Martins Ifijeh

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has named Women at Risk International Foundation (WARIF) as one of the recipients for its grant to advocate against Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Nigeria. The grant will be awarded through the Pathfinder Platform, a global non-profit organisation that focuses on reproductive health, family planning, HIV/AIDS prevention and care, and maternal health.

The WARIF Centre, a Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), is the only private NGO selected to cater for sexual abuse related cases in Lagos.

According to the Founder, WARIF, Dr. Kemi DaSilva- Ibru, the grant will be implemented through the WARIF SARC, WARIF Educational School Programme and WARIF Know Your Community Initiative.

DaSilva- Ibru stated, “The objective of this grantor alliance by the USAID is to ensure that improved medical services, psychosocial counseling, associated services, and referrals to survivors of sexual assault are provided by the SARCs.

“It also aims to increase awareness of sexual and gender based violence through community-based intervention, contribute to breaking the culture of silence, and reduce the overall incidence of sexual assault in the country.
“We are very proud to receive this grant from the USAID in recognition of our work in making a positive impact in the lives of the many brave survivors we have been able to reach.

“This funding will ensure that we continue the good work so that more survivors of rape and sexual violence are able to have access to first respondent services, which we provide at the centre.

“In addition, we will be better equipped in managing cases of sexual assault, create greater awareness and train and educate more individuals on these issues and improve the reporting rate of GBV in Lagos State.”

She said WARIF began its operations in 2016 and have since inception, executed several initiatives some of which include; the WARIF Educational School program, WARIF through the Arts, the WARIF Gatekeepers initiatives amongst others.

“While the grant will be implemented from July to October 2018, the execution is expected to deliver primary healthcare assistance to victims of gender and sexual based violence in Nigeria,” she noted.