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How COWAP Is Redefining Girl Child Education In Africa

Education they say, is the strong pillar that upholds the strength of a given society. In a broader view, education in general brings liberty and freedom to the mind. The words of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, call to mind the aesthetics of education to the human mind. He said, "We are born weak, we need strength; helpless, we need aid; foolish, we need reason. All that we lack at birth, all that we need when we come to man's estate, is the gift of education." In the light of the above, there is a great enumeration of the imperativeness of education to man, woman, young or old. Little wonder the philosopher, Plato, once inferred, "If a man neglets education, he walks lame to the end of his life." To further accentuate the import of education, the afforementioned philosopher took a different view to education by tailoring it down to the youth (children) of a given society, in which he said, "No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to persevere to the end in their nature and education." Hence, the foundation of every society is the education of its youth.

Essentially, of the utility of education to mankind, the Girl-Child education seems to be or deserves the most undaunted attention. Suffice it to say that education of a girl child saves lives and builds stronger families, communities and economies. An educated female population is said to foster a tremendous increase in a country's productivity and fuels economic growth. In Africa, girls and young women's access, retention and completion in schools is still of huge concern. The latest figures from UNESCO (2019) show that 52 million girls are not in school in Africa, while 4 million will never step into a classroom compared to 2 million boys. Consequent to the above assertion, it is noteable that pervasive poverty and persistent cultural attitudes, including forced early marriages and child labour, continue to be the main obstacles to girls' education in Africa.

While girls in India and most parts of Africa are considered a burden on parents and are thought to have been sent to Earth just to cook, clean and give birth to children, a voice rose in Africa to dislodge the limitations that popular culture and society placed against the girl child from accessing quality education or normal education even. This voice which rather sings aloud, the good songs of girl child education, belongs to an NGO called Coalition of Women in Africa for Peace and Development (COWAP). To COWAP, education of a girl child is as important as the basic necessities such as air, food and housing. The Coalition of Women in Africa for Peace and Development (COWAP) believes that the moral growth of a society is routed through the medium of girl child and women's education, for it makes them accessibly valuable.

The Coalition of African Women for Peace and Development (COWAP) is the brain child of Engage, Empower, Educate Initiative, a non-profit organization based in Nigeria with registration number CAC/IT/NO 105343. Engage Empower Educate Initiative was established with a mission to engage, empower and educate Africans, especially the woman and girl child. To achieve this, they have put together different projects, one of which is COWAP ( Coalition of Women in Africa for Peace and Development) in which they harness the virtues of women in Africa to foster and promote the development of the continent. Their operations revolve around the areas of -Girl Child Education -Peace and Justice in Africa -End Poverty - End Hunger Initiatives.

Others are; Hawa Charfaray, Founder/CEO Training Excellence South Africa, as Most Outstanding Consultant of the Year, Adut Noon Deng of Nation Hopes, as Girl child Education Champion, Purity Abhulimhen, Founder Spangler World, as End Poverty Champion, and Turkish Airline as Most Women Friendly Airline of the Year.

COWAP is a project put together with an aim to harness the enormous capacity and goodwill of women in Africa by bringing them under a coalition towards achieving 4 (Four) thematic points, which aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);
• Peace in Africa
• Girl-child education
• Ending hunger in Africa
• Ending poverty in Africa.

posted by TM

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