In a society where Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is often met with silence and survivors are left ashamed, guilty and without a voice, The Women At Risk International Foundation WARIF in active partnership with the Washington DC Rape Crises Centre, the DSVRT, other NGOs and most recently, the ACT Foundation has marked a year of significant impact in the war against GBV in Nigeria.
The anniversary celebration which was held at the WARIF Centre, Yaba Lagos was marked with an Appreciation Brunch in honour of Partners of the Foundation who had contributed in no small measure to the laudable successes of the Foundation’s several projects at the Centre and on field service in its first year. Speaking at the celebration, The Founder of WARIF Dr. Kemi DaSilva Ibru highlighted key lessons on the journey thus far in the fight against GBV in Nigeria.
“The issue that we decided to work with, the space that we are working in, is a very difficult one. It is difficult because of the content, dealing with sexual abuse and rape of children and young women is hard to say the least. It is also very difficult because we are working in an environment that is not very forgiving and very understanding of the problem. As a non-profit, we were quick to realize that we were impacting through our work and through our initiatives only because of the collaboration with other groups and organisations such as you all and with the assistance of different people that we have been fortunate to have met along the way … and so it was very easy to arrive at this decision to have a brunch, simply to say thank you to each and every one of our esteemed partners.”
Since inception, the Centre has treated an average of 361 beneficiaries. From offering FREE Medical Care, Counselling, Shelter and Legal aid at the WARIF Centre – a Rape Crisis Centre, as well as providing a 24hr confidential helpline available to all young girls and women who are in need of their services, the Foundation also implements preventive initiatives such as the WARIF School Education Program WESP-providing curriculums to address and prevent rape and sexual violence in schools and reaching out to children and adolescents in communities.
While expressing profound gratitude to partners of the Foundation Dr DaSilva Ibru stated thus, “We have whilst working at the WARIF Centre, met wonderful organizations that have helped us immensely so we can offer medical treatment, counseling, as well as social welfare in reaching out to women in need from the women seen and treated at the WARIF centre, education school children in different secondary schools to women in the rural areas through the training of Traditional Birth Attendants with the WARIF Gate Keepers Project and other projects dear to our heart as a non-profit organisation.”
The Founder reiterated the position of the Foundation in remaining committed to the fight against GBV, paving the way through meaningful and life-long-lasting initiatives towards the care and assistance of all women, girls and children in need in the society, calling appropriate authorities to action and providing the much-needed care, treatment and education to survivors of GBV FREE of charge, with continued strategies that seek to reduce the number of cases in our communities across Nigeria.
Women At Risk International Foundation (WARIF) is a Non-Governmental Organization that was incorporated in 2016 by Dr. Kemi Da-Silva Ibru MD; MPH in response to the high incidence of sexual assault, rape and human trafficking occurring among young girls and women across Nigeria. This is achieved through the implementation of immediate and preventive target –oriented interventions, that all have the hallmark of the foundation initiatives of being impactful, measurable and sustainable.