing her legs and breast and also likes wearing short skirts. She said she didn’t know that she could be raped and she thanked me. I wouldn’t have been that bold and knowledgeable if I wasn’t taught at GPI. Thank you GPI for making me feel good about myself.
Becky A. 13 years …she explored the web and began to watch pornographic videos
GPI has taught me a lot and I am happy that I have been able to share it with others. There is a girl that was in my class. Her name was Favour. She is the only child of her parents so they pampered her a lot and they give her anything she asked for.
On one of our holidays she told her parent that she needed a private teacher so that she would be having lessons. Her parents granted her the request. One day she told her mother that she needed a blackberry phone that she had had a lot of lessons and she doesn’t want to be bored so she needed blackberry phone to keep her busy. This request too was granted her. As soon as she got the phone, she pleaded with her lesson teacher, Aunty Clara to teach her how to operate her Blackberry so after lessons, Aunty Clara would teach her how to operate the phone. Favour became wild and started abusing the use of her phone, she updated her picture on all kinds of social network, distributed her blackberry pin to male friends and they started asking her for friendship. Unknown to Aunty Clara, Favour started exploring the web and began to watch pornographic videos. She got addicted to it and it affected her educationally as she could not concentrate again in the class. I noticed this so one day I asked her why she was not concentrating again in the class. She opened up and told me everything. I then told her that those things were not good that it could affect her thinking capability. And again, watching it would arouse her and could pressure her into having sexual intercourse. I tried to convince her and as God would have it, I succeeded. She promised not to watch again. She actually stopped and devoted her time to her studies and she now had good grades. Now anytime she sees me she will tell me thank you. So I am saying thank you to GPI