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#EndGBV, YouthHub-Africa build youth champions through Sports.

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Ruth Oginyi

An International youth-based Organization, YouthHub-Africa, has organized a soccer tournament for Ebonyi youths.

Golden boot FC football club of Abakaliki, won the first trophy in the tournament aimed at ending violence against women and girls in Ebonyi State using the youths as GBV champions in their various local governments.

Soccer net, of Ezza south emerged 2nd winner while the 3rd winner was green revolution, football club in the match held at Abakaliki township stadium.

Golden Boots Football Club of Abakaliki defeated the Soccer Net Football Club of Onueke, Ezza- South with 3 goals to 1 to become the champion.

The football match was organized in collaboration with other youth, rights and women-based organisations in the State.

The program which lasted for three-weeks featured trainings, on the dangers and legal consequences of violence against persons.

At the closing ceremony of the competition, on Friday, the Ebonyi State Field Officer for Youthhub-Africa, Augustine Onwe, said that the event was part of the Organization’s Male Engagement activities, under the European Union (EU), United Nations (UN)- Spotlight Initiative.

Onwe pointed that that there was need to increase the level of male active involvement in protecting women and girls rights as well as shielding them from both domestic and other forms of abuses and violence in the society.

“Men are always being accused as the major perpetrators of Gender-based violence, and we know it is very important o engage men and boys when it comes to protecting women and girls because every man or boy has a mother, a sister, a wife or even, a girlfriend.

“There is need for us to live in a very safe community where women and girls will thrive in equal opportunities and rights with their male counterparts.

“Under this actually, we wanted to reach men in their comfort zone: men like watching and playing football.
“So we thought it wise that while they do what they like doing, we can also discuss this very important issue.

“This is why we put up this football tournament.

“We started this tournament since 25th of July, and we have played a total of Seven matches.

“Today is the grand finale which is the 8th one.”

“So, the tournament will not only produce match winners but champions in ending violence against women and girls in their communities” Onwe emphasized.

On his part Mr. George Etamesor of the National Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Centre, Abakaliki, Bar FaithVin Nwanchor State coordinator, gender based violence taskforce team in the state commended youthhub africa for organizing the match.

The duo urged the players to spread the knowledge learnt at the training to advance the cause of human rights in their various domains.

Etamesor, Director of Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Centre, Abakaliki, and one of the resource persons during the event said: “In each of the games we do, we always pick a particular topic, before and after.

“We also played videos and discussed them. We talked about rape; its dimensions and the issue of consent.
“We also talked about talk and sexual harassment as well as Intimate Partner Violence, IPV, among others.”

Others who spoke, including the State Director, National Human Rights Commission, Christopher Okorie, and Cecilia Ewa, Director of Planning, Research and Statistics, Ebonyi State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, who represented the Commissioner, Chinwe Okah, Goodness Mgbaja, of CIRRDOD Nigeria, Oluchi Nwite commended YouthHub-Africa saying that their different activities has impacted positively on the youth of Ebonyi state and beyond.

Correspondent reports that the YouthHub Spotlight Initiative in Ebonyi is targeted at two local government areas of Abakaliki and Ezza- South, with its other projects in many other local government areas across the State.

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