VOICES FROM THE STREET
If you had SUPER POWERS what would you do?
My name is Rosemary Isaac. I am a graduate of Linguistics and Communications studies University of Port Harcourt.
Since 2012 11 October has been globally celebrated as the International Day of the Girl Child. This year’s theme is SAVE HER;WITH HER; A SKILLED GIRL FORCE aim to promote girls empowerment and fulfillment of their human rights while also highlighting the challenges they face.
Though as a girl I have the privilege of getting education unlike my peers. I also identify with the experiences of missed opportunities for most girls. On the street today I had an interesting talk with some girls I found who are between 14 – 22years old.
With the tale tells of hopelessness I got them to share with me what they would if they had some sort of super power. And this particular response got me thinking.
“If I had super powers ,I would go back to school “. This statement was made by Blessing Osimiri, a 20 year old girl child who was forced out of school as a result of financial difficulties. I found her hawking sea food locally called “izam” in River State (periwinkle) in a local market in Port Harcourt.
Blessing told her story, how she lost her parents at 10 in an autocrash, leaving her in the mercy of her aunt who made her to hawk “sachet water” until she was 18. She said “my aunty asked me to leave her house when I was 18 and now I am 20, I have been fending for myself by selling ‘izam’ and I live with my friend”.
Miracle is another girl I spoke with, a 22 year old, self- taught caterer whose father refused to send her to school or let her learn a skill because she refused to marry the man chosen for her by her father at 17.
With so much determination, she resolved to make a path for herself and earn an honest and decent living by hawking her product (doughnut) on the street.
Miracle hopes to raise sufficient fund someday to enable her set up a shop where she can bake and sell her product in larger quantity. And this will be her super manifesto.
This year’s day of the girl child theme also aims to save and expand the girl child learning opportunities so they are inspired and innovated to take charge of their own future, thus preparing them for a successful transition into a world of self- empowerment in line with the theme “save her; with her: a skilled girl force”.
With Blessing and Miracle in this fight, are also the 1.1 billion girls out there in the world saving themselves. Today, they are redefining girl hood against all odds. They persist each day to stay alive and to succeed.
Can you use your SUPER POWER to save girls?, to stand up for them ensuring that their needs and priorities are met without question.
Happy International Day of the Girl Child!